England take on the Netherlands in the second of this week’s Nations League semi-finals, which takes place in Portugal on Thursday 6 June at 6pm.
It’s been a while since either country were top of the footballing pile, but both now have squads full of promising young players that have started to bloom under their current managers.
Check out our stats, analysis, and free tips for Netherlands vs England.
England’s euphoric World Cup run was arguably not as good as it felt at the time, with wins against Tunisia, Panama, Sweden, and Colombia (on penalties) offset by two defeats by Belgium and that painful semi-final defeat by Croatia.
However, it gave England manager Gareth Southgate and his young lions a platform to build on, and they’ve continued to grow in both confidence and quality since.
Admittedly, the Nations League didn’t start well for England when they lost to Spain at Wembley and only drew in Croatia. But England found something in that amazing 3-2 win in Spain that allowed them to exact revenge on Croatia to top their Nations League Group.
Since then, England’s young players have risen to Southgate’s request for them to stamp their superiority on their European Championship Group, scoring five against both the Czech Republic and Montenegro.
The Oranje may not have made it to the finals of the 2018 World Cup, but that has given new Dutch manager Ronald Koeman time to blood the players he thinks will carry their country to future glories.
The Netherlands also started their Nations League qualifying campaign with a defeat in France but bounced back to beat Germany and France at home. They then claimed the draw in Germany they needed to top the group and qualify for the Nations League semi-finals.
They started their 2020 European Championship Qualifying with a 4-0 victory over Belarus, but then lost 3-2 at home to Germany. The defeat by Germany was a painful one as, after fighting back from 2-0 down to be drawing 2-2, they allowed Germany to score a 90th minute winner.
Netherlands vs England Head To Heads
England and the Netherlands have clashed three times in the last decade, all in friendlies, with the Netherlands winning 3-2 in 2012 and 2-1 in 2016, whilst England won 1-0 in 2018. That England win came with Southgate in charge, and he’s bidding to become the first England manager to record back-t0-back victories over the Dutch since the 1940’s.
Netherlands vs England Team News
Both teams have players that played in the Champions League Final on Saturday night and it will be interesting to see which of those players make the starting line-ups.
Southgate’s biggest headache looks sure to be Harry Kane, who looked sluggish after a few weeks out injured. He’s renowned for being a slow starter in the Premier League, often needing a few matches to get him fully sharp.
Of course, most of the other players haven’t been playing much either, but both Jadon Sancho and Raheem Sterling strike me as players that are naturally more athletic than Kane. Sterling’s new-found confidence in front of goal for club and country this season could be an important factor. Marcus Rashford also looks sure to feature at some point, whether he starts instead of Kane or replaces him later.
However, the gut-feeling is Southgate will start with Kane in the hope that he’ll be even sharper for the Nations League Final.
Koeman will also surely start with Van Dijk at the heat of his defence, as the Liverpool defender has had most of the Premier League forwards in his pocket this season.
England vs Netherlands – 6th June 2019
The doubts about the starting line-up makes the outright result of this game harder to predict and it’s a match that could easily go either way. However, both teams have put the emphasis firmly on attack in recent matches, with the Netherlands’ last two matches producing 9 goals and England’s last two games producing 11 goals. That’s why the value bet could be more than 2.5 goals at even-money (2.0) or better.