Blind was ruled out of Sunday's 0-0 Group A draw with Scotland through suspension, and he was sorely missed. "We played too much with our heart, but didn't use our brains," their coach, Guus Hiddink, said yesterday. "With Blind we will have the experience to bring calm to our play."
The Dutch coach again criticised the Swedish referee, Leif Sundell, for denying his side an early penalty after John Collins blocked a shot with his hands. "The referee was unable to see it from where he stood. It was a big, big mistake," Hiddink said.
The Dutch coach stressed that Switzerland should not be underestimated. "Swiss club football has developed tremendously. The national team, too, has caught up with the major European countries," he said.
He is expected to leave Arsenal's Dennis Bergkamp in the team despite his disappointing performance against the Scots, but he may decide to bring in the left-winger Peter Hoekstra, who has recovered from injury, and switch Jordi Cruyff to the right wing at the expense of Gaston Taument.
Dusan Uhrin, the Czech Republic coach, has promised changes for his team's game on Friday against Italy, 2-1 winners over Russia yesterday. Patrik Berger, the leading goalscorer in the qualifiers who was not introduced until half-time of the 2-0 defeat by Germany on Sunday, seems likely to start.
Uhrin, meanwhile, has expressed his dissatisfaction with the way England's David Elleray refereed the game against Germany, when 10 players were booked. "I think the yellow cards reflected the performance of the referee," Uhrin said.
"At first he let things go and I was surprised by the roughness which was allowed to happen. Then he wanted to make up for it. I was disappointed with him."