Former Germany midfielder Dietmar Hamann insists there is nothing to separate Germany and the Netherlands ahead of their crucial encounter in Kharkiv on Wednesday night.

A win will secure a place in the quarterfinals for Joachim Löw's side and leave the Netherlands on the verge of elimination from Group B, after they lost their opening game to Denmark.

But Hamann, who played for Germany in Euro 2000 and 2004, believes manager Löw could struggle to integrate all the talented young players at his disposal into an overcrowded midfield.

"Most of the players are flair players which we haven't had in the past 15 years," Hamann told Yahoo! Sport. "We've got Götze, Özil, Schweinsteiger and Kroos, four players that all like to go forward and create things.

"I think it will be very important for Schweinsteiger to be on top form because he can be the one who dictates the pace in the middle of the park.

"He's been out for quite some time and though he is back now in recent weeks I feel he has looked a bit flat, he'll be a major player if they want to be successful in the tournament."

The last time the two sides met, in November, Germany comfortably beat the Dutch 3-0 but both teams were missing several key players and Hamann remains adamant they are evenly matched ahead of tonight's clash.

"I think part of the reason Holland did well in the World Cup is they've been hard to beat and very stubborn, De Jong and Van Bommel are one of the best partnerships in centre midfield," said Hamann.

"Whoever plays; Schweinsteiger and Khedira maybe Kroos, will need to compete against De Jong and Van Bommel because this is where the pace is dictated and where the battle is won or lost. It will be a lot of pressure and responsibility on the midfield partnership to compete against De Jong and Van Bommel."

The rivalry between the two sides goes back to the 1974 World Cup final, which Germany won, and Hamann believes the Dutch have never truly recovered from that defeat.

"I don't think Holland have forgotten that," added Hamann. "The Dutch thought nobody had the right to beat them because they had Neeskens and Cruyff, the best players in the world and they thought they invented football at the time, that they were the best team to have played the game so far.

"When the German's found a way to beat them in the final in Munich and lifted the World Cup that's something that still hurts them. Apart from 1988 they didn't win a major tournament (though they have been very close a few times) which is part of the reason for the rivalry."

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