Euro 2012 Preview: Netherlands vs Germany
Kharkiv: The Oranje will look to recover from their surprise loss to Denmark when they take on Joachim Low`s side, in what promises to be an absorbing contest in Kharkiv.
Netherlands have received a boost with the return to fitness of veteran defender Joris Mathijsen ahead of Wednesday`s crucial Euro 2012 showdown with Germany.
The Malaga centre-back missed the 1-0 defeat to Denmark with a hamstring problem but looks set to return to the Dutch lineup in place of Ron Vlaar.
Midfielder Wesley Sneijder should feature despite sustaining a minor knock, while coach Bert van Marwijk is under pressure to restore Klaas-Jan Huntelaar to the starting XI ahead of Robin van Persie.
On the other hand, Germany boss Joachim Low has no pressing injury concerns but could make changes to liven up his attack after a low-key performance against Portugal.
Andre Schurrle, Marco Reus and Mario Gotze are all vying for starting berths, with Lukas Podolski or Thomas Muller likely to make way.
• Netherlands have won just three of their last eight competitive matches (W3 D1 L4).
• The Oranje are facing Germany for the 39th time, with their record in prior encounters reading W10 D14 L14.
• The teams` last encounter came in a friendly played in Hamburg in November last year, which the Germans won 3-0.
• Mark van Bommel received a yellow card against Denmark and is a booking away from suspension.
• Germany have the edge over the Netherlands in recent meetings. They are unbeaten in three games against the Oranje (W1 D2), since a 3-1 defeat in November 2002.
• With an average age of just over 24, die Mannschaft have the youngest squad of all participating nations at Euro 2012.
• Lukas Podolski (pictured right) could win his 99th cap against the Dutch, which would take him above Michael Ballack to seventh in Germany`s all-time appearance list.
• Holger Badstuber and Jerome Boateng will incur a ban with their next bookings.
Goal.com/ Karthick Arvinth