It is the opening game of the RABO European Championships in Amsterdam and Holland are kicking the tournament off on home soil under the floodlights at the newly revamped Wagener Stadium against Spain. It is going to be a full house for this showcase game with around 10,000 spectators showing their support for the world number one side and a perfect stage for Holland to show their class with all eyes on them. It is a fantastic stadium to compete at as the crowds are close to the pitch and along all four sides too, so it really is an electric atmosphere when the crowd starts cheering and chanting.
On paper, Holland are ranked No.1 in the world and Spain 10th, however in competition you cannot take this for granted as in reality the games are won and lost by the smallest of margins.
So how do I think the game will go? I think Holland will control more of the game than Spain due to their streetwise, calm mindset and superior tactical understanding. Spain will have to have a solid defense against the fluid movement and pace of the Dutch, but if they can do this then they will have their chance of attacks where they can use their silky dribbling skills and create some circle opportunities, which they will need to be clinical with.
Overall, Holland will want to stamp their mark on this tournament and should be able to outplay Spain with their ability to link in small unit play but also make the game vast and keep teams running, not to mention their goal scoring ability in the circle. It will be an exciting opener that I am looking forward to watching, but as I said, on paper and what teams can do is not necessarily what will happen and it is all about the performance on the day!
England start their campaign tomorrow against Ireland at 1.45pm GMT and all games will be shown live on BT Sports. I want to wish all the girls the best of luck!
Stay together, enjoy it and we will all be cheering you on back home :0)