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Dutch and Germans reunited in Kharkiv

The Netherlands are up against Germany in what is sure to be an enthralling UEFA EURO 2012 Group B encounter in Kharkiv, with the sides meeting for the 39th time.

Background: Netherlands v Germany ©Getty Images

Another chapter in one of Europe's most enthralling footballing rivalries will be written when the Netherlands take on Germany in UEFA EURO 2012 Group B.

• This time round it is Germany who hold the early advantage, Mario Gomez's 72nd-minute header giving them a 1-0 win against Portugal in Lviv. The Netherlands went down to Denmark in Kharkiv by the same score.

Head-to-head record
• The sides are meeting for a 39th time; Germany's record in the previous contests is W14 D14 L10 (W1 D1 L2 in UEFA European Championship matches).

• The Netherlands also played nine games against the former East Germany, with the record W6 D1 L2.

• The nations first met in Arnhem on 24 April 1910, with the home side winning 4-2. The Netherlands had the upper hand in their early encounters – they recorded three wins and three draws against Germany before losing to their neighbours for the first time, 1-0 in Amsterdam on 21 April 1924.

• The Netherlands and West Germany first met at a UEFA European Championship in 1980, with Jupp Derwall's men prevailing 3-2 in Naples. Three Klaus Allofs goals (20, 60, 65) gave the Germans victory, despite Johnny Rep (penalty 79) and Willy van de Kerkhof (85) reducing the deficit for Jan Zwartkruis's side. Germany went on to win their second European title, while the Oranje went home after the group stage.

• The Dutch gained revenge eight years later, knocking out their neighbours in the 1988 semi-finals in Hamburg. Lothar Matthäus opened the scoring for Franz Beckenbauer's team (penalty 55) but Ronald Koeman equalised (penalty 74) and Marco van Basten (88) snatched victory at the death. Rinus Michels' Oranje beat the USSR in the final to claim their only major title to date.

• Beckenbauer's Germany struck back at the 1990 FIFA World Cup, eliminating Leo Beenhakker's Netherlands 2-1 in the last 16. Jürgen Klinsmann (51) and Andreas Brehme (85) scored before Ronald Koeman (89) struck back from the spot. All three goals came after the dismissals of Frank Rijkaard and Rudi Völler in the first half.

• Germany have had the edge in recent meetings; they are unbeaten in three games – a win and two draws – against the Oranje since a 3-1 friendly loss in Gelsenkirchen on 20 November 2002.

• In recent competitive encounters, though, the Dutch have the upper hand. They have not lost in two games against Germany since reunification – a win and a draw – and their last defeat in a competitive fixture between the sides was at the 1990 World Cup.

Selected previous meetings
15 November 2011: Gemany 3-0 Netherlands (Müller 16, Klose 25, Özil 66)
– Hamburg Arena, Hamburg, friendly
Neuer, Boateng (Höwedes 65), Mertesacker, Badstuber (Hummels 46), Aogo, Kroos (Rolfes 82), Khedira (L Bender 88), Müller, Özil, Podolski (Götze 65), Klose (Reus 81).
Netherlands: Stekelenburg; Van der Wiel, Heitinga, Mathijsen, Braafheid, Van Bommel, Strootman (N de Jong 64), Kuyt (Wijnaldum 87), Sneijder (L de Jong 87), Babel, Huntelaar (Beerens 76).

• Germany comfortably got the better of the Netherlands in their most recent encounter, handing an off-colour Oranje their biggest defeat in 15 years.

15 June 2004: Germany 1-1 Netherlands (Frings 30; Van Nistelrooy 81) – Estádio do Dragão, Porto, UEFA EURO 2004 group stage
Kahn, Friedrich, Wörns, Nowotny, Lahm, Schneider (Schweinsteiger 68), Hamann, Baumann, Ballack, Frings (Ernst 79), Kuranyi (Bobic 85).
Netherlands: Van der Sar, Heitinga (Van Hooijdonk 74), Bouma, Stam, Van Bronckhorst, Davids (Sneijder 46), Cocu, Zenden (Overmars 46), Van der Vaart, Van Nistelrooy, Van der Meyde.

• The teams' last competitive meeting was their opening game at UEFA EURO 2004. Dick Advocaat's Dutch side went on to finish second in the section, but Rudi Völler's Germany bowed out in third having failed to win a game.

18 June 1992: Netherlands 3-1 Germany (Rijkaard 4, Witschge 15, Bergkamp 72; Klinsmann 53) – Ullevi Stadium, Gothenburg, EURO '92 group stage
Van Breukelen, Van Tiggelen, R Koeman, F de Boer (Winter 61), Wouters, Rijkaard, Bergkamp (Bosz 87), Witschge, Gullit, Van Basten, Roy.
Germany: Illgner, Brehme, Helmer, Binz (Sammer 46), Kohler, Frontzeck, Hässler, Effenberg, Möller, Riedle (Doll 76), Klinsmann.

