Czech Republic vs The Netherlands – Match preview and team news

Guus Hiddink will be aiming to claim all three points in his first competitive game in charge of the Netherlands as they travel to Prague for their opening Euro 2016 qualifier.

The hosts’ boss, Pavel Vrba, is in a similar position having taken over in November 2013. His achievements in club management included leading Viktoria Plzen to two league titles, and his task is to improve the fortunes of a team which suffered from inconsistency in their attempts to reach the World Cup, eventually finishing third in a competitive group.

The Euro 2012 quarter-finalists will be relatively confident of qualifying this time around, with Turkey and Iceland looking like their biggest challengers for second place behind Oranje, who are the seeded team in Group A. Vrba has yet to win any of his four friendlies in charge, but he can still call upon experienced duo Petr Cech and Tomas Rosicky.

The Dutch exceeded all expectations by finishing third at the World Cup, with a new-look team spearheaded by the searing pace of Arjen Robben caught the eye, as did the extravagant tactic of Louis van Gaal.

His successor, who finally takes charge of his own country having worked wonders for South Korea and Australia among others, will now be confident of taking the team to the next level. Despite that, he lost his first game against Italy in a friendly on Wednesday, with Bruno Martins Indi seeing red early on.

The Czech Republic have a fully-fit squad for this match, but the visitors have to make do without Robben and Rafael van der Vaart, who are both nursing injuries. Memphis Depay could be handed a start after impressing at the World Cup as well as club side PSV Eindhoven.

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