The Netherlands are back in Euro 2016 qualifying action on Sunday at 17:00BST when they go head to head with Fatih Terim’s Turkey. A game, which is crucial for both sides in Group A as the two sides are desperate for three points to help keep their European qualifying dream alive. Here’s Sam May with a full pre-match preview…
Both teams currently sit out of the automatic qualification places in Group A, but a win for either side on Sunday would help boost their chances of qualification. The Netherlands currently sit six points behind the Czech Republic and eight points behind group leaders Iceland. Whilst Turkey are seven points behind the Czech’s and nine points behind the Icelanders.
Danny Blind takes charge of his second game for the Dutch hoping it will be a night to remember in Turkey. It was a losing start for manager Blind as he watched his side fall short to Iceland at the Amsterdam ArenA through Swansea City midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson’s spot-kick just after the half-time break. The victory for Iceland was also helped by the sending off of Bruno Martins Indi for his unnecessary reaction to a scuffle with former Ajax striker Kolbeinn Sigthorsson, a reaction that Oranje captain Arjen Robben slammed as “very stupid”.
As a result, the Oranje can still qualify and gain one of the two automatic qualification spots, they will however be hoping that either Iceland or the Czech Republic slip up, which would enable them to do so. The defeat to the Czech Republic in their opening match was the one that left the Netherlands trailing, but wins over Latvia and Kazakhstan have helped to keep them in contention. Blind’s side will be hoping to secure all three points in Turkey or his team will be left hanging by a thread and could face an early exit from Group A. The Netherlands still haven’t recorded back-to-back wins in the competition. A win on Sunday though and there is still hope bearing in mind that one of the teams above them must slip up.
The Dutch also play the Czech Republic in their final match and the Oranje have not failed to qualify for the European Championships since 1984 – an early exit from the competition would definitely send shock waves around Holland. They have however won the tournament in 1988 and have reached the semi-finals three times since then.
Bruno Martins Indi is suspended for the crucial clash due to his unprofessional foul on Tuesday night, which helped Iceland claim the three points. PSV central defender Jeffrey Bruma is expected to fill the void left by Martins Indi, however Blind could also turn to Feyenoord’s 21 year-old versatile defender Terence Kongolo or Southampton’s new signing from Celtic, Virgil van Dijk. Captain Arjen Robben has also been sent back to Munich due to the groin injury he picked up in the 1-0 defeat to Iceland with Sunderland winger Jeremain Lens been added to the squad as a replacement. Look to PSV Luciano Narsingh to start in FC Bayern Munich man’s place.
Turkey’s Arda Turn was suspended due to picking up too many bookings for the previous clash against the Netherlands but is expected to lead the line for Turkey on Sunday night.
Netherlands 4-3-3: Cillessen;Van der Wiel, De Vrij, Bruma, Blind; Klaassen, Wijnaldum, Sneijder; Depay, Narsingh, Huntelaar.
Recent Form: WLWDWL
Turkey 4-3-3: Babacan; Balta, Aziz, Calhanoglu, Inan; Turan, Tore, Tufan; Sen, Bulut, Yilmaz.
Recent Form: LDWDWD
Antonio Mateu Lahoz (Spain)
Turkey 1-2 Netherlands
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