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Holland v Denmark – Match Preview

Bert van Marwijk is calling on his players to maintain their focus as Holland prepare to open their Euro 2012 campaign against Denmark at the Oblast Sports Complex “Metalist” in Kharkiv

The Dutch have been tipped as one of the favourites to lift the Henri Delaunay trophy and are expected to progress from Group B without much issue despite the media attention surrounding the tournament.

Preparations for the game have been overshadowed though after it was claimed several players were subjected to racial abuse during an open training session in Krakow.

With that weighing heavily on his mind van Marwijk declined to comment on the subject during his post-match press conference and was keen ensure his players weren’t distracted from the task in hand instead opting to warn them not to take their eye off the ball prior to their meeting with Denmark.

“I think we are the favourites as well, but it will not be easy,” he said.

“You can make the comparison to two years ago (when Holland beat Denmark 2-0 at the World Cup en route to the final) but two years ago everything was new for me and for the players in a big tournament.

“We have that experience now, but that just means you can’t be complacent because you’ve done it before. We need to make sure we are as sharp as possible.”

Danish coach Martin Olsen admitted that his side are the underdogs doing into the game but insists they have improved since they last met the Dutch in group stage of the 2010 World Cup which they lost 2-0.

However the 62-year-old has heaped the pressure on Saturday’s opponents stating they would be considered failures if they didn’t end the finals as champions of Europe.

“They are a good team in all positions, and on the bench as well, they are filled with great quality.

“The Dutch have become better since the last time we met but so have we.

“The Dutch are a team who will say if they do not win this title it will be an enormous disappointment, but I do not think we can say that.

“I think we will say if we can get through this group we will have won.

“We are playing against a better team. That’s the realistic situation but it doesn’t mean we will throw the towel in. Of course we would like to be the favourites because that means you are the better team.”

Injury News

Defender Joris Mathijsen is the only injury doubt for Denmark with a hamstring injury whilst Denmark have a fully fit squad to choose from.

Key Players

Robin Van Persie

The Arsenal striker enters the tournament on the back of his best goal scoring season of his career after notching 37 times in all competitions. Holland will be relying on the 28-year-old to provide a similar goal threat and fire them to a priceless first win over the Danes and put them on course for the knock-out phase.

Daniel Agger

Denmark captain Agger will be the man charged with containing Van Persie in Kharkiv and, having played against him numerous times in the Premier League, will be confident of keeping the Dutchman under wraps. He’ll have to keep his defence well organised though if they are to take anything from their opening game.

Prediction: 2-0

Article title: Holland v Denmark – Match Preview

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