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Old 2004-06-14, 20:42   Link #112
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The Euro 2004 Football Championships.

Germany v The Netherlands preview
by Peter ORourke - Last Updated 14 Jun 2004
Gp. D | Tue, 15 Jun 2004, 7:45 PM

Old rivals Germany and The Netherlands go head-to-head in their first game in Group D in Oporto on Tuesday hoping to inflict a major blow on their rivals' chances of progression.

The two European giants have an illustrious history and when they meet the games are normally a classic.

It is the third meeting between the two at a European Championship with each side holding a victory.

The Netherlands have the edge in recent encounters having won their last two meetings with the Germans and are unbeaten in the last three.

Both sides are set to adopt a lone man up front at the Estadio do Dragao with Ruud van Nistelrooy leading the attack for Holland and Kevin Kuranyi set to get the job for Germany.

Michael Ballack will be given the job of supporting Kuranyi breaking from midfield for Germany.

Germany boss Rudi Voller has no real injury problems to contend with for the clash with Oliver Kahn in line to win his 70th cap on his 35th birthday.

The Netherlands are sweating over the fitness of key midfielder Clarence Seedorf as he struggles to recover from a hamstring injury he picked up in their final warm-up game against Republic of Ireland.

Should Seedorf miss out Wesley Sneijder likely to start in his place in midfield.

Arjen Robben and Andy van der Meyde have both missed training over the last few days, but are expected to fill the wide roles for Holland.

Edwin van der Sar has recovered from a finger injury which prevented him from training last week and he is set to win his 85th cap against Germany making him the country's second all-time most capped player.

Dutch defender Wilfred Bouma celebrates his 26th birthday on the day of the game and he is set to partner Jaap Stam at the heart of the defence.

Marc Overmars and Michael Reiziger are both available for Dick Advocaat having recovered from minor niggles.

Germany's last European Championship win was the final of 1996, while Holland are unbeaten in six European Championship matches.
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