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European Championships

Metalist Stadium (ATT 38,633) 17th June 2012 - Kick off 19:45 Ref: N Rizzoli

Portugal Portugal vs Netherlands Holland

Portugal 2

C Ronaldo (28, 74)

ft

Holland 1

R van der Vaart (11)

Portugal v Holland preview

Dutch out to avoid early elimination in Kharkiv

Last Updated: 16/06/12 6:47pm

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Portugal will be hoping to make Holland the first high-profile casualty of Euro 2012 when they meet in the final round of fixtures in Group B.

Sunday will see the so-called Group of Death put the final nails into the respective coffins of two disappointed nations.

There is every chance that Holland will see their European Championship adventure brought to an abrupt halt, with back-to-back defeats leaving them at the foot of the group and requiring something special.

They were considered to be among the pre-tournament favourites to go all the way, but know anything less than victory over Portugal will see them heading home.

Portugal enjoy a more favourable standing, but they too have little margin for error.

They cannot afford to rely on results elsewhere, with there no guarantee that table-topping Germany will see off Denmark.

Battling

A win would see the Portuguese safely through to the quarter-finals, so that is what they will be looking for.

They displayed commendable battling qualities to snatch a late winner in their last outing against Denmark, having seen a two-goal lead slip, and will feel that there is still more to come from their big hitters - in particular, Cristiano Ronaldo.

Portugal coach Paulo Bento said: "We know what Holland's strategy will be from the start. You see it with all Dutch teams. They like to have the ball and control the game.

"But this doesn't mean we have to rely on counter-attacks. We have to try to control the game, not only in terms of our defending but also by having possession of the ball and looking for shots at goal.

"We want to win the game and take the three points, and then we'll see what happens."

His Dutch counterpart Bert van Marwijk is clinging to the belief that his side can still progress, and is ready to go for broke this weekend.

Patient

He told UEFA's official website: "We think Germany will beat Denmark and so we have to win against Portugal.

"History tells us they are not the easiest opponents for us so we need to be patient. But we also have to play in a way in which enables us to score, and I'm convinced that if we score once, we will get a second."

Van Marwijk has a fully fit squad from which to select, with all 23 players having taken part in a closed training session on Friday evening.

He has, however, admitted that - following two defeats - changes are on the cards and the likes of Klass-Jan Huntelaar and Rafael van der Vaart will be hoping to earn starting berths.

Portugal are also at full strength, with reserve defender Miguel Lopes returning to training on Friday after shaking off a cold.

Bento named the same starting XI against Germany and Denmark and is unlikely to shuffle his pack for a crucial encounter in Kharkiv.

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Matches

  • European Championships

    Sun 17th Jun - Group B

Tables

European Championships Group A

European Championships
Pos Team P Pts
1 Czech Republic 3 6
2 Greece 3 4
3 Russia 3 4
4 Poland 3 2

European Championships Group B

European Championships
Pos Team P Pts
1 Germany 3 9
2 Portugal 3 6
3 Denmark 3 3
4 Netherlands 3 0

European Championships Group C

European Championships
Pos Team P Pts
1 Spain 3 7
2 Italy 3 5
3 Croatia 3 4
4 Republic of Ireland 3 0

European Championships Group D

European Championships
Pos Team P Pts
1 England 3 7
2 France 3 4
3 Ukraine 3 3
4 Sweden 3 3

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