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Last Updated: Wednesday, 12 November, 2003, 19:02 GMT
David v Goliath?

Clive Lindsay
BBC Sport Interactive

Graeme Souness in action for Scotland
The Scots can no longer call on players of this calibre
There was a time when Scotland against the Netherlands was viewed as a one-sided affair - in Scotland's favour.

The Dutch arrived in Glasgow in 1966 - having never beaten their hosts before - and posted a warning of things to come with a 3-0 victory over a side that the following season defeated World Cup winners England at Wembley.

Since then, Scotland sides - Graeme Souness, Alex McLeish, Jimmy Johnstone, Archie Gemmill, et al - have found the Dutch a difficult hurdle to overcome.

Today, Scotland have no such household names while star names continue to roll off a seemingly limitless Dutch production line.

A comparison of the mainstays of the two sides that will clash at Hampden on Saturday highlights the magnitude of the task facing the Scots.


Shot stoppers:

Rab Douglas
Age - 31
Biggest transfer fee - 1.5m (Dundee-Celtic, 2000)
Caps - 13

Douglas has blossomed late in his career, having played second fiddle for much of the time to Andy Goram and then Neil Sullivan.

A great shot-stopper, he has proven himself at the top level in Europe with Celtic, although he is viewed as suspect at crosses under pressure.

Edwin van der Sar
Age - 33
Biggest transfer fee - 5m (Juventus-Fulham, 2001)
Caps - 76

Van der Sar is one of the world's most recognisable goalkeepers, partly because of his beanpole stature but also for his Champions League performances for Ajax and Juventus before his 2001 move to Fulham.

Inspirational at times, he can also be prone to errors, such as the defensive mix-up that allowed Jonatan Johansson to score for Charlton Athletic at the weekend.


Defensive rocks:

Steven Pressley
Pressley in action against Austria
Steven Pressley
Age - 30
Biggest transfer - 750,000 (Coventry City - Dundee United, 1998)
Caps - 13

Also a Scotland regular late in his career, he broke into the Rangers side as a teenager but was sold to Coventry City after failing to fulfil his early promise at Ibrox. The man dubbed Elvis had a difficult time in English football and, after one season, returned north to join Dundee United before moving on to Hearts three seasons later.

Always strong and committed, occasionally prone to poor marking, he has blossomed to fill the Braveheart role at the heart of the Scotland defence.

Frank de Boer
Age - 33
Biggest transfer - 7m (Ajax-Barcelona, 1999)
Caps - 106

De Boer and twin brother Ronald are remnants of an even more illustrious past for the Netherlands.

However, his summer move to Galatasaray has not prevented the Turks leaking goals in the Champions League, leaving many to suggest that De Boer is no longer the pillar of strength he once was.


Midfield generals:

Barry Ferguson
Age - 25
Biggest transfer - 7.5m (Rangers-Blackburn Rovers, 2003)
Caps - 19

Scotland have been waiting for Barry Ferguson to take over the midfield maestro role for the national side ever since he emerged as a promising youngster into the Rangers first-team.

He was inspirational in leading Rangers to the Treble last season despite suffering a debilitating hip injury and he has yet to recapture that form following his operation and summer transfer to Blackburn Rovers.

Edgar Davids pursues Jackie McNamara
Davids provides steel in the Dutch midfield

Edgar Davids
Age - 30
Biggest transfer - 5.3m (AC Milan-Juventus, 1997)
Caps - 57

Davids' bulldog style complements allow the more silky skills of many of his colleagues to flourish.

However, it also sometimes boils over into recklessness and he has been fingered for much of the blame for September's defeat by the Czech Republic.


Goal grabbers:

Stevie Crawford
Age - 29
Biggest transfer - 360,000 (Millwall-Hibernian, 1997)
Caps - 16

He is the first to admit that he is not a Kenny Dalglish or Denis Law.

But, what he lacks in top-class quality, he makes up for in enthusiasm, an eye for the target that has bagged a respectable four goals in 16 internationals and ability to create openings for others.

Patrick Kluivert
Age - 27
Biggest transfer - 12m (AC Milan-Barcelona, 1998)
Caps - 73

Has scored 10 times as many international goals as Stevie Crawford.

His form this season has led to criticism from Barcelona fans, but coach Dick Advocaat retains such faith in him that he is set to start ahead of Ruud van Nistelrooy and Roy Makaay, recognised as two of the world's most deadly strikers of recent months.







SEE ALSO
Ruud made to wait
07 Nov 03  |  Scotland
Lambert to miss Dutch test
05 Nov 03  |  Scotland
Scots have Dutch courage
19 Oct 03  |  Scotland
Tough tests for Scotland and Wales
13 Oct 03  |  Internationals
Vogts curses luck of draw
13 Oct 03  |  Scotland
Tartan Army optimistic
13 Oct 03  |  Scotland



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