15 June 2004
AMSTERDAM — Dutch football fans will be feverishly glued to the television on Tuesday night as the national soccer team takes to the field in its first match of the Euro 2004 football championship.
With Dutch cities and towns decorated in orange, the Netherlands will take on Germany in the Portuguese city Porto at 8.45pm. The duel is being broadcast live on Dutch public broadcaster Nederland 2.
Dutch trainer Dick Advocaat and his German counterpart Rudi Voller remained secretive to the last moment about their respective line-ups, newspaper De Telegraaf reported.
But it was later revealed that Advocaat had chosen for a 4-3-3 system. The starting line-up is: goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar; defenders Johnny Heitinga, Jaap Stam, Wilfried Bouma and Giovanni van Bronckhorst; mid-fielders Rafael van der Vaart, Phillip Cocu and Edgar Davids and forwards Andy van der Meyde, Ruud van Nistelrooy en Boudewijn Zenden.
A win against arch-rival Germany will place the Netherlands one step closer to qualification in the Euro 2004 quarter-finals.
About 20,000 Dutch fans are expected to pile into the 50,000-seat Estadio Dragao stadium compared with just 11,000 German fans. Ratings bureau Dienst Kijk- en Luisteronderzoek is expecting seven million Dutch nationals to watch the match on TV.
A spokesman also said that one million fans are expected to watch the match in cafes and bars.
Figures from Toto — where supporters can place bets on the Dutch national team — indicate that 54 percent of fans expect the Dutch to win. A total of 26 percent expect a draw and 20 percent are expecting a loss. The most widely tipped end result is a 3-1 victory for the Netherlands.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news