On Thursday, the Netherlands and England will square off in the second semifinal of the UEFA Nations League. England are slight favorites to advance to the final on Sunday...
- Date & Time
- June 6th, 2019 2:45pm
- Estadio D. Afonso Henriques, Guimaraes, Portugal
- Media Coverage
- ESPN2, Univision
On Thursday, the Netherlands and England will square off in the second semifinal of the UEFA Nations League. England are slight favorites to advance to the final on Sunday, as the perceived strength of English football has received a boost over the last 12 months. The Three Lions made it to the World Cup Semifinals for the first time since 1990, and Premier League teams won both the Europa League and Champions League crowns. Meanwhile, Netherlands failed to even for the World Cup last year, but there’s reason to believe the Dutch can pull off the upset.
England vs. Netherlands
UEFA Nations League Odds:
Not many people outside of the Netherlands thought the Dutch could make it out of their group and into the UEFA Nations League Semifinals. The Orange were placed in a group with World Cup champions France and 2014 World Cup champions Germany, and the Netherlands were roundly selected to finish in last place in the group. However, they pulled off upsets at home against the French and the Germans, beating Germany 3-0 and France 2-0. They still needed a result in their last game against Germany in order to advance though, and that looked dubious after Germany took a 2-0 lead into the late stages of the final game. Quincy Promes and Virgil van Dijk came through with goals in the last five minutes of regulation to salvage a draw though.
England would have rather made it to the World Cup Final, but at least they were able to get a modicum of revenge on Croatia for sending them out of the World Cup last year. The Three Lions were placed in a group with Spain and Croatia, and things didn’t look great after a loss and a draw in their first two matches. However, England rallied to beat Spain on the road, setting up a match for the group with Croatia. Croatia led 1-0 in Wembley midway through the second half, but Jesse Lingard and Harry Kane come through in the clutch to give England the group and Croatia were relegated to League B.
Netherlands Player to Watch
Frenkie de Jong had a fantastic season with Ajax. The young midfielder didn’t stuff the stat sheet, but if you watched Ajax’s run through the Champions League, his presence was effervescent. He was constantly helping build up the attack, and that’s why Barcelona spent a lot of money to bring him to Camp Nou. He will paired with a few of his Ajax teammates, so that creativity should shine through on Thursday.
England Player to Watch
With Harry Kane and Dele Alli not 100 percent due to hurrying back from injuries in order to play in the Champions League final, the onus will be on others to score. Enter Raheem Sterling. Sterling has had nearly a month of rest after helping take Manchester City to their second straight Premier League title, and he had a banner season. He was one of the Premier League’s top scorers, and I think he’ll be the best offensive option here.
England vs Netherlands Betting Prediction
The Dutch have a very good chance of pulling off the upset here. Seven English players took part in the Champions League final, so the Three Lions won’t have the fresh legs of the Dutch. I think the Netherlands will be able to find some holes in the English defense and exploit those for a couple goals. I’ll call for a 2-1 victory for the Netherlands with the goals coming on either side of the half time whistle.