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By ESPN Staff

Huntelaar backed for Euro chance

Schalke boss Huub Stevens has told Netherlands coach Bert van Marwijk he cannot afford to leave Klaas Jan Huntelaar on the sidelines at Euro 2012.

Huntelaar, 28, will head into the summer in career-best form having scored 29 Bundesliga goals, while he also netted ten times in the Europa League. The Schalke forward was also the leading goalscorer in Euro 2012 qualification with 12 goals.

Despite that, Huntelaar faces playing second fiddle for Netherlands with Arsenal's Robin van Persie, who has scooped the major awards in England this season after scoring 30 Premier League goals, the first choice.

With both players in rare goalscoring touch, Stevens believes his fellow Dutchman Van Marwijk must employ both and do away with his preferred 4-5-1 formation from the qualifiers.

"One has scored many goals in England and the other in Germany - these are two countries where the football played is not bad,'' he told Schalke's official website.

"Klaas Jan is one of the best strikers in the world inside the penalty area. If I was the Dutch national team coach and I have a striker of Klaas Jan at my disposal I would not waste his skills. That goes for Van Persie too - I'd just play them together.''

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