Euro 2012: Netherlands vs Germany Players to Watch

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Euro 2012: Netherlands vs Germany Players to Watch
Julian Finney/Getty Images

Time flies. With the blink of an eye, the opening group games for all the participating teams at Euro 2012 are over, and the next crop of matches already underway.

Traditional rivals Netherlands and Germany square off in Kharkiv, Ukraine on Wednesday, both seeking victory, albeit for different purposes.

The Dutch need the three points to stay in contention for a quarterfinal berth. They were wasteful in their loss to gutsy Denmark. That defeat puts them in a position where another slack showing against Germany will spell catastrophe. Even a draw cannot be deemed good enough in the present state of affairs.

Die Mannschaft, meanwhile, would all but seal their spot in the last eight with a win. There was little eye-catching about their performance against an equally lacklustre Portugal, but they got the job done, and that's what matters most. The Germans will hope to grow in stature as the tournament progresses, and beating their neighbors would represent a massive step in that direction.

With both sides finding themselves placed among the pre-tournament favorites by pundits and experts, it is only natural that Netherlands and Germany each have in their ranks some of the finest players on the planet.

Some have impressed in their first games, while others have a lot to prove. Here we shall have a look at some of the players who could go on to have a huge influence on the final score. These men will be the ones to watch ahead of what promises to be a feisty affair in Ukraine.

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