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FIFA World Cup European Qualifying

Amsterdam Arena (ATT 48,000) 26th March 2013 - Kick off 19:30 Ref: M Clattenburg

Holland Netherlands vs Romania Romania

Holland 4

R van der Vaart (11)
R van Persie (55, pen 65)
J Lens (90)

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World Cup qualifying: Louis van Gaal predicts open game as Holland host Romania

Last Updated: 25/03/13 5:05pm

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Louis van Gaal: Wants his side to maintain their 100% record

Louis van Gaal: Wants his side to maintain their 100% record

Holland coach Louis van Gaal is predicting an open game when Romania visit the Amsterdam ArenA on Tuesday night - and is confident his players will benefit from facing opposition not intent on keeping the score down.

The Dutch are the runaway leaders in World Cup qualifying Group D and appear certainties to win the pool and secure an automatic place in Brazil next summer.

That superiority has seen teams attempt to limit the damage against Van Gaal's men with the latest opposition to take a 'safety first' approach being Estonia on Friday night.

Oranje initially struggled to break them down but second-half strikes from Rafael van der Vaart, Robin van Persie and Ruben Schaken helped them maintain their 100 per cent record in the pool after five games.

While Estonia had little to play for, Romania are locked in a three-way battle for the runners-up spot and a possible place in the play-offs.

And Van Gaal believes that could play into his team's hands.

He said at Monday's press conference: "Romania is a difficult opponent. They play the same system as Estonia but with better individual players.

"So I expect they will produce something more in attack, creating more space for us

in front of them."

Van Gaal will have to make one change for Tuesday's game with Galatasaray midfielder Wesley Sneijder ruled out after damaging a groin on Friday with AZ Alkmaar's Adam Maher called up as his replacement.

Maher is likely to start on the bench with Van der Vaart promoted to the starting XI after coming on for Sneijder 36 minutes into Friday's game.

Hamburg midfielder Van der Vaart said: "Wesley asked to change and I did not mind, I want to play.

"But it is annoying for Wesley. To be replaced so early with an injury is hard on anyone but for myself it was good."

Romania coach Victor Piturca has played down comparisons between Tuesday night's encounter and the Europa League match between Ajax and Steaua Bucharest earlier this season.

Steaua eliminated the Amsterdammers on a penalty shoot-out but Piturca does not believe that will give his squad - which features nine Steaua players - a psychological advantage.

"Oranje are much better than Ajax," he said.

"The Dutch school is world famous and they are in a good phase with young players and experienced guys like (Arjen) Robben, (Robin) van Persie and (Rafael) van der Vaart."

It could be a special night for experienced striker Adrian Mutu. Mutu's goal in Friday's 2-2 draw with Hungary moved him level with Gheorghe Hagi on 35 international strikes and he will become his country's most prolific marksman if he can add to that tally in Amsterdam.

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Matches

  • FIFA World Cup European Qualifying

    Tue 26th Mar - Group B
    Tue 26th Mar - Group F
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    Tue 26th Mar - Group D
    Tue 26th Mar - Group H
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    • Rep Ireland
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    Tue 26th Mar - Group I

Tables

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group A

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Belgium 10 26
2 Croatia 10 17
3 Serbia 10 14
4 Scotland 10 11
5 Wales 10 10
6 Macedonia 10 7

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group B

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Italy 10 22
2 Denmark 10 16
3 Czech Republic 10 15
4 Bulgaria 10 13
5 Armenia 10 13
6 Malta 10 3

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group C

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Germany 10 28
2 Sweden 10 20
3 Austria 10 17
4 Republic of Ireland 10 14
5 Kazakhstan 10 5
6 Faroe Islands 10 1

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group D

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Netherlands 10 28
2 Romania 10 19
3 Hungary 10 17
4 Turkey 10 16
5 Estonia 10 7
6 Andorra 10 0

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group E

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Switzerland 10 24
2 Iceland 10 17
3 Slovenia 10 15
4 Norway 10 12
5 Albania 10 11
6 Cyprus 10 5

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group F

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Russia 10 22
2 Portugal 10 21
3 Israel 10 14
4 Azerbaijan 10 9
5 Northern Ireland 10 7
6 Luxembourg 10 6

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group G

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Bosnia and Herzegovina 10 25
2 Greece 10 25
3 Slovakia 10 13
4 Lithuania 10 11
5 Latvia 10 8
6 Liechtenstein 10 2

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group H

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 England 10 22
2 Ukraine 10 21
3 Montenegro 10 15
4 Poland 10 13
5 Moldova 10 11
6 San Marino 10 0

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group I

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Spain 8 20
2 France 8 17
3 Finland 8 9
4 Georgia 8 5
5 Belarus 8 4

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