Netherlands host Latvia on Sunday in a crucial Euro 2016 qualifier which could decide the fate of under-fire coach Guus Hiddink.

hiddinknedlatAfter defeats to Czech Republic and Iceland earlier in the qualifying campaign Netherlands currently sit third in Group A, and after fierce criticism in the media, coach Guus Hiddink has hinted he will leave his post if they fail to beat Latvia on Sunday.

Netherlands once again looked a team lacking confidence and inspiration on Wednesday as they were carved apart by a determined Mexico side, losing 3-2 at the Amsterdam Arena. The first defeat at home since 2012 and another loss for Hiddink, his fourth in five matches since taking over from Louis van Gaal in the summer.

Robin van Persie will return to the Netherlands line up after missing Wednesday’s defeat, and he will partner Klaas jan Huntelaar up front in what is expected to be an attacking line up from Hiddink. Jasper Cillessen will return in goal, while Hiddink has confirmed PSV defender Jeffrey Bruma will start in defence.

Predicted Netherlands line-up: Cillessen, Van der Wiel, De Vrij, Bruma, Willems, Blind, Sneijder, Afellay, Robben, Van Persie, Huntelaar

Latvia are currently ranked at number 99 in the world, but sit fourth in the Euro qualifying group after earning two draws in their opening three games, and the side coached by Marians Pahars have only lost one of their last six matches, a 3-0 defeat to Iceland.

Their is no big names in the Latvian squad, but striker Artjoms Rudnevs plays for Hamburg, and midfielder Aleksandrs Cauna is contracted to Russian giants CSKA Moscow.

Previous meetings: Netherlands have only faced Latvia once and it resulted in a 3-0 victory at Euro 2004. Ruud Van Nistelrooy netted a double that night before Roy Makaay added a third.

Latvia are likely to try and defend in numbers at the Amsterdam Arena, and just like when Kazakhstan visited, Netherlands will have to find a way to carve them open. A four man attack is a sign of intent from Hiddink and, in all fairness to Latvia, the Oranje should record a simple victory.

2014 has been full of great moments for the Dutch national team, but the last few months have tarnished what was achieved at the World Cup, and with Latvia the final opponents of the year its crucial that Netherlands record a commanding victory.

After the match the speculation will then begin on the future of Hiddink, and it remains to be seen whether a win over Latvia will be able to save the 68-year-olds job, with the next international not scheduled until the end of March. Whether Hiddink stays on or not, an overhaul of the Dutch squad may be needed before Turkey come to visit the Amsterdam Arena.




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