|B||Armenia||Republic of Ireland|
|D||Luxembourg||Bosnia and Herzegovina|
UEFA EURO 2012 Group B may be a minefield of ifs, buts and maybes heading into matchday three, but for Portugal coach Paulo Bento and Netherlands counterpart Bert van Marwijk there is only one equation that matters: win and let the rest look after itself.
The Dutch are firmly stuck behind the eight ball after successive defeats and know all too well that they must win by a two-goal margin and rely on Germany to beat Denmark. However, they and the Republic of Ireland are the only two teams to have scored just once in their first two fixtures – taking that tally to three on Sunday is the minimum requirement.
It is a tall order yet Van Marwijk is not a man prone to hyperbole and was keeping his cards typically close to his chest at Saturday's press conference. History is not on his side, either, with the Netherlands victorious against Portugal only once in ten meetings; they have lost six. Bento, therefore, has plenty of reason for optimism.
If I didn't believe in the possibility of succeeding then I wouldn't be here," the Portuguese said. "There's not any other way of playing this game – we have to believe in the possibility of reaching the goal that we have had from the very start. That all depends on our ability, our organisation and our talent. We have shown enough to suggest we can be confident and have belief in a great result."
It is when that other encounter in Lviv is thrown into the mix that things get complicated. For the Selecção das Quinas, however, victory will suffice unless the Danes triumph by a one-goal margin other than 2-1 and 1-0. If the permutations are as clear as mud, Bento's approach is at least a little more defined.
"We have to try to control the game, not only in defence, but also have possession of the ball and look for attempts on goal," he added. "Our aim is not just to go through but to win the game. We know what the Netherlands' strategy will be from the beginning. We've seen that in many Dutch teams; they like to have the ball, to play and to control the game. They've always shown great technical quality. But we shouldn't only rely only on counterattacks."
There are no such tactical nuances to consider for the Oranje, whose travails belie the fact that they were the top scorers in UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying. With a squad boasting ten of the starting XI in the 2010 FIFA World Cup final, one thing is for certain: now is the time for them to rediscover their scoring touch.
"There's always going to be pressure on me and the players as well," said Van Marwijk. "It's about one game and we know we have to go for it. We know from the start we have to win by a two-goal difference if Germany win.
Playing in a league when you've got ten or 20 games is very different to something like this where you've got one game left and you've got to win 2-0. The tactics we choose will of course be impacted by that. We're just going to play our game and we know what our goal is – then wait and see what Germany do."
©UEFA.com 1998-2011. All rights reserved.