Van Basten and his boys are ready
Remember Jaap Staam. One of the best defenders in the world. Now injury riddled and at half the pace.
But the the Dutch defence has surprised with its resiliency. They conceded only three goals in the 12 qualifiers and they played against the likes of marksmen Jan Koller and Milan Baros. And this defence is extremely mobile and capable of moving ahead into opposing terrritory. Khalid Bouhlarouz of SV Hamburg, Joris Mathijsen of AZ Alkmaar, and Giovanni Bronckhorst of Barcelona have built a solid defence. Kew Jaliens and Tim De Cler will come off the bench.
Veteran Philip Cocu leads the midfield and with Mark Van Bommel provides the conduit to strikers Ruud Van Nistelrooy, Robin Van Persie, and Arjen Robben. Edwin Van Der Saar should be his usual dependable self at goal. This Dutch team is so strong that they left out Roy Makaay, Clarence Seedorf, and Edgar Davids.
The Dutch are in Group C with Argentina, Serbia and Montenegro, and Ivory Coast.