There is sure to be a strange atmosphere at the Amsterdam ArenA when the Netherlands take on France in an international friendly on Friday, in the first game since the death of Dutch legend Johan Cruyff. The game will be halted in the 14th minute and Cruyff will be commemorated with 60 seconds of silence, according to Dutch FA director Bert van Oostveen, "in memory of the greatest footballer we have perhaps ever produced."
The actual football rather pales into insignificance in light of recent events, but there is reason for both of these sides to give the game some attention. The Netherlands are looking to pick themselves up after failing to qualify for this summer's European Championships, while France -- who are hosting the tournament -- are looking to build some momentum to take home. They were beaten, 2-0, at Wembley in their last outing, with goals from Dele Alli and Wayne Rooney sealing the win for Roy Hodgson's England.
Key player: Paul Pogba (France)
Paul Pogba hasn't always been on top form this season, but there's still no doubting that he's one of the top midfielders around today. At only 23 years old, he's still got the potential to establish himself as an all-time great, and with the perfect blend of technique and physique, he's going to be the man the Dutch defence will be most eager to silence.
These sides last met in a friendly in Paris in March 2014, when the hosts romped to a 2-0 win over Louis van Gaal's travelling Oranje. Les Bleus were held to a goalless draw on their last visit to the Netherlands back in 2004, and not since 1995 have they managed to win away in the Netherlands.
Match date/time: Friday, 3:45 p.m. ET, 8:45 p.m. local
Venue: Amsterdam ArenA, Amsterdam, Netherlands
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