Facts & figures: Netherlands

Factbox on World Cup qualifiers Netherlands: World Cup record:

Previous appearances in finals: Eight

Best performance: Runners-up 1974, 1978

Coach: Bert van Marwijk. Succeeded Marco van Basten in July 2008. Van Marwijk started his coaching career with Fortuna Sittard and led the team to the 1999 Dutch Cup final. In 2000 he joined Feyenoord and won the UEFA Cup in 2002. After a spell at Borussia Dortmund, Van Marwijk returned to Feyenoord in July 2007 and won the Dutch Cup in 2008.

Key players:

Robin van Persie (Arsenal): Age: 26. Forward.

Versatile player who is used mainly as a winger in the national team and as a central striker at Arsenal. Played all four matches at the 2006 World Cup finals and scored a superb free kick in the second group-stage match against Ivory Coast.

Mark van Bommel (Bayern Munich). Age: 32. Midfielder.

Experienced holding midfielder, son-in-law of coach Van Marwijk and captain of Bayern, he played three matches in the 2006 finals. Decided briefly not to play under previous coach Van Basten. Brings much-needed balance to the team.

Dirk Kuyt (Liverpool). Age: 29. Forward.

Can play centrally or as a winger. Praised by his coaches for his determination, physical fitness and bustling approach. A true team player.

FIFA world ranking November 2009: 3

How they qualified: Netherlands won all eight matches in their group against Scotland, Norway, Macedonia and Iceland, scoring 17 goals and conceding two.

Prospects: The Dutch are expected to go through from the group stages and then much will depend on the physical fitness of players such as Van Persie and Arjen Robben. Have the potential to win the trophy.