Watch Netherlands vs Denmark Live Streaming Soccer EURO 2012 on June 9th, 2012

The champions of 1988 meet the victors in 1992, as Netherlands meet Denmark at the Metalist stadium in Kharkiv on Saturday. However, the two former European champions come into this year's edition with massively differing expectations for the tournament. While Denmark will be realistic about their slim hopes of progression from arguably the tournament's toughest group, Netherlands are tipped to challenge for the title by many observers.Watch Netherlands vs Denmark Live Streaming Soccer EURO 2012 on June 9th, 2012

   Netherlands v Denmark 

Netherlands, who will be without Malaga centre-back Joris Mathijsen, will find a lot of attention falling on their weakened defensive line ahead of the opener. With Mathijsen out, experienced defender Wilfried Bouma is tipped to step-in from the wilderness, having not represented his country since Euro 2008, whilst at left-back 18-year-old Jetro Willems could become the tournaments youngest ever player should he make an appearance.

The attention, therefore, will fall upon Netherlands much vaunted attacking quartet of Robin Van Persie, Ibrahim Affelay, Wesley Sneijder and Arjen Robben to perform, ahead of a solid midfield base formed by the experienced Mark Van Bommel and Nigel de Jong. Whilst Sneijder and Affelay have not had the best of campaigns, for differing reasons, Van Persie and Robben come into the tournament full of confidence and ready to fire.

Denmark, for their part, come into the championship full of confidence, with six victories from their last eight official outings. Morten Olsen, himself in the job for twelve years, has picked a side full of experience, with rising youngster Christian Eriksen then expected to add the creative touches from his advanced midfield role.

Eriksen will be supported in attacking areas by wide-men Dennis Rommedahl and Michael Krohn-Dehli, both of Brondby. Full of experience, the two wingers will look to push forward on the counter - with Niklas Bendtner waiting for service in the middle - as well as providing defensive cover for their full-backs in the face of Netherlands' wing threat. William Kvist and Niki Zimling, of Stuttgart and Club Brugge, will then provide the industry from midfield to allow Eriksen to shine further-up the pitch.

Netherlands player to watch: Arjen Robben.

The club season ended in difficult fashion for the Bayern star, with his missed penalty in the Champions League final provoking a disappointing reaction from some elements of the German support when they met the Oranje in a post-season friendly. Robben, though, is a match-winner and has scored important goals throughout his career, but never more so than in the past two or three years. From his right flank role, Robben will look to cut in onto his deadly left foot at every opportunity to get a strike on goal. Nullifying Robben may well be key to stopping Netherlands as a whole.

Denmark player to watch: Niklas Bendtner.

If the Danes are to progress, they must score goals and that will mean that Bendtner must display his best form. With 18 goals from 48 international games, the Arsenal forward has a good record at international level, but comes into the tournament off the back of a mixed campaign on loan at Sunderland. With Denmark the second lowest scorers of all the teams who succesfully emerged from qualifying, the defensively strong side will need Bendtner to keep putting away the chances when they arise.

Key Battle: Robin van Persie v Daniel Agger.

Rather predictably, the key battle of the encounter features Dutch goal-machine Robin van Persie, who rarely goes a game without finding the back of the net of late. Denmark will be well aware of his threat and none more so than Daniel Agger, a frequent Premier League opponent of the Netherlands striker. Agger has had his best season in Liverpool colours and will be handed the responsibility of dealing with Van Persie, but with the interchangeable Dutch attack willing to drift into new positions during the match, a daunting task awaits.

Trivia: The last time Denmark beat Netherlands in a competitive game was 1967, winning only six of twenty-eight previous meetings.

Stats: Denmark scored in every one of their eight qualification matches for Euro 2012.

Odds: Netherlands (1.66), Denmark (6.00) and the draw (3.60) are on offer with bet365 while Niklas Bendtner is 9.50 to be the first goalscorer.

Prediction: Netherlands should emerge victorious, but with the Danes grabbing a goal to keep it competitive. 2-1


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