Germany v Holland – Match Preview

In what promises to be the most exciting game at this year’s European Championships thus far, Holland take on a strongly fancied German side in Kharkiv tonight. An efficient performance from Joachim Löw’s men in their opening game against Portugal, make Germany favourites for tonight’s clash. A win for the team captained by Phillip Lahm would see them through to the knockout stages with a game to spare.

A much different story for the Dutch, sees them needing points to avoid an early exit. After a shock 1-0 defeat at the hands of Denmark in the country’s opening game, coach Bert Van Marwijk will be demanding the highest energy levels to beat a German team who many would wish to avoid at any stage of the competition.
Team News
There are no pressing injury concers for Joachim Löw and it is expected that the coach will have a fully fit squad to choose from. Expect the same starting XI that was used against Portugal.
With the men in Orange in such desperate need of a win, Bundesliga goal machine Klaas Jan Huntelaar could be named in the starting line up. If this happens, Ibrahim Afellay would drop to the bench to allow Robin Van Persie to take up a position just behind the striker. Experienced defender Joris Mathijsen has resumed full training and could return tithe starting line up in place of Ron Vlaar.
Key Players
Germany-Mario Gomez
Although having scored in the Germans opening game win over Portugal, Gomez was slammed by his country’s press.
Former German midfielder Mehmet Scholl stated that Gomez could get ”bed sores” in reference to his lazy attitude and movement on the pitch. So many expectant eyes lay on the Bayern Munich striker and not just from Germany. Gomez is many pundits favourite to claim the tournaments Golden Boot. Score again today and the lone man up front could appease his expectant compatriots and be on course to claim Euro 2012’s most sought after individual prize.
Holland- Robin Van Persie
An obvious choice, Van Persie is in a similar, if slightly more uncomfortable position than Gomez. With so much expected of the Arsenal striker before the tournament kicked off, his dissapointing first game performance has only heaped more pressure on Van Persie.  It is vital that he is on form for his country tonight. If, like on Saturday, the striker is misfiring, his country may be out of the tournament and you can bet that a considerable amou t of the blame will be placed on him.

Prediction – Germany 2-2 Holland