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Football | International

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar © Action Images

Huntelaar tips Dutch revenge over Germans



Striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar is tipping the Netherlands to beat Germany and let him taste victory over the Germans at the third attempt when the Dutch host their injury-hit neighbours on Wednesday.

"Netherlands against Germany is always a special game," said the 29-year-old Schalke 04 striker.

"The fans will be fully behind us and we want to win it. I say: 1-0 to the Netherlands."

Germany have lost six first-choice players over the weekend with defenders Jerome Boateng, Marcel Schmelzer, Holger Badstuber, plus midfielders Bastian Schweinsteiger, Toni Kroos, Mesut Ozil and striker Miroslav Klose.

The loss of vice-captain Schweinsteiger, Germany's midfield general, and 34-year-old Klose, the lone striker in the squad, will significantly weaken the German attack, while head coach Joachim Loew will need to shuffle his defence.

Klose's withdrawal means his bid to become Germany's all-time record goalscorer – he is currently one behind Gerd Mueller's tally of 68 goals – will have to wait.

Loew had already called up as replacements Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Sven Bender and Eintracht Frankfurt defender Sebastien Jung, and has now been forced to add Schalke midfielder Lewis Holtby as emergency cover.

The hosts have injury concerns of their own as Manchester United star striker Robin van Persie withdrew with a thigh injury, despite playing the full 90 minutes of his team's 3-2 Premier League win at Aston Villa on Saturday.

Coach Louis van Gaal has called up Wolfsburg's Bas Dost as a replacement but Van Persie's departure clears the way for Huntelaar to start.

Huntelaar has a better scoring record for his country with 34 goals in 59 matches, compared to Van Persie's 31 in 71 games.

Holland want revenge over the Germans after losing 2-1 to their neighbours at Euro 2012 having been thrashed 3-0 in a friendly last November.

"This is a new game, in those two matches we had no chances to win," said Huntelaar.

"Since then we have changed a lot, with new faces and young players in the team.

"We have a lot of potential, and we will see in this game, where we are with the national team.

"For us, it is a good test to play against such a good team like Germany."

While Holland enjoyed a comfortable 4-1 win in Romania on their last international on October 16, Germany were involved in one of the most remarkable games in their rich 104-year history in the 4-4 draw with Sweden in Berlin

Having taken a 4-0 lead, the German defence leaked four goals in 30 minutes and Loew will want to see a sharp improvement in his team's defence.

With no recognised striker in his squad, Loew will have to experiment with Borussia Dortmund attacking midfielder Marco Reus likely to be given a more forward role.

"We want to end this year in good fashion and win this prestigious duel in the Netherlands," said Germany manager Oliver Bierhoff.

"It is important to be tested like this. Regarding planning for the season, we intend to face opponents like them often."

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