• Analysis

Preview: Netherlands vs Germany

Germany v Netherlands - UEFA Nations League A
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The Netherlands host Germany on Sunday in arguably the biggest game of this international break.

The meeting between the Netherlands and their old foe comes at a time when the two international sides are on very different paths.

The Dutch are on the rise under Ronald Koeman and keen to build on their impressive showings in the Nations League.

They did just that this week, starting their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign with a 4-0 demolition of Belarus.

Germany, meanwhile, have continued on a downward spiral. They followed their poor showing at the World Cup with relegation in the Nations League and are yet to show signs of improvement.

A 1-1 draw with Serbia in midweek offered little hope that Joachim Low’s side have turned a corner. Beating the Dutch would be the perfect way to do so.

Team News

Ronald Koeman went with a full-strength team for the win over Belarus in midweek and is unlikely to change that for this game.

One likely change will be at right-back after Denzel Dumfries picked up an injury in that win over Belarus. Kenny Tete is his most likely replacement. Other than that, expect Koeman to make few changes.

Low, on the other hand, will be considering his options. The most significant decision he has to make is over Manuel Neuer in goal, with the Bayern Munich goalkeeper struggling for form at present. Andre Ter Stegen would be his replacement.

Likewise, Timo Werner could be replaced up front after he once again failed to impress. Marco Reus is one option that could be drafted in.

Leroy Sane is also likely to start up front after he escaped severe damage following a heavy challenge in the draw with Serbia.

What the manager’s said

Germany v Netherlands - UEFA Nations League A
GELSENKIRCHEN, GERMANY – NOVEMBER 19: Ronald Koeman, head coach of Netherlands looks on prior to the UEFA Nations League A group one match between Germany and Netherlands at Veltins-Arena on November 19, 2018 in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. (Photo by Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Ronald Koeman was full of praise for Memphis Depay following his impressive display against Belarus in midweek.

“A wonderful player. You saw what he is capable of, even if he is playing less at his club. Memphis is a very important pillar for us, and he showed that” he said.

He also indicated that he would not be changing for the clash with Germany.

“The ideal is to have a settled starting line-up to be able to work with. You see that with (world champions) France, how infrequently they change their team,” he added.

Joachim Low
GELSENKIRCHEN, GERMANY – NOVEMBER 19: Joachim Loew, Manager of Germany looks on during the UEFA Nations League A group one match between Germany and Netherlands at Veltins-Arena on November 19, 2018 in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Joachim Low, meanwhile, says his star forward Leroy Sane was lucky to escape injury following a tackle from Milan Pavkov.

“It was a vicious foul,” said Low. “Sane was lucky and got away with not getting hurt, but such fouls can break bones.”

The Germany boss was also keen to praise his side, saying he was pleased with the mentality his younger team showed.

“In the second half the team sent a very good signal that we can increase pressure and we can increase the tempo,” he added.

“We had a lot of chances, and we missed the final touch a bit. That is also part of the learning experience. Overall, I am very satisfied with the mentality, the pressure we created.”

Stats

Netherlands unbeaten in their last five games since the defeat to France in September. Two of those games have seen beat and then draw with Germany.

Germany are on a run of just one win in their last five games, a 3-0 defeat of Russia back in November.

There have been over 2.5 goals scored in the Netherlands last four games, and they have scored at least twice in their previous three.

Germany, meanwhile, have seen five of their last six games go under 2.5 goals. They’ve only scored more than once in two of their previous five games.

Nine of the last ten meetings between these two sides have seen over two goals scored. The only one, which didn’t, was a 0-0 draw in 2012.