International Football

Netherlands vs. Wales: Date, Time, Live Stream, TV Info and Preview

ROTTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - MAY 31:  Netherlands Manager, Louis van Gaal walks off the ground at full time during the International Friendly match between Netherlands and Ghana at De Kuip on May 31, 2014 in Rotterdam, Netherlands.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images
Rory MarsdenFeatured ColumnistJune 4, 2014

The Netherlands complete their World Cup preparations at the Amsterdam Arena on Wednesday when they take on Wales just over a week before the start of the summer's showpiece event in Brazil.

Louis van Gaal's side go into the game having claimed a solid, if uninspiring, 1-0 win over Ghana on Saturday courtesy of Robin van Persie's fifth-minute strike.

Wales boss Chris Coleman will likely see the friendly as an opportunity to try out some new players and formations ahead of their opening Euro 2016 qualifier against Andorra in September.

Read on for full viewing information and a preview of Wednesday's encounter.

 

Date: Wednesday, June 4

Time: 7:30 p.m. BST, 2:30 p.m. ET

TV Info: S4C, BBC 2 Wales (UK)

Live Stream: ESPN 3 (US only)

 

Tough Group Awaits Netherlands

ROTTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - MAY 31:  Robin Van Persie of Netherlands in action during the International Friendly match between Netherlands and Ghana at De Kuip on May 31, 2014 in Rotterdam, Netherlands.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Wednesday offers Van Gaal his final opportunity to experiment with his squad ahead of June 13, when the Netherlands face Spain in their first group game for a repeat of the 2010 World Cup final in South Africa.

Holland lost on that occasion, but they can unlikely afford to lose to Spain again in Brazil. With Chile and Australia making up the rest of Group B, they may struggle to make it to the knockout rounds if they suffer an opening defeat.

Thus Van Gaal—departing for Manchester United after the World Cup—will likely use the Wales game as an opportunity to make sure all his players are in top form ahead of a challenging World Cup campaign.

The 62-year-old has hinted he will play a 4-4-2 formation rather than the experimental 5-3-2 he instigated against Ghana and in their 1-1 draw with Ecuador earlier last month, per Goal.com

If Wales play with a striker, it is pointless to play three [central] defenders... so it is 4-4-2.

What is important is that Van Persie does not do too much work. On Saturday against Ghana, Robin did too much. He was behind the right-back too often, and at times with the left-back.

It's a little better each day with us, I think but will that be enough against Spain, Australia and Chile? I do not know.

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar may well be given a run out, as the Schalke star will need to be sharp in time for the World Cup despite the fact that the in-form Van Persie is the main man for the Dutch.

The Manchester United striker has five in five for club and country, including goals against Ghana and Ecuador, but Huntelaar could make a big impact from the bench in Brazil.

The whole Dutch team should be aiming for a big win against a weakened Welsh side to give them momentum before a very challenging group in South America.

 

Bale and Ramsey Sit Out for Wales

CARDIFF, WALES - MARCH 05:  Wales player Gareth Bale in action during the International Friendly between Wales and Iceland at Cardiff City stadium on March 5, 2014 in Cardiff, Wales.  (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Stu Forster/Getty Images

Arguably Wales' two best players, Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey, will both be absent for the trip to Amsterdam, meaning Coleman will have to look elsewhere for inspiration. 

Fresh from winning the Champions League, Bale is reportedly suffering a leg injury, while FA Cup-winning Ramsey is rested, per BBC Sport

Wales have not lost a game in their last four matches, per Sky Sports, but they will have to put in quite some performance to return home with anything other than a defeat.

However, Coleman would do well not to simply park the bus against Holland. There is an opportunity for Wales to pit themselves against a top side and if they can turn in a decent performance, they can build confidence ahead of the 2016 Euro qualifiers.

Liverpool's Joe Allen will lead the side in the absence of regular skipper Ashley Williams, and the 24-year-old should bring real confidence after a good season with his club.

The Dutch will likely prevail against Wales, but anything other than a strong performance will see them travel to Brazil lacking real spark after slightly suspect outings against Ghana and Ecuador.

A convincing win and a clean sheet is the order of the day, and it would surprise nobody if reigning champions Spain kept a close eye on this game ahead of the World Cup.

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