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Could Holland give themselves hope or suffer humiliating Euro 2016 elimination today?

The Dutch need to beat Kazakhstan today and hope Turkey drop points in their final games to just make the play-offs.

Image: AP/Press Association Images

HOW DID IT come to this? Holland, who finished third at a World Cup less than eighteen months ago, are now on the verge of a humiliating elimination at the group stages of European Championship qualifying.

Danny Blind’s side are currently in fourth spot in Group A, two points behind Turkey.

With two fixtures left, they require snookers.

GroupA

First thing’s first – they need to beat Kazakhstan in Astana today.  Then, they’ll be hoping the Turks drop points when they face Czech Republic this evening.

And that will mean everything will be on the line next Tuesday when the Dutch welcome the Czech side to Amsterdam and Turkey host current group leaders Iceland.

A play-off spot is the best-case scenario for Blind’s charges though the new man is in an incredibly unenviable position. With Guus Hiddink sacked earlier in the qualification campaign, Blind was brought in prematurely (he was supposed to take over from Hiddink post-Euros) and he’s struggled under pressure. He’s overseen two defeats in two games and arguably most worrying was the fact the Dutch failed to find the net in either fixture.

First there was a 0-1 home loss to Iceland before they crumbled in Turkey, enduring a painful and humbling 3-0 defeat.

Turkey Netherlands Euro Soccer Daley Blind shows his disappointment after Holland lose their most recent qaulifier against Turkey. Source: AP/Press Association Images

In eight qualifiers, they’ve managed 13 goals. None of their big players have shone. In fact, injury-plagued Arjen Robben has featured in just half of the games. Robin van Persie has struggled for the last year and Memphis Depay, still raw and inexperienced though highly-regarded, hasn’t scored at all.

Van Persie has been left on the bench for the clash with the Kazakhs and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, Holland’s top scorer with four – will lead the line.

Behind him, the ever-flagging Wesley Sneijder will try and create but it all seems a bit weary and uninspiring.

Even still, failure to win today will be an unforgivable new low for the country’s football community.

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About the author:

Eoin O'Callaghan

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