Euro 2012 Social Match Preview: Netherlands vs Denmark
The first of the Euro 2012 favourites come to the party on Saturday evening when the Netherlands face Denmark at the Metalist Stadium in Kharkiv (5pm kick-off) as Group B gets up and running with a tasty encounter between two former European Championship winners.
These two sides were drawn together in the same group at the 2010 World Cup where an own goal from Daniel Agger and a late goal from Dirk Kuyt sealed a 2-0 win for the Netherlands.
Over the years, the head-to-head record between the two nations is relatively close with 12 Dutch wins, eight Danish victories and 10 draws but the gap between the teams at present is fairly wide and Bert van Marwijk’s men are clear favourites for the upcoming European Championship clash.
The Netherlands romped to Euro 2012 as they were only beaten once in their qualifying group whilst Denmark edged Portugal in a tight group to reach the tournament in Poland and Ukraine.
Dutch defender Joris Mathijsen is unlikely to feature in the Group B curtain-raiser after it was confirmed that the Malaga man will not recover from his hamstring injury.
PSV Eindhoven defender Wilfred Bouma could, thanks to his international experience, make the starting line-up ahead of Ron Vlaar whilst Robin van Persie looks set to get the nod ahead of Klaas-Jan Huntelaar up front. If left-back Jetro Willems plays at any point for the Netherlands then he will be the youngest player ever to take part in the European Championships, aged just 18.
Denmark coach Morten Olsen only has one new injury worry and is expected to name a similar team to the one that beat Australia 2-0 in a pre-tournament friendly in Copenhagen last week. Midfielder Niki Zimling was taken from training in an ambulance and is now a doubt for the game.
Nicklas Bendtner should start as the lone striker but will be ably supported by the talented midfield trio of Dennis Rommedahl, Christian Eriksen and Michael Krohn-Dehli. Liverpool defender Daniel Agger is expected to partner Simon Kjaer in the Danish defence.
The game is certainly capturing the imagination of the supporters will plenty of Dutch and Danish fans waiting to find out who will open up the ‘Group of Death’ with a win. Netherlands supporter Louwens tweeted: “Euro 2012 starts today! Tomorrow Netherlands vs Denmark, can’t wait! Gooo Oranje's!”
Supporters are excited for the start of the tournament but it is Saturday’s Group B games that are creating the most hype amongst fans all around Europe. Milan Enslin tweeted: “I'm not excited for Poland vs Greece... But tomorrow... Denmark vs Holland and Portugal vs Germany... Now for that I can't wait!!”
Basel Mohab was another supporter who had the same opinion after he tweeted: “Euro's starting off tonight with Poland vs Ukraine :) but the REAL euro starts tomorrow with Holland vs Denmark and Germany vs Portugal :D”
The amount of attacking talent that will be on show this weekend is also a great source of anticipation for all football fans as shown by Al who tweeted: “I can't wait for Saturday, Germany vs Portugal and Holland vs Denmark. Greatest strikers on show. Ronaldo, Gomez, Podolski, RVP & Bendtner!!”
To have a look back at the sides’ meeting in South Africa and grab a preview of what might be to come this weekend in Kharkiv, check out Abidlimboro’s YouTube video - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MXx7pDMPhKY
Or check out Goal.com’s YouTube channel for a full video preview of the game - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cwRyCLthJqQ&list=PL88FF279C06D4FFD8&index=6&feature=plcp
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