Netherlands v Germany
12 June 2012 Last updated at 14:14 GMT
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Euro 2012: Netherlands v Germany
- Venue: Metalist Stadium, Kharkiv
- Date: Wednesday, 13 June
- Kick-off: 19:45 BST
Coverage: BBC One, BBC Radio 5 live, highlights on BBC One and BBC Sport website
Lineup, Bookings (0) & Substitutions (0)
Netherlands coach Bert van Marwijk has to decide whether to start with prolific Schalke 04 striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar against Germany in Group B.
Robin van Persie or Ibrahim Affelay could make way if Huntelaar starts.
Central defender Joris Mathijsen has resumed full training and is also in contention to return, with Ron Vlaar potentially set to miss out.
Germany have a fully fit squad, with Bastien Schweinsteiger coming through the Portugal game in good condition.
He was rested from pre-tournament warm-up friendlies after suffering a calf injury in Bayern Munich's Champions League final defeat to Chelsea.
One of the biggest rivalries in world football; an international-style Manchester United versus Liverpool, or Real Madrid versus Barcelona - it's hard not to heap hype on this tantalising Group B clash.
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“Germany-Netherlands games cost me years of my life. But I wouldn't have missed them for anything. They breathed football of class, emotion and tension”Franz Beckenbauer
This fixture drew gasps when the draw was made in December, but a shock opening loss for Netherlands against Denmark means it is now vitally important: it's virtually do-or-die for the Dutch.
The 2010 World Cup finalists and top scorers in qualifying for Euro 2012 cling onto the cliff edge by their fingertips. That bizarrely blunt showing against Morten Olsen's Danes - when 28 goal attempts all went begging and one wondered if usually-sublime Robin van Persie had a twin brother playing in his place - could cost them dearly. And the Arsenal hitman: will he be replaced by Bundesliga top scorer Klaas-Jan Huntelaar?
Either way, if Denmark avoid defeat against Portugal, Bert van Marwijk's men take to the pitch knowing a win is the only result to realistically keep them afloat. A defeat will send the Dutch out unless Portugal win.
All this pressure, and it's against Germany: a nation who denied Total Football its crowning glory in the 1974 World Cup final, a result that sparked this enduring conflict, and who have now won 12 competitive games on the spin. Joachim Loew's side did not sparkle in beating Cristiano Ronaldo & Co. Still - they did the job. Both sides boast world-class attacking talent but it's the Dutch, however, who must now ape their enemy in being cold and clinical… and delivering the all-important result.
- Germany and the Netherlands meet for a record-equalling fifth time at European Championships; only Germany and the Czechs (before and after 'velvet divorce' with Slovakia) can match that.
- The last time they met was a friendly in November in Hamburg, Germany beating a weakened Dutch side 3-0 - the Oranje's heaviest defeat since a 4-1 loss against England at Euro 1996.
- These countries have met 38 times (Netherlands winning 10 times, Germany winning 14). The Dutch have only played Belgium more, and the Germans have only played Switzerland more.
- Netherland (37) and Germany (34) were the top two goal-scoring nations in Euro 2012 qualifying.
- The last time the Dutch failed to progress from the group stage of a European Championships was in 1980, when their exit involved a defeat by West Germany. They did not qualify in 1984.
- Have won just three of their past eight games (losing vs Sweden, Germany, Bulgaria & Denmark).
- Despite those four defeats in eight games, the Dutch have not lost back-to-back since 1995.
- Klaas-Jan Huntelaar's 12-goal haul in qualifying was one short of the overall individual record.
- At 18 years & 71 days old, PSV Eindhoven left-back Jetro Willems became the youngest-ever player to feature in a European Championships when he started against Denmark on Saturday.
- The team that beat Portugal was the youngest-ever starting XI Germany has fielded at a Euros.
- Match-winning goal-scorer Mario Gomez (who bagged 12 goals in this season's Champions League for runners-up Bayern Munich) had just eight touches in the first half against Portugal.
- Germany conceded fewer fouls than any other side in qualifying for Euro 2012.
- They have scored in past 17 games (last blank was goalless draw vs Sweden in November 2010).
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Article Source : BBC News
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