National coach Sarina Wiegman expects the Orange Women to dominate a visit to Slovenia in the European Championship qualification on Friday, despite the absence of a number of important players. She thinks that the Slovenians have about the same level as Estonia and Turkey, which the Netherlands already won.
"We have looked at Slovenia and expect pretty much the same as what we have seen from our opponents in the past period," says Wiegman in conversation with the NOS on Tuesday.
"It is difficult to compare them with Estonia and Turkey. They may be slightly better than them. We have to wait and see how the game will take place, but I think we have to find a lot of people and the game to make."
The Netherlands is quite handicapped in the run-up to the games against Slovenia and Russia (next Tuesday). Wiegman misses among others Lieke Martens, Shanice van de Sanden, Jackie Groenen and Stefanie van der Gragt due to injuries.
"Fortunately, over the years we have become a lot wider and the level has risen, so I think we can cope with that. We always think in scenarios, so if someone drops out, we immediately know who to call" , says Wiegman.
Wiegman sees positive development at Orange
After the successful World Cup, where the final was reached, the Netherlands also started the qualifying series for the European Championship of 2021 in England well. The European champion won the first match 0-7 at the end of August against Estonia and a few days later triumphed 3-0 against Turkey.
Wiegman is satisfied with what her players showed against Estonia and Turkey and also saw a positive development compared to the previous qualifying series, for the World Cup in France last summer.
"At the time, we also played half of the opponents in many matches, but we had a hard time, for example, against Slovakia and Ireland to get opportunities and score," Wiegman remembers well.
"We already did better against Estonia and Turkey. More players were available, because we kept it well wide and there was sufficient depth from midfield. We just have to keep that up longer, because there were moments in between that we fell back, so there is improvement in that. "
Slovenia-Netherlands starts on Friday at 7 pm and is played at the Fazanerija Stadium in Murska Sobota. The kick-off of the Netherlands-Russia is Tuesday at 8 p.m. in Eindhoven.