The Netherlands welcoming neighbouring nation Germany to the Johan Cruyff Arena on Saturday for a Nations League clash.
The Dutch have failed to qualify for any major tournament since the 2014 World Cup in Brazil (which Die Mannschaft incidentally won), and their German opposition are in disappointing form.
The preview for the match can be found below.
Few games can embody the definition of a ‘classic encounter’ more than the epic match between Germany and the Netherlands in the 1974 World Cup final. It started the majority of the disdain shared between the two nations, and was objectively phenomenal to witness.
Hosted by the Germans at their Olympiastadion in Munich, the game couldn’t have started in more dire fashion for the DFB-Elf; Uli Hoeness fouled Johan Cruyff in the penalty box in the first minute. Johan Neeskens converted the consequent spot kick, and the Germans were on the back foot for most of the game, until another controversy occurred.
This time, it favoured the team chasing the game, and Bernd Holzenbein’s tumble permitted Paul Breitner to level the scoreline. The tension of the first two penalties in a World Cup final spurred on Gerd Muller to score the decisive goal on the brink of half time in the 43rd minute.
Daley Blind vs Timo Werner
Two immensely versatile players are set to engage in battle during this match up. They have both displayed competence in playing in central and wide roles, and their involvement in this game cannot be understated.
The Nations League offers the perfect opportunity for players who are not necessarily prominent features in their squad to showcase their abilities to make a case for their spot in a starting eleven.
Daley Blind has been a sporadic starter for club and country, but serves as an effective player to rely on in both instances. His prowess in in linking the backline and the midfield will be precisely what Ronald Koeman will be hoping he can put into action.
Timo Werner is very comparable to his Dutch adversary in that regard, but really shone through and exposed his blossoming talent during the 2017 Confederations Cup. When at his best, he can be either a clinical striker or a potent and ruthless forward on the flank. Blind and his teammates will have to be particularly cautious of this.
The Netherlands have no current injury problems in their current squad. Liverpool star Georginio Wijnadum is expected to feature in midfield, while
Kai Havertz, Marco Reus and Antonio Rüdiger are all absent after withdrawing from Germany’s squad through injury, with Emre Can recently joining the squad. Leroy Sane will hope to start on the left wing, with Timo Werner expected to play as the sole striker.
Potential Starting Lineups
Netherlands (4-3-3): Cillessen; Tete, De Ligt, Van Dijk, Blind; De Jong, Wijnaldum, Propper; Promes, Depay, Babel.
Germany (4-3-3): Ter Stegen; Kimmich, Boateng, Hummels, Hector; Kroos, Goretzka; Muler, Draxler, Sane; Werner.
The Netherlands have lower expectations on account of their recent poor performances by their own previously high standards, but look like their World Cup window may be reopening soon.
Germany similarly boast a fearsome squad that has not fulfilled its promise since their World Cup triumph. A disappointing exit at Euro 2016 served as a precursor for the bitter events that would occur two years later.
The embarrassment of the group stage departure at the 2018 World Cup is an issue that could possibly only be resolved by the inherent perseverance of Die Mannschaft. There is a long journey ahead of the possibility for them to prove themselves once more, and they will hope it will begin here, but the fixture may finish in a stalemate.
Prediction: Netherlands 1-1 Germany