WC Qual - UEFA
March 22, 2013
Netherlands v Estonia: Preview
Team Stat Comparison
|Goals for *||3.0||0.3|
|Goals against *||0.0||2.0|
|Last 5 home||W-W-W-W||W-L-L|
|Last 5 away||W-W||L-W-L|
|* Goals per match - home matches for home club and away matches for away club|
|Stats: Netherlands | Estonia|
Robin van Persie has hailed Holland boss Louis van Gaal as "a craftsman'' ahead of the World Cup qualifying encounter with Estonia.
Van Gaal succeeded Bert van Marwijk last year after the Oranje had endured a miserable Euro 2012 - where they were surprisingly dumped out at the group stages following three successive defeats.
And the former Ajax, Barcelona and Bayern Munich coach has had a flawless start in his attempts to guide the Dutch to Brazil 2014, where they have had four victories from as many Group D matches.
His roaring success so far is not a surprise to Van Persie, who is set to lead the line against Estonia tomorrow night in the absence of the injured Klaas-Jan Huntelaar.
The Manchester United striker told Dutch newspaper AD: "I am very happy with the way he operates Holland.
"He is very clear, everyone knows where they stand. Van Gaal is a craftsman, he does everything he can to explain.
"I understand his choices. For his first match against Belgium (a friendly), I had a very good conversation with him. That was the first time we talked. He was very friendly, he laughs with everyone.''
Van Gaal is likely to include Wesley Sneijder in his starting XI against Georgia 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 although Maarten Stekelenburg is the probable option between the posts after missing Holland's last two matches with an injury.
Tomorrow's opponents Estonia bounced back from three successive losses against Romania, Turkey and Hungary to beat group minnows Andorra last time out.
Dutchman Arno Pijpers, who is a technical director with the eastern Europeans, told AD: "The expectations were high, but the reality is that we are in a tough group.''
Experienced midfield duo Taavi Rahn and Gert Kams, who have 95 caps between them, are unavailable to boss Tarmo Ruutli for the trip to Amsterdam but former captain Raio Piiroja and forward Sergei Zenjov are expected to feature having shaken off injuries.