Holland v Germany – Match Preview

Holland coach Bert van Marwijk is confident his side can beat Germany and avoid early elimination from Euro 2012 when the pair meet in Kharkiv on Wednesday.

A shock defeat at the hands of Denmark in their opening game has left the Dutch teetering on the verge of an early exit from the finals but Van Marwijk believes his side can come out on top against the Germans who have been tipped to win Group B.

However the 60-year-old did admit his unhappiness with the treatment he and his players have got from the Holland media but insisted he is used to fielding criticism as he paid little attention to any negative questioning during his post-match press conference.

“I am used to it by now,” he said. “We are here preparing for one of the most important games in the last few years and so I don’t want to talk about other things.

“The Germans are very strong, but we can beat them, but I won’t tell you how we are going to do that.”

After beating Portugal 1-0 on Saturday night German boss Joachim Low knows a win will guarantee progression to the quarter finals and is debating over whether he should alter the side that won in L’Viv.

Low is aware that a draw or defeat wouldn’t be good enough to secure a place in the knockout stage and emphasised need to stay focused during a fixture that is brimming with historical undertones.

“We have got to ensure we qualify for the next round so it plays no role what their situation is,” he said. “We want to win the game and take a decisive step towards qualifying.”

“For me, the phrase ‘never change a winning team’ does not apply. There are always different situations in which, as a coach, you get the feeling that a change or two may do you good.”

Team News

Joris Mathijsen could replace Ron Vlaar in the Holland defence after returning to full training whilst Klaas Jan Huntelaar could start at the expense of Robin van Persie or Ibrahim Affelay.

Germany have a fully fit squad after Bastien Schweinsteiger came through the Portugal game unscathed despite nursing a calf complaint that kept him out of the pre-tournament friendlies.

Key Player

Arjen Robben

Despite misfiring against Denmark the Bayern Munich winger is still a vital cog in the Dutch attack. Having operated from the right in the opening game it’s likely Robben pitched there again to keep Germany skipper Phillipe Lahm occupied and create space down the wing for full back Gregory Van der Wiel to exploit.

Mario Gomez

Whether he’s in the game or not Gomez is always a threat and he displayed against Portugal that he only needs one chance to make a difference for Germany. His winning goal against Portugal displayed all the all hallmarks of a top strike and came after a frustrating 72 minutes in which scoring opportunities were scarce justifying Low’s decision to play him ahead of Miroslav Klose.

Prediction: 1-2