Netherlands head to Hamburg on Friday evening for a European Championship qualifier against rivals Germany. Kick-off is 7.45pm.

Netherlands have had an indifferent start to their qualifying campaign with a 4-0 victory over Belarus followed up with a slender 3-2 loss at home to Germany back in March.

With Ronald Koeman’s side then in UEFA Nations League action, Netherlands have fallen behind group leaders Northern Ireland, who have four wins out of four, and Germany who have won three out of three, including a 8-0 victory against Estonia in their last fixture.

On Friday, Netherlands travel to Hamburg to face their rivals for the fourth time in a year and looking for revenge after their defeat earlier this year. In that match, Germany raced into a 2-0 first-half lead before Netherlands levelled in the second half. Late on, Germany hit the winner against the run of play.

Looking back on their last meeting, Koeman said, “There are phases in which you do not dominate in those matches. That also depends on the quality of the opponent. Germany, on the other hand, must have wondered what happened to them in the second half. “

Koeman does not expect any surprises from Germany and knows how the game will go, “That (changes) is possible, in system or which players you set up, but I don’t think that will happen. We don’t have to make it into a running competition, because we’re not going to win that. We must ensure that we find the free man when passing. We also have speed in the front. And if we want to put high pressure, we can sometimes collapse and wait for mistakes from them. It can go in different directions. They have speed in the front with players who move a lot. Defensively, we have to look good, better than the last game. ”

The Oranje boss also doesn’t see a clear favourite between the teams, “I don’t think there is an outspoken favourite. Both teams are developing well with many changes and new, young players. The past games also showed that it is very close together. I do not expect an easy game, not for both teams. But we have shown mentality in a number of competitions by coming back from a difficult position. In the Arena, but also in the Nations League when it became 2-2. This team does not give up. ”

Team News

Koeman heads to Germany without the injured Donny van de Beek, Steven Bergwijn and Stefan De Vrij.

Justin Kluivert is back in the squad to replace Bergwijn, while PSV Eindhoven striker Donyell Malen could make his Oranje debut.

It is likely that Koeman will stick with his trusted tactic of 4-3-3 with Memphis Depay playing through the middle.

Possible Netherlands line-up: Cillessen, Dumfries, Blind, De Ligt, Van Dijk, De Jong, De Roon, Wijnaldum, Babel, Promes, Memphis

Leroy Sane caused Netherlands plenty of problems in March but the Manchester City winger will miss Friday’s clash. Julian Draxler is also missing.

Luca Waldschmidt could make his debut after starting the season well for Freiburg but he is likely to be on the bench. Marco Reus and Serge Gnabry are set to start up front on either side of Timo Warner.

Possible Germany line-up: Neuer, Ginter, Sule, Tah, Kehrer, Kimmich, Kroos, Schulz, Gnabry, Werner, Reus

Odds

Germany 10/11 Draw 13/5 Netherlands 11/4

Head to Head

In 42 meetings between the two rivals, Netherlands have 11 wins, while Germany has 16.

Over the past year, both countries have met three times. In the Nations League, Netherlands beat Germany 3-0 at home before drawing 2-2 away. However, in March, Germany defeated Netherlands 3-2 in Amsterdam.

Netherlands have not defeated Germany in their homeland since a 3-1 friendly victory in 2002.

Can Netherlands get a victory?

Germany definitely go into the game as favourites for the clash at home but the two teams are evenly matched.

It is crucial that Netherlands remain strong at the back and don’t give Reus and Gnabry any space in behind early on. Frustrating the home crowd and not conceding an early goal will be key to getting a win.

Germany’s defence is not as strong as it has been in recent years and if Netherlands can get in behind on the counter then goals can definitely be scored.

With Northern Ireland starting so well in the group, Netherlands need to be picking up points and a point in Hamburg would be an excellent result for Koeman’s men.

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