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Layers hope going will be heavy for Holland.

Byline: Ian Coyne

HOLLAND'S preparations for today's Euro 2004 play-off with Scotland have been carried out under a cloud, and bookmakers are hoping that conditions

underfoot can also hinder the Dutch at Hampden Park today, writes Ian Coyne.

Reports suggest Holland have been beset by in-fighting among their players in the lead-up to the game. And the torrential rain forecast this afternoon could make for more heavy going for Dutch coach Dick Advocaat on his return to Glasgow.

Most punters have ignored the hosts and lumped on Holland, and Chandler odds-compiler Joe Fagan admitted he'll be delighted if some typical Scottish weather gives Berti Vogts's underdogs a helping hand.

He said: "In terms of individuals this is a mis-match. But if the conditions are bad it could help Vogts to contain Holland's flair players by packing the midfield."

Ladbrokes will be shouting for Scotland after laying the men in orange at 4-6. Spokesman Balthazar Fabricius said: "Holland lose us a nice few quid. We have seen bets of pounds 10,000 and pounds 6,000."

It was a similar story elsewhere, but Vogts warned Holland not to underestimate his team last night. He said: "We know all the qualities of the Dutch players but they don't know the quality of my team."

Advocaat, who has vowed to

quit if Holland don't qualify, admits all the pressure is on his side. He said: "I have the same confidence as Berti Vogts, but it will be a disaster if we don't qualify."

nPreview, pages 126-127

CAPTION(S):

The Scotland players look relaxed as they prepare to face the Dutch this afternoon
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Nov 15, 2003
Words:269
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