No easy ride for Romania
Dutch coach Marco van Basten insisted on Sunday his side may have reached the UEFA EURO 2008 quarter-finals, but they will not be taking their foot off the pedal against Romania in Berne on Tuesday. "Every match is important to us and the fact there will be some changes in the team does not alter anything," said van Basten on the Dutch Football Association's website.
Van Basten, attempting to add a European crown as a coach to the one he won as a player in 1988, says he will rest some of his key players ahead of their quarter-final match in Basel next Saturday but does not envisage any lowering of the Dutch team's impressive standards.
Blackburn Rovers defender Andre Ooijer and Hamburg midfielder Nigel de Jong are likely to sit out the Romania game as one more yellow card would rule either of them out of the quarter-final. The Dutch coach said Real Madrid winger Arjen Robben, who scored against France from the bench, is "raring to go and eager" to start against Romania.
According to a source close to the Dutch team, van Basten is likely to rest up to five of the starting line-up which beat 2006 FIFA World Cup™ finalists France 4-1 on Friday.
Ajax striker Klas-Jan Huntelaar is set to replace Ruud van Nistelrooy up front, while Arsenal's Robin van Persie and Eindhoven's Ibrahim Afellay could replace Real Madrid's Wesley Sneijder and Hamburg's Rafael Van der Vaart in the starting line-up.
Romania have to beat the Netherlands to be sure of qualifying for the quarter-finals and finish second in Group C to the Dutch. In Tuesday's other final Group C game, France and Italy will slug it out with the winner hoping the Dutch do them a favour by beating the Romanians.