Socceroos opposition scouting report: Netherlands

If history is anything to go by, then the Socceroos will fancy themselves to get something from the match when they come up against the Netherlands.

Whether it's the huge Dutch influence that has filtered through Australian football in recent years or simply a style clash, in three previous meetings between the two nations Australia have never been beaten.   While the Netherlands were beating finalists four years ago, their most recent tournament was far less encouraging.   The Orange Army failed to get out of the group stage at Euro 2012, failing to pick up a single point.   But in saying all that, this will be a huge challenge for Ange Postecoglou's side.   Under the tutelage of Manchester United-bound Louis Van Gaal, the Netherlands seem to have rediscovered their 'total football' mojo.   They went on a 17 game unbeaten run during qualifying and recent friendlies and will head into the tournament as one of Europe's best hopes.   They possess a midfield full of young, exciting ball players like AS Roma’s Kevin Strootman, Swansea City’s Jonathan de Guzman and Rafael Van der Vaart from Hamburg.   It allows the side to maintain possession for greater periods of time and bring wingers like Dynamo Kyiv's Jermain Lens and Bayern Munich star Arjen Robben into the game.   The pair not only like to take on their opponent down the outside but are just as comfortable cutting inside and shooting on goal which means the Socceroos' fullbacks will need to be at their best and get lots of support.   Add Robin van Persie, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Wesley Schneider to that bunch and the Dutch possess a wealth of firepower to trouble any nation.   Perhaps the Socceroos' best hope is to put pressure on their defence, which has yet to prove settled under Van Gaal.   The final chance to see the Socceroos on home soil before they head to Brazil 2014 will be when they take on South Africa in a farewell game on May 26 in Sydney. Tickets for the match, presented by NAB, are on sale now. Click here to secure yours today.