Spain travel to Amsterdam on Tuesday night to face the side that sparked the end to their world dominance in emphatic fashion in the group stage of the 2014 World Cup, when Netherlands beat them 5-1.
After that defeat in Brazil, Spain crashed out of the tournament and questions were raised over whether or not their manager, Vicente del Bosque, should remain in charge. However, the 64-year-old is still at the helm for the Spaniards and is leading them through their qualification campaign for Euro 2016.
Since the World Cup, Spain have been on a patchy run but sit second in Group C behind Slovakia with their latest win coming on Friday over Ukraine when Alvaro Morata scored to secure three points.
Spain’s opponents though, are not enjoying their qualification campaign for the European Championships as much and their new manager, Guus Hiddink, is coming under fire in the Dutch press.
Netherlands managed to scrape a point against Turkey on Saturday thanks to injury-time equaliser from Klaas-Jan Huntelaar but they currently sit third in Group A, five points behind second place Iceland.
Since taking over from the Manchester United bound Louis van Gaal after the World Cup, Hiddink has struggled to get his side playing the same type of football that saw them finish third in Brazil. As the pressure piles on Hiddink, the Oranje could do with getting a good result on Tuesday night.
KICK-OFF: Tuesday, 7.45pm
PAST THREE MEETINGS…
Spain 1 (Xabi Alonso) Netherlands 5 (Robin van Persie 2, Arjen Robben 2, Stefan de Vrij), World Cup Group Stage, June 2014
Netherlands 0 Spain 1 (Andres Iniesta), World Cup Final, July 2010
Netherlands 1 (Frank de Boer) Spain 0, International, March 2002
Netherlands have won four out their last six meetings with Spain.
Spain have won only five of their nine games since the two sides last met.
Netherlands have only won two of their seven games under Guus Hiddink since his return as manager.
Wesley Sneijder could become Netherlands’ most capped outfield player with 113 caps if he plays against Spain; he equalled Frank de Boer’s record against Turkey.
Netherlands to win: 3.25
Spain to win: 2.5
Out of all the meetings between these two nations, it is the last that sticks out in the memory of most people as we saw the capitulation of Spain on the biggest stage of them all at the hands of Netherlands.
The match itself was worthy of being called a classic, but it was a goal just before half time that astonished the crowd. After going a goal down through a Xabi Alonso penalty, Robin van Persie levelled for his side with the most acrobatic of diving headers from 15-yards.
Not only was it a special goal, but it started what turned out to be a shocking defeat for the defending world champions and made a statement of intent for Van Gaal’s side.
TV: Live on MUTV at 7.45pm.Reuse content