On Friday night, Netherlands host Hungary in their penultimate World Cup qualifier with their place in next years competition already assured.

  • By Michael Bell
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net v hunAlthough qualification is in the bag, Holland’s final two qualifiers are crucial in regard to their chances in next summers tournament in Brazil. Currently, Netherlands sit outside the projected top 8 ranked countries for the tournament, and will be unseeded if this does not change.

Wins against Hungary, and Turkey next week along with slip ups by Belgium, or Uruguay are needed for the Dutch to place themselves back in the seeded group, and thus avoiding the likes of Brazil, Germany, and Spain in the draw.

Hungary also face a fight for qualification as they currently sit 2nd in group D, but only one point ahead of Turkey, and Romania with only two games left.

The two countries have met four times since 2010 with the advantage resoundingly with the Dutch, who won all four ties comfortably, 6-1, 4-0, 5-3, and most recently a 4-1 win last September.

However with the Dutch side un-impressive in their last two ties against Estonia, and Andorra, an improvement will be needed to see off a determined Hungary side.

Coach Louis van Gaal faces a striking crisis with Robin van Persie a doubt for the game with a toe injury, and his involvement will be subject to a late medical.

If the Manchester United forward cant start, Van Gaal will turn to Dirk Kuyt, who is the only recognised striker in the squad, after Ricky van Wolfswinkel was dropped from the provisional squad.

With Van Persie only two goals away from breaking the all time Netherlands scoring record, currently held by Patrick Kluivert, he will be itching to play.

PSV’s young winger Memphis Depay is in line for his first ever Netherlands appearance having been called up after a number of eye catching performances so far this season.Also in the squad are Nigel de Jong, and Leroy Fer, who is back after replacing the injured Stijn Schaars.

Hungary have some familiar names to Dutch football fans, with Roda JC striker Krisztian Nemeth, and ex-PSV winger Balasz Dzsudzsak both part of the squad.

Dzsudzsak is still the danger man in the Hungary team, along with Schalke forward Adam Szalai, who has netted seven times in 18 caps, but will miss the tie due to flu.

Possible line-ups:

Netherlands- Vorm, Janmaat, Blind, De Vrij, Martins-Indi, De Jong, Van der Vaart, Strootman, Lens, Robben, Van Persie

Hungary- Bogdan, Guzmics, Vanczak, Kadar, Korcsmar, Hajnal, Elek, Varga, Koman, Dzsudzsak, Nemeth


Netherlands have a great record against Hungary in recent meetings, and this should continue on Friday, but if Van Persie misses the match, it will be interesting to see if Kuyt can step into his shoes.

A comfortable two or three goal win will send Netherlands to Turkey on Tuesday with confidence, and hopefully with the intention of entering the top eight seeded sides for the World Cup.

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