After the disappointing draw against Turkey, Netherlands face Spain in a glamour friendly at the Amsterdam Arena on Tuesday.

01 van p heOn the 13th of June, Netherlands surprised the World Cup by dismantling the defending champions Spain 5-1 in Brazil, which eventually led to La Roja exiting in the group stages, and Louis van Gaal’s side finishing third. The two sides meet again in Amsterdam on Tuesday with Spain looking for revenge, while Netherlands boss Guus Hiddink is needing a positive performance to stop speculation over his position.

Since Hiddink took over after the World Cup, the Dutch national team has been on a slide, with Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Turkey the coach’s 5th game out of seven without a win. Netherlands currently sit 3rd in the Euro qualifying group A, six points behind Czech Republic, and five behind Iceland, with participation in France next year in jeopardy.

Hiddink’s selection against Turkey came under wide criticism, and four changes are set to be made to the starting line up. Nigel de Jong, Gregory van der Wiel, Georginio Wijnaldum, and Ibrahim Afellay all came under fierce criticism after the draw, and Jetro Willems, Daryl Janmaat, Davy Klaassen, and Luciano Narsingh are set to replace them against Spain.

Jordy Clasie was lined up to start, but a knee injury has seen the midfielder return to Feyenoord.

Speculation has arisen on whether the KNVB will sack Guus Hiddink, but the coach isn’t feeling the pressure, “I don’t have the feeling that they want to sack me and I still have a lot of fun in my job. There is nothing going on.”

Predicted Netherlands line-up (De Telegraaf) Cillessen, Janmaat, Willems, De Vrij, Martins Indi, Blind, Klaassen, Sneijder, Narsingh, Depay, Huntelaar

Spain sneaked past Ukraine 1-0 on Friday to move 2nd in their qualifying group, and their attention now turns to revenge for the 5-1 defeat at the World Cup.

Bayern Munich defender Juan Bernat told the Spanish football federation that the players are keen to avenge the defeat, “We all know that after that type of game, there is always a hunger for revenge. Football always gives you a second opportunity and there’s a lot of determination to avenge that loss.”

Bernat is set to replace the injured Jordi Alba in the starting line up for Spain, while David de Gea should come in for Iker Casillas. Malaga striker Juanmi and Sevilla attacker Vitolo could make their senior debuts.

Potential Spain line-up: De Gea, Juanfran, Bernat, Ramos, Pique, Busquets, Isco, Iniesta, Koke, Silva, Morata

Previous meetings: Netherlands wins-4 Spain wins-5 Draws-1

The first meeting between the two sides was a 5-1 win for Spain in 1957, while the last was the 5-1 Netherlands win at the World Cup in 2014. In between the two sides have traded wins, but the most crucial result was the extra time World Cup final win of 2010 which saw Andres Iniesta netting the winner.

Can Netherlands repeat their World Cup success?

Netherlands beat Spain using Van Gaal’s solid 5-3-2 formation, and it will be interesting to see how a more attacking 4-3-3 will fare against Spain’s formidable looking midfield. Without the enforcer Nigel de Jong or tenacious Jordy Clasie, Daley Blind will need to stop Iniesta or Isco from controlling the game, and in possession the Oranje will need to be quicker in getting service to Klaas jan Huntelaar to have any chance of victory.

On paper Spain look much stronger than a Netherlands side without the hugely important Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben, and Vicente del Bosque’s side should create several chances against a defence that looked far from secure against Turkey.

Even the most optimistic Dutch fans will be heading to the Amsterdam Arena fearing the worst after recent performances, and even though Spain are not at their best they should prove too strong for a depleted Oranje side. Will another defeat cost Hiddink his job with three months until the next fixture against Latvia? Only time will tell.

Prediction: Netherlands 0-2 Spain




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