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Dutch and Germans look for flying start

Germany's coach Joachim Loew takes part in a press conference on the eve of their Group B match versus Portugal. -Photo by AFP

WARSAW: The pressure will be on big guns Netherlands and Germany to follow the eventful opening matches of Euro 2012 when the tournament action switches from Poland to co-hosts Ukraine.   

Netherlands, in the headlines for the wrong reasons on Friday after their players heard monkey chants at their training in Krakow, Poland, meet 1992 European champions Denmark in Kharkiv (1600 GMT).

The Dutch, World Cup runners-up two years ago, have not lost to Denmark in regulation time since 1967 and with one of the most complete squads they will fancy their chances of claiming three points.

Germany face Portugal in Lviv (1845), knowing front man Cristiano Ronaldo will be hungry to impress for his country though his team's form is patchy at best with no win since November.

Ronaldo, after yet another fine league season in which he netted 46 goals, missed a penalty in their last match, a 3-1 home loss against Turkey when they were whistled off the pitch.

Germany, who won all 10 of their Euro qualifiers, also suffered a surprise defeat in the build-up to the tournament, losing 5-3 to Switzerland on May 26.

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