Van Gaal won't take Estonia lightly

A look ahead to Friday night's action in European World Cup Qualifying Group D.

Last Updated: 21/03/13 at 18:22 Post Comment

Louis van Gaal: His side are three points clear in Group D

Louis van Gaal: His side are three points clear in Group D

Holland coach Louis van Gaal believes his side cannot afford to take the challenge of Estonia lightly when the two teams meet in a World Cup qualifier at the Amsterdam ArenA on Friday night.

The Dutch have enjoyed a flawless start to their Group D campaign, with victories over Turkey, Hungary, Andorra and Romania in their opening four fixtures.

Van Gaal's men are three points clear at the top of the standings and will face off against an Estonia side that have lost three of their four matches, with their sole victory over group minnows Andorra.

But former Ajax, Barcelona and Bayern Munich coach Van Gaal is refusing to believe the eastern Europeans will be a pushover.

"The expectations will be high, the audience will probably have a score of 5-0 in their head," he told a press conference.

"But that is just more difficult, especially given that the system Estonia play, with two rows of four and just one striker."

Van Gaal is likely to include Wesley Sneijder in his starting XI after the playmaker missed the last four Holland games due to injury and lack of match fitness, having been frozen out by former club Inter Milan.

The 28-year-old's move to Turkish outfit Galatasaray in January has given him a new lease of life and his return will be a welcome one.

The group leaders are without Tim Krul due to ankle problem and Klaas Jan Huntelaar (knee) although Maarten Stekelenburg is the probable option between the posts after missing Holland's last two matches with an injury.

Hungary and Romania, both on nine points, are contesting a play-off spot although they will be hoping to keep the pressure on the Dutch when they clash at an empty Ferenc Puskas Stadium in Budapest.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport last week rejected an appeal from the Hungarian Football Federation against having to play against Romania behind closed doors for racist behaviour by fans.

FIFA's disciplinary committee found a group of Hungary supporters had chanted anti-Semitic abuse and displayed offensive symbols in their friendly against Israel in Budapest last August.

Hungary boss Sandor Egervari is in confident mood despite the fact they have been denied home support.

"Of course, we expect to win this 'six-point' game, especially because we meet a rival, which is also a chance to better our chances of finishing first or second in the group," he said at a press conference.

Friday's final group match sees Turkey travel to Andorra and visiting coach Abdullah Avci insists his side will not be underestimating the threat posed by Friday's hosts.

Andorra have won just one competitive match - against Macedonia at home in a 2006 World Cup qualifier - but Avci is not taking victory for granted.

"A Turkish national football team will follow the opponent extremely seriously," the Turkey boss told reporters.


Click here for completely free £10 bet with Sky Bet & £5 free every week


Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

C

onfirmed. Nick Miller is a douche bag. Lazy, incoherent rant is what this article should be titled. And for the editor to have the temerity to pass this as acceptable writing is shocking. Ah well, anything for clicks right? You got mine. Well done. Your mother must be proud.

poolshortsdown
Gerrard Constantly Searching For That Final Hurrah

T

his Martinez guy is mental. He'll get us relegated. I said that when they appointed him. Sack him now, Bill!

nilsatisnisi
'No need to replace Eto'o'

I

f we sign Gignac, we might as well immediately send him onward to Crystal Palace.

dr soccer
Who Are The Best Summer Freebies?

Footer 365

Chelsea striker Diego Costa will discover later on Friday whether he must serve a suspension for violent conduct

Chelsea striker Diego Costa will discover later today whether he must serve a suspension for violent conduct.

Premier League: Nigel Pearson insists his players must forget about their win against Manchester United

Nigel Pearson has been trying to make Leicester forget about their Manchester United win ever since they beat them 5-3.

FIFA presidency candidates wait to see if they can stand for election

The deadline for FIFA presidency nominations has passed and candidates must wait to see if they can stand for election.

Mail Box

It's A Massive, Big, Brilliant Mailbox

And we left lots of Suarez/Costa mails unopened. What we do have is a video of some rotten Suarez tackles and views on the future of football, Spurs, Liverpool and...

But Biting Doesn't Hurt Like Stamping...

There are Liverpool fans arguing that Luis Suarez is nowhere near Diego Costa's sh*t-house league but we have plenty of love for the agitator too. Oh and Spurs...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company