Netherlands warm up for their World Cup qualifying tie with Sweden by entertaining Greece in the Philips Stadion.

neth audhgDanny Blind’s preparations for the game have been affected by matters off the field with assistant Dick Advocaat leaving to take over at Fenerbahce, Marco van Basten announcing he will depart after the game with Sweden and Bert van Oostveen stepping down as director of football at the KNVB.

However away from the difficulties at the KNVB, there is a positive feeling now surrounding the national team squad that has been missing since the World Cup two years ago. The Oranje may have missed Euro 2016 but they looked in fine form when beating Austria and Poland earlier this summer and they will look to keep the positive vibes going when Greece visit Eindhoven on Thursday.

Netherlands team news

Blind is set to stick with the same formation that worked earlier this summer in the friendly matches, with Promes, Berghuis and Janssen forming the attack, while Strootman will come into the midfield. Jeroen Zoet will start under the posts as he makes his claim to be the new number one, while Joel Veltman will continue at right back and Daley Blind will play in the centre of defence instead of Virgil van Dijk.

Jorrit Hendrix will be hoping to make his Oranje debut from the bench.

Possible Netherlands line-up: Zoet, Veltman, Willems, Bruma, Blind, Strootman, Wijnaldum, Sneijder, Promes, Berghuis, Janssen

The opponents

Greece have been on a steady decline since their Euro 2004 win and they finished bottom of a Euro 2016 qualification group that contained the likes of Finland, the Faroe Island and Northern Ireland, with only won win during the campaign. Head coach Michael Skibbe is now trying to revitalize his squad ahead of the World Cup qualifiers which begin for Greece with a tie against Gibralter. Their squad contains a lot of experience, with the likes of Benfica striker Kostas Mitroglou, Roma defender Kostas Manoles and Borussia Dortmund’s Sokratis Papastathopoulos forming the spine of the team.

Previous meetings

Netherlands and Greece have met on eight occasions with the Oranje triumphing in seven of those matches, while the tie in 1987 finished in a 1-1 draw. The last meeting came in 2004 in a friendly tie which Netherlands won comfortably 4-0.

Prediction

Its important that Netherlands begin their World Cup qualifying campaign strongly against Sweden next week and a comfortable win over Greece will put them in good spirits heading into the tie. The front three of Berghuis, Janssen and Promes was promising in the friendlies earlier this summer and if they click again then the Oranje should have too much for this weak looking Greek team.

Netherlands 2-0 Greece.




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