Nothing less than a win will do for the Netherlands against the Czech Republic on Tuesday as they bid to keep their qualifying hopes alive for Euro 2016.
The Dutch also need Turkey—two points ahead of them in Group A—to lose at home to Iceland or they will miss out on a third-place play-off spot regardless of their result.
Here's the schedule and viewing information for this potentially crucial clash:
Date: Tuesday, October 13
Time: 7:45 p.m. BST, 2:45 p.m. ET
Venue: Amsterdam Arena
TV Info: Sky Sports 5
Live Stream: Sky Go
Netherlands on Verge of Missing First Major Tournament Since 2002
The Dutch are likely to be the highest-profile team to miss out on the showpiece tournament in France having struggled to find any sort of form or consistency in the qualifying thus far.
Squawka Football highlighted their abject run of results:
They have since beaten Kazakhstan 2-1 to give themselves a faint hope of making third, though they find themselves in difficult circumstances.
Danny Blind's side will need to win on Tuesday without the aid of first- and second-choice goalkeepers Jasper Cillessen and Tim Krul.
Reuters (h/t the Daily Mail) reported Southampton stopper Maarten Stekelenburg has been called up to replace the injured pair. Stekelenburg has not played for the Oranje since 2012, but is an accomplished international goalkeeper having earned 54 caps for them, including in the 2010 World Cup final.
The situation is far from ideal and a lot of pressure will be placed on the 33-year-old's shoulders, but Stekelenburg will undoubtedly be desperate to impress and his experience should help ease any nerves ahead of the crucial tie.
Further, there could be cracks emerging in their frustrated squad, per Dutch football writer Elko Born:
The Oranje were clearly able to put the incident behind them as they then recorded the crucial win over Kazakhstan, but the Czech Republic will be a different prospect
That said, what could give the Netherlands hope is that their opponents have already qualified automatically, and so relatively speaking the result means little to them.
Football writer Michael Bell noted the lacklustre team they put out in their last match, a 2-0 defeat to Turkey:
If they put out a similarly weak team on Tuesday, the Netherlands' chances of winning will undoubtedly increase.
Of course, should Turkey even draw with Iceland, then a win for the Dutch is academic. Iceland have already qualified themselves, but will likely want to ensure they win Group A to round off an excellent qualifying campaign.
The Dutch, arguably, don't deserve to qualify after their disappointing showings so far in qualification, but regardless of what Turkey do, their match with the Czech Republic represents a chance for the team to show their true character.
Recent history suggests the team have little to show, but if they can prove their doubters wrong, they'll at least offer a glimmer of hope for the future.