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Michael Taylor 12th Jun 2012 - 18:33

Holland v Germany preview

Netherlands v Germany

19:45 - live on ITV1

The next monster Euro 2012 match-up comes from Kharkiv in the Ukraine and surprisingly sees the much fancied Dutch fighting for their tournament lives against Joachim Low's brilliant Germans.

Despite dominating proceedings against the Danes last Saturday, Holland were handed the ultimate sucker punch in the form of Krohn-Dehli's neatly taken first half strike in what remains the tournament's biggest shock.

The press have been typically unrelenting in their criticism of the Dutch's star line-up, labelling their talented attacking ensemble as disjointed and selfish - a stigma that needs removing instantly or their stay in Eastern Europe will be cut seriously short.

Pulling together as a unit is one thing, penetrating the well organised and classy Germans is a whole new problem though.

They may not have lit it up against Portugal but Germnay showed enough character to suggest the pre-tournament predictions of a deep run will be spot on.

Mario Gomez repaid his manager's faith by grabbing the game winning goal but, perhaps more importantly, the defensive pairing of Badstuber and Hummels were able to repel the Ronaldo led attack ably enough - dispelling the one big question mark hanging over the 5/2 favourites.

The task of breaching the invigorated defence will likely fall on the shoulders of Schalke's goal machine Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, after Robin van Persie's unusually impotent display against Denmark perhaps the spark for a move out to the wing.

Huntelaar has made big moves in recent internationals, proving that he can rise to the challenge associated with football's highest stage and while he may lack the movement and skill of Van Persie he makes up for it with a great goals per game ratio.

Given Holland's need for a win the former AC Milan man should be handed a few chances to notch meaning there's far worse bets out there than the 8/1 for first goalscorer and the 11/4 about him scoring at any point in the match.

Attacking flair is just one side of it though and unfortunately for the charismatic Dutch they just look too susceptible in defence to justify backing them at 19/10 to win the match.

Mesut Ozil shone against Portugal and he could get even more joy in Kharkiv with the extra space provided by Holland's raids forward while Gomez's movement inside the box could be too much to handle for Heitinga and Vlaar.

Gomez is massive value at 7/4 to score anytime, providing he's preferred to Miroslav Klose, and I'd even go as far as saying 8/1 is huge for him to score two or more.

The all important market though, 90 minutes betting, looks a simple one with Germany very easy to side with at 6/4 - they're strong, skilful and most importantly a team - and until the Dutch show some team spirit I'm not willing to risk any money on them.

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