Holland never won a friendly against Italy.
We don’t do friendly too well.
For the 18th time in history, both nations face off and elevent times this was a friendly. Holland lost 6 and drew 5.
Goalie Buffon has more international games to his name than the whole starting line up of Holland.
Amsterdam has been the venue for a Holland – Italy five times. The Azzuri never lost in our capital.
The last time Holland beat Italy was at the EC in 2008. For Holland, Mathijsen, Kuyt and Van Persie were present. For Italy, we welcome back Buffon, Barzagli and Pirlo.
Holland won against Italy only once on home ground, in 1974. In De Kuip in Rotterdam, Boninsegna scored first before Rensenbrink and Cruyff (2x) responded.
Louis van Gaal will offer Daley Blind and Ola John their first starting position. Goalie Krul will start with Blind as left bank. Martins Indi, De Vrij and Janmaat complete the defensive line up. The midfield consists of Clasie, Maher and Strootman while the attack is formed by Lens (left), Van Persie and Ola John.
Klaas Jan Huntelaar had to leave the camp. A weird eye injury means he can’t assess depth. “He can’t play like that,” stated LVG. Experienced bench sitter Arjen Robben is now called up. The winger does not play regularly for Bayern but Van Gaal likes to make exceptions.
“We know what Robben can do. He is fit. He won’t start for us, but start on the bench, like he does at Bayern.”
Van Gaal wants his young squad to play dominant and pressing. “It is going to be a major test for the youngsters and I am actually pretty tense. They can hold their own in the Dutch league but now they need to make a step up.”
Players like Van Persie, Strootman and Krul know what that means, as they have played at this level many times. For Maher, Blind and John, to name some newbies, it might be tough.
“We know they have the quality. They lack the experience and maybe the mental strength. The good thing is, Italy will play with three strikers too and I don’t think they’ll hide against us. Let’s hope we can see some real football.”
Van Gaal is testing Maher as replacement for Sneijder and Van der Vaart. “If he is quicker in the turn around when we lose possession, he can score bonus points.” Van Gaal is also using Martins Indi as central defender, while Koeman uses him at Feyenoord as left back.
“I know that and I think it is because Koeman doesn’t have the same options as I do. I told him I would use Martins Indi as a central defender and he didn’t object.”