• Michels' Oranje got the better of Berti Vogts' side in the countries' first meeting since German reunification, their final group stage game at the 1992 finals. The Dutch finished top of Group B but lost on penalties in the semi-finals to Denmark, who then beat Germany 2-0 in the final.

7 July 1974: Netherlands 1-2 West Germany (Neeskens 2pen; Breitner 25pen, Müller 43) – Olympiastadion, Munich, 1974 FIFA World Cup final
Jongbloed, Suurbier, Rijsbergen (T de Jong 68), Haan, Krol, Jansen, Neeskens, Van Hanegem, Rep, Cruyff, Rensenbrink (R van de Kerkhof 46).
West Germany: Maier, Vogts, Beckenbauer, Schwarzenbeck, Bonhof, Breitner, U Hoeness, Overath, Grabowski, G Müller, Hölzenbein.

• The teams' most famous encounter ended with Helmut Schön's West Germany lifting the World Cup, as Michels' 'Total Football' side bowed to Gerd Müller's winner in Der Bomber's farewell international appearance. The game also featured the first penalties in a World Cup final and left West Germany as the first side to hold the world and European titles, having won the 1972 UEFA European Championship.

Form guide
• The Netherlands have missed just one EURO since they picked up bronze medals on their finals debut in 1976, missing the cut for the 1984 tournament. Since winning the competition in 1988, they have never failed to progress beyond the group stage, though they have also not reached the final since.

• West Germany or Germany have played in every EURO final tournament since marking their first appearance with victory in 1972. Also winners in 1980 and 1996, they reached the 1976, 1992 and 2008 finals, but have yet to take Europe's top prize since the turn of the millennium.

Team ties
• Netherlands coach Bert van Marwijk won the 2002 UEFA Cup when his Feyenoord side, featuring a young Robin van Persie, beat Borussia Dortmund 3-2 in the final in Rotterdam; he would later coach Dortmund from 2004 from 2006.

• Several Netherlands players have turned out for German clubs:
Khalid Boulahrouz (Hamburger SV 2004-06, VfB Stuttgart 2008-)
Nigel de Jong (Hamburger SV 2006-09)
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (FC Schalke 04 2010-)
Joris Mathijsen (Hamburger SV 2006-11)
Arjen Robben (FC Bayern München 2009-)
Mark van Bommel (FC Bayern München 2006-11)
Rafael van der Vaart (Hamburger SV 2005-08)

• Van Bommel was Bayern's first foreign captain, and the first foreign captain to win the Bundesliga and German Cup. He won domestic doubles in 2007/08 and 2009/10, the latter along with Oranje team-mates Robben and Braafheid.

• Robben plays alongside Germany's Manuel Neuer, Holger Badstuber, Jérôme Boateng, Philipp Lahm, Toni Kroos, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Mario Gomez and Thomas Müller at Bayern.

• FC Twente's Luuk de Jong scored the only goal of the UEFA Europa League round of 16 first leg against FC Schalke in March, but the German side won the return 4-1 with Huntelaar scoring twice.

• Huntelaar's 29 league goals for Schalke in 2011/12 made him the first Dutchman to finish a season as the Bundesliga's top scorer.

• Huntelaar, Neuer and Benedikt Höwedes won the 2010/11 German Cup with Schalke, the Dutchman scoring twice in the 5-0 final win against MSV Duisburg.

• Wesley Sneijder laid on the opener for Diego Milito in FC Internazionale Milano's 2-0 win against Bayern in the 2010 UEFA Champions League final.

• Robben struck twice against Germany in a 2-2 friendly draw in Rotterdam on 17 August 2005.

Competition format
• If two or more teams finish level on points, Articles 8.07 and 8.08 of the UEFA EURO 2012 regulations apply. In May Article 8.07 was amended after being approved by the UEFA Executive Committee. It now reads:
If two or more teams are equal on points on completion of the group matches, the following criteria are applied to determine the rankings:
a) Higher number of points obtained in the matches played between the teams in question;
b) Superior goal difference resulting from the matches played between the teams in question;
c) Higher number of goals scored in the matches played between the teams in question;
d) If, after having applied criteria a) to c), two teams still have an equal ranking, criteria a) to c) are reapplied exclusively to the matches between the two teams in question to determine the final rankings of the two teams. If this procedure does not lead to a decision, criteria e) to i) apply in the order given;
e) superior goal difference in all group matches;
f) higher number of goals scored in all group matches;
g) position in the UEFA national team coefficient ranking system (see annex I, paragraph 1.2.2);
h) fair play conduct of the teams (final tournament);
i) drawing of lots

• The Group B coefficients are as follows:
Netherlands 40.860
Germany 40.446
Portugal 31.717
Denmark 31.205

• Article 8.08 reads: if two teams which have the same number of points, the same number of goals scored and conceded play their last group match against each other and are still equal at the end of that match, the ranking of the two teams in question is determined by kicks from the penalty mark provided no other teams within the group have the same number of points on completion of all group matches. Should more than two teams have the same number of points, the criteria listed under paragraph 8.07 apply.