Netherlands coach Bert van Marwijk adopted a cautious stance today ahead of his highly-rated side's opening UEFA EURO 2012 encounter Saturday here against Denmark. However, van Marwijk has suffered a blow as veteran centreback Joris Mathijsen, who had been struggling to be fit was ruled out with a hamstring injury.
Van Marwijk, who guided the Dutch to the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ final where they lost to Spain, said he expected the Danes to play in the same style they had done in their opening FIFA World Cup game two years ago in South Africa where the Dutch won 2-0.
"Yes I think the two games are comparable," he said. "There have been some changes but the majority of the players are the same. Like two years ago, I expect Denmark to be defensive and await the chance to counter-attack. All matches at major tournaments are difficult - and the two teams know each other too well," he added.
Van Marwijk said he hoped to get 32-year-old Mathijsen - a member of the side that reached the FIFA World Cup final - back for the high-octane clash with three-time European champions Germany on 13 June.
"My central defender is out. But I hope to have him back against Germany," he said. "He will stay with us. He is making good progress. I will not replace him in the squad."