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Netherlands v Czech Republic: Wijnaldum out to seize last chance

Georginio Wijnaldum refuses to give up hope of making it to Euro 2016 ahead of Netherlands’ final qualification game at home to Czech Republic on Tuesday.

Danny Blind’s men currently sit fourth in Group A with just 13 points from nine encounters and need a favourable set of results to qualify for the play-offs for next year’s finals in France.

As well as requiring maximum points against Czech Republic, they also need Turkey to lose at home versus group leaders Iceland.

Wijnaldum admitted that Oranje only have themselves to blame for their current predicament, yet remains hopeful they can turn things around.

“We are all very much aware that his is our last chance,” Wijnaldum told reporters.

“We have put ourselves in this position. A country like Netherlands should always make it to the Euros. I don’t think there is any doubt about that.

“We only have ourselves to blame. If we look back at our qualification campaign, we can only reach the conclusion that we have not been good enough.”

However, the Dutch will be without a number of key figures when they take on Czech Republic.

Arjen Robben, Quincy Promes, Kevin Strootman, Stefan de Vrij, Jetro Willems and Jasper Cillessen are just some of the players who are unavailable due to injury.

Netherlands were beaten 2-1 in the reverse fixture at the start of qualifying and their record versus Czech Republic gives them little reason for optimism, with only three wins from their 10 previous meetings.

Czech Republic, meanwhile, have little left to play for as they have already sealed qualification for the tournament in France.

They currently sit second with 19 points from nine games following Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at the hands of Turkey.

Head coach Pavel Vrba rested captain Petr Cech at the weekend and he is likely to make more changes to his line-up again when they take on the Dutch.

“We will have the same squad for the final game against the Netherlands, but I think some other players will be given a chance to start,” he told the official UEFA website.

Czech Republic were beaten 2-0 on their last visit to Netherlands in September 2004.

Sun 11 Oct, 2015
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