England will kick-off their new season on Wednesday night when they travel to Amsterdam to take on Holland in a friendly.
The match will give Fabio Capello his first chance to get back to work with his players before they round off their World Cup Qualifying campaign in the next two months.
Both teams have identical records in qualifying so far—both boasting maximum points from their seven games played. This has been enough for Holland to secure their ticket to South Africa already and the Three Lions will most likely join them should they secure the three points in their next match against Croatia in September.
The match will be England’s fifth friendly against Holland since 2001 and will be the 18th meeting between the two nations overall.
The Three Lions currently hold the historical edge with five wins to Holland’s four. The last three matches have all ended in draws of which there have been eight altogether.
England have lost only one of the six matches they have previously played in Holland. The most recent meeting was in 2006 and ended 1-1 when Rafael van der Vaart struck a late goal five minutes from time to cancel out Wayne Rooney’s opener and secure a draw for Marco van Basten’s side.
The last victory by either side came in a friendly in 2001 at White Hart Lane when the Dutch prevailed by two goals to nil, aided by a magnificent strike by Mark van Bommel and a goal from Ruud van Nistelrooy.
England’s last victory over Holland came at Euro ’96, which was also the most recent of five competitive meetings between the two nations.
The group stage match will live long in the memories of many England fans and saw the Three Lions thump the Dutch 4-1 on a famous evening at Wembley, Alan Shearer and Teddy Sheringham bagging two goals each as Terry Venables enjoyed his finest night as England manager.
However, this win stands as England’s sole success over the Dutch in their last ten meetings. In fact, you have to go back as far as 1982 for the previous English victory.
Further games of note between the two sides came during 1994 World Cup Qualifying. England threw away a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 at Wembley and then lost their penultimate qualifier 2-0 in Rotterdam to goals from Ronald Koeman and Denis Bergkamp as their campaign ended in failure.
England fans will most likely recall the referee’s decision not to send Koeman off in that match after he brought David Platt down when clean through on goal. Koeman received only a yellow card and five minutes later clipped in the opening goal from a direct freekick.
Holland’s most famous win against England came in 1988 at the European Championships when Marco van Basten scored a hat-trick (the first against England for almost 30 years) to knock Bobby Robson’s side out of the competition in the group stage. Holland would go on to win the tournament and van Basten finished as top scorer.
England’s biggest win over Holland was back in 1946 when they triumphed 8-2 in Huddersfield with Tommy Lawton netting four goals. This remains the only time Holland have conceded eight goals in a full international.
The Three Lions’ last victory on Dutch soil came forty years ago in 1969 when Colin Bell struck the only goal of the game for the then World Cup holders against a Dutch side containing Johann Cruyff at the Olympic Stadium in Amsterdam.
England’s overall record v. Netherlands
P17 W5 D8 L4 F24 A19
England’s overall record in Netherlands
P6 W2 D3 L1 F5 A5