Thriller in Istanbul
On Tuesday evening the Dutch soccer team will play a loaded match against the Turkish national team in Istanbul. Turkey has to win in order to become number two in the group and have a possibility to go to Brazil.
While the Netherlands is already a participant at the World Cup in Brazil, Turkey has to win. In their group Romania will play, also on Tuesday, against Estland. So it will be Romania or Turkey who will end as number two in the group.
The situation reminds of 2005. Turkey lost from Switzerland in Bern (0-2) and won in Istanbul from Switzerland with 4-2. This was however not enough to go through to the World Cup. After the referee blow the whistle to end the game, the Swiss players and coach had to run for their life while being attacked by the Turkish team.
Coach Louis van Gaal is very curious how his team will do in such a, without doubt, hostile environment in the stadium of Fenerbahce. "That is the main reason why this will be a real test case for the team. The atmosphere in Brazil will be the same. "
The coach is enjoying this situation. As a player he already enjoyed to play in a stadium full of fanatic soccer fans. He is very curious how the players who have not yet dealt with such a situation will cope up with it.
According to van Gaal is it an important game for them with respect to the world classification. It can deliver some points which gives extra chances in Brazil.
Daley Blind, who played a friendly game with Ajax in the same stadium, agrees with van Gaal on the fanaticism of the Turkish supporters. "The fans are very fanatic and they really show that during the match."
De Jong and Strootman
The team can not count on defender Nigel de Jong on Tuesday. The bold defender is suspended.
Kevin Strootman will most probably also not be able to join the match due to a light injury. On Friday evening, during the match against Hungary, the AC Roma superstar was kicked at his ankle. Van Gaal says that these injuries will heal normally quick but this game might come one or two days too early.
Leroy Fer will most probably be the replacement for Strootman and Jordy Clasie will most probably play on the spot of de Jong.
Kuyt and Sneijder
Turkish reporters and Turkish fans are very eager to know if Wesley Sneijder and Dirk Kuyt will be playing on Tuesday evening. Sneijder is the star player of Galatsaray and Kuyt stars at Fenerbahce. Van Gaal, like usual, could not satisfy the Turkish fans of the two Dutch players.
Positive balance Turkey - the Netherlands
The odds don't look bad for the Dutch. Of the nine games they played in total against each other the Dutch won 4, the Turkish 2 and 3 games ended equal.
The last two games were both won by the Netherlands. The first game during this qualification round, the Dutch won with 2-0 from Turkey.