View Full Version : Netherlands - Russia Preview

Len Ganley Stance
21-06-2008, 11:08
Netherlands coach Marco van Basten is set to revert back to his favoured starting XI after resting a host of players last time out against Romania.

That could mean only Khalid Boulahrouz - who will play despite the death of his prematurely-born baby daughter - and Arjen Robben keep their places.

Ruud van Nistelrooy, Andre Ooijer and Dirk Kuyt will all return to the side.

Russia coach Guus Hiddink will name an unchanged line-up to the one that beat Sweden 2-0 in their final group game.

That victory was inspired by Andrei Arshavin, the Zenit St Petersburg playmaker who had been suspended for the first two group games - a 4-1 defeat to Spain and a narrow 1-0 win over Greece.

"I don't think we needed to score that many goals in the Swedish game," said Arshavin. "We needed to save them for the next games and I hope we will score a few against the Dutch.

"If we didn't have to play the Netherlands, we would feel much better, because I think they are the best side here.

"But fate has it that we have to play the strongest team in the tournament in the last eight. I hope we will be able to match them."

Russia's performance in the win over Sweden prompted many observers to predict a possible upset against the Dutch, despite the Netherlands' 100% record in the tournament so far.

And Hiddink, who will reportedly earn a 400,000 bonus for leading Russia into the last eight, will hope to avenge Russia's defeat to the Netherlands in the final of Euro '88.

The Netherlands, though, have been in superb form in this Championship, beating World Cup winners Italy 3-0, World Cup finalists France 4-1, and then Romania 2-0 with a side largely made up from fringe members of the squad.

Netherlands have announced that the players will wear black armbands in the quarter-final against Russia after Boulahrouz's prematurely-born daughter died earlier this week.

Meanwhile, the Netherlands' Nigel de Jong and Andre Ooijer, and Russia's Ivan Saenko, Dmitry Torbinsky, Denis Kolodin, Andrei Arshavin and Sergei Semak, are all a booking away from missing a potential semi-final clash with either Spain or Italy.



Holland have won four of the previous eight confrontations. Russia have won twice and two matches ended in a tie.

All three competitive encounters have been in European Championship finals. In 1988, the Soviet Union beat Holland 1-0 in their opening group match before losing the final 2-0. In 1992, when Russia took part as the CIS, this match ended in a 0-0 draw in the group stage. Current Dutch coach Marco van Basten played in all three of those matches. His only goal was a memorable strike in the final of 1988 to put Holland 2-0 up.

The most recent meeting was a friendly in February 2007 that resulted in a 4-1 victory for Holland.

Team facts - Netherlands

Now reached the knock-out stages in six consecutive European Championship finals, which is a competition record.

Been knocked out at the quarter-final stage only once; in 1996 with Guus Hiddink at the helm, they suffered a 5-4 defeat on penalties to France.

After beating Italy and France in Group C, Holland can now claim the scalp of a third former winner of this tournament by beating Russia.

Seven different Dutch players have scored at Euro 2008 which equals the record for most different goalscorers from a team in the tournament history.

They have now scored nine times, which is five short of the competition record set by France in 1984. Their +8 goal differential is the highest by any team in the group stage in the history of this tournament.
Nations with the best goal difference from European Championship finals group stages

Van Basten has now won 35 of his 51 matches in charge of Holland. He needs two more wins to equal Bob Glendenning's record of 37 wins as Holland manager.

Been shown just two yellow cards this tournament, fewer than any other team.

Team facts - Russia

Survived the group phase for the first time since 1988, when they took part as the Soviet Union and finished runners-up to the Netherlands.

Trying to become only the second nation to win this tournament despite losing their opening match, following in the footsteps of the Netherlands in 1988.

Coach Guus Hiddink has maintained his 100% progression record at major tournaments (two European Championships, three World Cups). In his only previous European Championship finals, he was eliminated in the quarter-finals by France (1996).

Hiddink has faced his native country twice before as a coach, both times in a friendly. In June 2006, Holland drew 1-1 with Hiddink's Australia. In February 2007, he suffered a 4-1 defeat with Russia against the Netherlands.

Player facts - Netherlands

Edwin van der Sar looks set to play in his 16th match in European Championship finals, equalling the all-time record set by France's Lilian Thuram earlier this tournament.

Nigel de Jong and Andre Ooijer are one yellow card shy of a suspension.

Player facts - Russia

Roman Pavlyuchenko has taken 18 shots on goal (nine on, nine off target) in the group stage, more than any other player.

Igor Akinfeev is the goalkeeper with most saves (21) to his name after the first round of matches.

If selected, Roman Adamov will be playing on his 26th birthday.

Sergei Semak will win his 50th cap for Russia, if he takes the field. He made his debut in a 1-0 defeat to Italy on 15 November 1997.

Denis Kolodin, Dmitriy Torbinskiy, Ivan Saenko, Andrei Arshavin and Sergei Semak are one yellow card shy of a suspension.

Big Match Stats source: Infostrada Sports v

Len Ganley Stance
21-06-2008, 11:19

YouTube - Andrey ARSHAVIN...simply the best (http://youtube.com/watch?v=IIRxxurh0xg)