De Jong: We won't underestimate Hungary
Bert van Marwijk's side took a firm grip on Group E when they thrashed the second-placed eastern Europeans 4-0 in Budapest on Friday. Rafael van der Vaart, Ibrahim Affelay, Dirk Kuyt and Robin van Persie shared the goals to complete a convincing display that followed on from their 6-1 win over the same opposition in a FIFA World Cup™ warm-up match last June.
The Hungarians will therefore head for Amsterdam fearful of another heavy reverse, with their hopes set further back with star winger Balazs Dzsudzsak a doubt after aggravating a rib injury on Friday.
Despite that De Jong expects Hungary to come out firing and has warned his side to be on guard as they look to open a dominant nine-point gap at the top of the group. "This is the third time in a short time that they will play against us and it is their third chance to do something against us," he said. "Hungary is perhaps not the best opponent we have ever played against, but we still had to work hard to perform on Friday. I can quite understand if we meet an aggressive approach tomorrow."
The Dutch will again be without Mark van Bommel, who was ruled out with a thigh injury today, while Maarten Stekelenburg, Arjen Robben and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar are still out. Hungary's injury problems extend to Stuttgart midfielder Tamas Hajnal while defender Roland Juhasz will undergo a fitness test after flying with the squad to Amsterdam.
But after their poor showing on Friday, coach Sandor Egervari is set to make further changes. "I'd like to refresh the team for Tuesday's match so beside the forced substitutions, I'm planning changes to the line-up," he said.
Should Hungary fail to take anything from the match they will likely be joined by Sweden on nine points with the Scandinavians due to host Moldova. The Swedes also have two games in hand over Hungary so a victory would leave them well-placed for at least a play-off berth.
Striker Johan Elmander believes that top place may not even be beyond his side, but knows they must first overcome a Moldova side that has taken six points from four games. "Everyone seems to think that it is a simple opposition, but you have to look at their results," he told www.svenskfotboll.se. "We must do our job properly if we are to go forward.
"But we have a good team and at home we can beat anybody, including Holland," he added. "I think we have a good chance of reaching the European Championship, either through the group or a play-off victory."