Germany: Defeating Dutch will send message

Topics

Germany are eager to beat rivals Netherlands in Tuesday's friendly and send a clear message to all fellow Euro 2012 contenders that they are ready for their first title since 1996, team manager Oliver Bierhoff has said.

The Germans, who reached next year's tournament with 10 wins from 10 qualifiers, will have goalkeeper Manuel Neuer back in the squad as well as strikers Miroslav Klose and Marco Reus after they recovered from injury.

Coach Joachim Low will drop some of the changes he introduced for Friday's mediocre 3-3 friendly draw in Ukraine, including a three-man defence that looked more than shaky.

He is likely to start with Bundesliga top scorer Mario Gomez and Klose in a two-pronged attack as part of a 4-4-2 system he has not used in two years.

"This is an extremely serious game. We want to leave a sign that we can take on and beat the very best," Bierhoff told reporters ahead of the game in Hamburg.

"We want to finish the year with a victory and obviously beating the Dutch is always double the fun."

Three-times European champions Germany won their last major title at Euro 1996.

Last year's World Cup runners-up Netherlands, who enjoy a healthy and long-standing football rivalry with their neighbours, were jeered by their own fans after being held to a lacklustre 0-0 friendly draw by Switzerland on Friday.

The Dutch, also through to Euro 2012, will be looking to improve on their performance on Friday though they will have to do it without key players Robin van Persie and Rafael van der Vaart.

The Arsenal captain has been ruled out due to fatigue after playing the full 90 minutes against the Swiss.

"I had a good meeting with [Arsenal boss Arsene] Wenger and we reached agreement he would only play on Friday and after that we would send him back," Dutch coach Bert van Marwijk told reporters.

Van der Vaart suffered a slight hamstring injury. Captain Mark van Bommel and Kevin Strootman should be back from the start. Van Bommel was rested while Strootman played 24 minutes against the Swiss.

Van Marwijk could also use striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, who is itching to come back after breaking his nose 10 days ago.

"Things look different for this match but it has only been two weeks since he broke his nose," the Dutch coach said.