Group B Netherlands v Denmark


Metalist Stadium, Kharkiv, Today, 5.00pm On TV: RTÉ 2, BBC1

Referee:Damir Skomina (Slovakia)

Netherlands coach Bert van Marwijk is desperate to maintain his players’ focus so they can deliver on the expectations they have created for themselves.

The Dutch go into their opening match against Denmark as clear favourites and they are also rated among the favourites for the tournament.

But Van Marwijk warned there was a tough task ahead even if the Danes have already readily accepted the underdog tag. Yet the manger expects few tactical surprises from the Danes.

“We both have the same way of playing, we don’t have any secrets from one other,” he said.

“A lot of Danish players play in Holland or in the big competitions across Europe, and they are very similar to two years ago, with maybe four or five new players. We maybe have two or three different players.

“So we know it will not be easy but we are going for the win.”

The message was not much different from Danish coach Martin Olsen.

“Everything has already been said and written,” he said.

“We can say we are a little jealous of the Dutch team, that we are not in their shoes, because they are the favourites. There is no doubt about that.

“They are a good team in all positions, and on the bench as well, they are filled with great quality.”

But while he was happy to cede the favourites tag to his rivals, Olsen promised no lack of fight on the pitch.

Van Marwijk confirmed the Dutch will be without defender Joris Mathijsen for today’s game as he is struggling to shake off a hamstring injury.