Netherlands host Mexico at the Amsterdam Arena looking to gain confidence ahead of the crucial Euro qualifier against Latvia on Sunday.

sneijmexCoach Guus Hiddink is under immense pressure after losing two of the opening three Euro 2016 qualifiers, with the 68-year-old even vowing to quit should his side fail to beat Latvia on Sunday. However before that crucial match, Hiddink has the chance to experiment with his squad against Mexico.

The match is a repeat of the World Cup first round game played in the summer, in which Netherlands came back from a goal down to earn a 2-1 victory, thanks to a late penalty which Arjen Robben won in dubious circumstances. The Mexican press slammed Robben as a cheat after the match, and they are seeking revenge in Amsterdam.

Hiddink’s squad has been hit with injuries in the past few days with Davy Klaassen, Nigel de Jong, and Bruno Martins Indi all having to pull out of international duties, being replaced by Luuk de Jong, Leroy Fer and Jeffrey Bruma. Captain Robin van Persie and Jordy Clasie have been ruled out of the match on Wednesday with minor injuries, but both should be fit for Sunday.

Jetro Willems will pull on the Oranje shirt for the first time in almost a year and Klaas jan Huntelaar is almost certain to start in attack in the absence of Van Persie.

Likely Netherlands XI: Cillessen, Van der Wiel, Willems, De Vrij, Vlaar, Blind, Afellay, Sneijder, Depay, Robben, Huntelaar

Since the defeat to Netherlands at the World Cup Mexico have gone four games unbeaten, drawing 0-0 against Chile and recording wins versus Bolivia, Honduras and Panama. PSV midfielder Andres Guardado and Twente winger Jesus Corona are in the squad, while Real Sociedad striker Carlos Vela returns to international action after a three year hiatus.

Likely Mexico XI: Ochoa, Paul, Herrera, Reyes, Alanís, Aldrete; Gallo, Guardado, Herrera, Vela, Chicharito

Previous Meetings:

The two nations have met seven times, with Netherlands triumphing four times, the most recent at the World Cup, while Mexico have won twice, although their last victory over the Dutch came in 1961.

Four things to look out for:

Huntelaar to shine up front: Its an argument that has been rumbling on for the past few years, is Klaas jan Huntelaar a better choice to spearhead the national team than Robin van Persie?

On Wednesday with Van Persie out, Huntelaar has his big chance to impress Hiddink, and push for a place in the starting eleven against Latvia on Sunday. It was Huntelaar that netted the crucial penalty against Mexico at the World Cup to send Netherlands into the quarter finals, and playing at the stadium where he was adored by Ajax fans, he will be determined to impress.

Depay and Willems to dominate left side: PSV Eindhoven sit comfortably at the top of the Eredivisie table with left back Jetro Willems and winger Memphis Depay two of their stars this season. At times the duo have been unplayable on the left side with their link up play devastating defences, and if they can replicate this form in the national team they could be too hot to handle for Mexico.

Daley Blind in midfield: There is no denying that since the World Cup ended Daley Blind has looked lost when played at left back in the national team. However with Nigel de Jong out Hiddink is likely to turn to the Manchester United star to anchor his midfield, and Blind will finally get the chance to play in his preferred position.

Ron Vlaar is back: The Aston Villa defender was one of Netherlands stand out performers during the World Cup, but he has missed every international since. In his absence De Vrij and Martins Indi have looked unconvincing together, and the duo have made crucial errors factoring in three defeats in the last four matches. With a no nonsense approach to defending Vlaar will once again make Netherlands defence as solid as it was under Van Gaal.

Prediction:

Netherlands need a win, and the Oranje support expect a win, but Mexico are a side driven by revenge after the World Cup, and they will be determined to cause an upset. Netherlands star players have been vocal in their support of Hiddink this week, but if they really want to ease the pressure on their coach a performance on the pitch is needed. Memphis Depay, and Ron Vlaar are back and that is a major boost, while Klaas jan Huntelaar will be determined to prove he is Netherlands number one striker.

Sunday against Latvia is the real test, but a comfortable win would boost the nation greatly.

Netherlands 2-0 Mexico




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