Dutch minds focused on main event
The Dutch kick off their campaign against Italy on 9 June
As the tournament countdown continues, the Netherlands go into this evening's friendly at home against Denmark with one eye on their UEFA EURO 2008™ opener with Italy on 9 June.
Marco van Basten finalised his squad after Saturday's 3-0 victory against Ukraine and this latest test will provide a chance to field Ruud van Nistelrooy, Wesley Sneijder and Edwin van der Sar, all of whom joined up with their colleagues on Monday due to club commitments. Meanwhile, Arjen Robben is due to feature from the start. "He played eight or nine matches in a row for Real Madrid [CF at the end of the season], that's very positive, and now he can show it here," said Van Basten. "In the past, he has proven he is a very good left-winger, but competition is very high for him here also."
"What's good is good and you don't have to change it," added the former Dutch international striker, ruling out further experimentation ahead of the Oranje's first Group C game against the Azzurri in Berne. "Before the Italy match, it has to become clear which players can play in which positions, and in terms of what suits the team. That's more important than the individual wishes of the players. We will use the coming time to look closely at all that. Besides Van der Sar and Van Nistelrooy, the lineup is not decided yet."
Van Persie recovery
Arsenal FC striker Robin van Persie is not expected to be rushed back into action, meanwhile, as he continues his fight to be fit for the tournament in Austria and Switzerland. "That might have happened with Arsenal a few times this season, and we cannot have that," added Van Basten.