This is the match up of round 2 and the second most anticipated match outside of Germany vs Spain. If Germany wins, they qualify for the next round. Lose and the Netherlands is out of the tournament. If Denmark wins, Holland will know that only a win will keep them in the tournament. So, playing second should help them determine how aggressively they will need to play in this match. It should be fascinating as Robben plays against the defense he practices against every day – Lahm, Badstuber, Boateng and goalie Neuer are all part of the Bayern Munich defense.
Why Netherlands will win
- Sneijder was in great form in the first match. He helped create a lot of chances for the Netherlands and they can expect that their finishing will be sharper today.
- Hummels was a rock in defense for Germany. However, the German defense did give up a number of chances – especially late on – to Portugal, and were lucky not to be scored against. If the German defense performs similarly today against the Dutch, they will be punished.
- Huntelaar was the top scorer in the Bundesliga this past season. Expect him to come off the bench early if van Persie isn’t firing. A ready made striking solution off the bench is a necessity and in the Hunter, the Netherlands has one of the best.
- They are very familiar with the Germans. Just like Germany is due a win against Spain, the Netherlands is due a win against Germany
- Mathijsen is expected to return to central defense to bolster a shaky central defense for the Netherlands.
Why Germany will win
- They know the Dutch players very well. Robben, van Bommel, de Jong, Huntelaar – all of them have played or are playing in the Bundesliga.
- Germany beat Portugal while playing a sub par game relative to their own standards. Quick ball movement and team speed, which are hallmarks of this German team, were absent. Low will fix that and I expect Podolski, Ozil and especially Schweinsteiger to have much better games.
- A win puts them into the next round. Germany will look for that here to stay on course for winning Euro 2012.
- The Netherlands will be a lot more attacking than Portugal. That should open up more space for Muller, Ozil and Podolski to operate. In a battle of two offenses, I would go with the Germans who have more offensive depth in midfield that the Dutch since van Bommel and de Jong are more defensive minded.
Pre-game prediction: Netherlands 1 Germany 2
Podolski and Muller score for Germany and van Persie scores one for Netherlands.