CLASHES between Netherlands and neighbours Germany always have extra spice but tomorrow's Euro 2012 Group B encounter is about much more than regional rivalry after the Dutch began with a surprise defeat by Denmark.
A win in that game would have given Bert van Marwijk's team a little breathing space against the highly fancied Germans but now three points are a must.
“It is going to be a battle but we have to show that we can become champions,” said Netherlands defender John Heitinga.
“We have to win now, there's no excuse, and we are aware of that.”
Germany did not look convincing in their 1-0 win over Portugal and coach Joachim Loew knows they must be sharper against the Dutch and is demanding improvement in all areas.
“We have taken the first little step but the game against Netherlands will be very different,” Loew said.