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Portugal Vs Netherlands: Stakes Are High In Euro 2012 Group B Match

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Arjen Robben from the Netherlands reacts during the Euro 2012 soccer championship Group B match in Kharkiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, June 13, 2012.
Arjen Robben from the Netherlands reacts during the Euro 2012 soccer championship Group B match in Kharkiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, June 13, 2012.

By Karthick Arvinth,

Bert van Marwijk's team still has a chance of advancing from Group B, but will need to beat the Seleccao by two clear goals and hope Denmark loses to Germany.


Rui Patricio
Pereira, Pepe, Alves, Coentrao
Meireles, Veloso, Moutinho
Nani, Postiga, Ronaldo

Van der Wiel, Heitinga, Mathijsen, Willems
N De Jong, Van Bommel
Van Persie, Sneijder, Robben

Portugal boss Paulo Bento will have a fully-fit squad for Sunday's clash with Netherlands at Metalist Stadium in Kharkiv.

The 42-year-old could name the same team that beat Denmark 3-2 on Wednesday, with Helder Postiga retaining his place in attack ahead of Hugo Almeida and Nelson Oliveira.

Netherlands has no injury concerns but coach Bert van Marwijk may consider naming a more positive lineup for the must-win encounter. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar could start alongside Robin van Persie in attack, with Barcelona's Ibrahim Afellay likely to make way.

Fenerbahce-bound Dirk Kuyt is also understood to be under consideration for a starting berth in place of Arjen Robben, especially after the latter's petulant reaction to being substituted in the 2-1 defeat to Germany.

  • Portugal's record in 10 previous encounters with the Netherlands is W6, D3, L1, with the solitary defeat coming in a European Championship qualifier in October 1991.
  • The Seleccao can secure qualification to the quarterfinals with victory, unless Denmark beats Germany 3-2, or by a higher-scoring one-goal margin. A draw will be enough provided Denmark fails to win. Portugal will also qualify if they lose by a one-goal margin and Denmark is beaten.
  • Helder Postiga's goal against Denmark meant he became only the sixth player to score at three different European Championships after Jurgen Klinsmann, Vladimir Smicer, Nuno Gomes, Thierry Henry and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
  • Fabio Coentrao, Cristiano Ronaldo, Raul Meireles and Postiga are all a booking away from suspension.
  • Netherlands has won just three of its last nine official games. It has never lost two group matches in a European Championship before.
  • Bert van Marwijk's side must beat Portugal by a two-goal margin and hope Denmark loses to Germany in order to progress.
  • Maarten Stekelenburg is in line to win his 50th cap against Portugal.
  • Mark van Bommel, Jetro Willems and Nigel de Jong will incur bans with their next bookings.

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