Monday, September 24, 2018

Prediction: France vs Holland

Tom Dunstan in Free Soccer Predictions 9 Sep 2018

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Verdict: France win and under 2.5 goals

Best Odds: 11/4

Bookmaker: Bet365

Making their first home appearance since being crowned World Champions this past summer, France will welcome Holland to the Stade de France for their inaugural UEFA Nations League home match.

France

Starting with Didier Deschamps World Champions, while France could only play out a 0-0 draw with Germany on Thursday, the mood around Les Bleus camp could not be higher. Picking up their first piece of silverware on 20 years, Deschamps’ the hosts have now not lost a competitive matchup since June 2017. Now winning nine of their last 12 matches in all competitions, aside from a 3-2 loss to Columbia in an international friendly earlier in the year, they have now lost a match on home soil in the past 18 months. Although he couldn’t find the net in midweek, 19-year-old Kylian Mbappe is one man to watch for France. Awarded FIFA’s Young Player of the Tournament over the summer, the PSG man also has five in all competitions. The Blues will also be bosted by their recent record against the Dutch, in fact, France have won their last four meetings on the bounce and also thumped The Orange’s 4-0 back in November.

Team News

Aside from Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, France are expected to name the same side the drew 0-0 with Germany on Thursday.

PSG’s Alphonse Areola deputized against Germany, turning a superb performance which should guarantee him another start on Sunday. Steve Mandanda is the only other absentee from the Les Blues squad that triumphed in Russia in July.

Holland

As for the visitors, after missing out on the past two major tournaments, Holland are a side desperately looking to rebuild. Turning to former captain Ronald Koeman to guide them back to their previous lab as a superpower, although they may have fallen 1-0 behind against Peru on Thursday, they did come from behind to extend their unbeaten run to four games on the bounce. However, after keeping just one clean sheet in their last five there are still some defensive issues that need resolving for The Oranges. If Holland are to pull of an historic upset on Sunday, they will be hoping that former Manchester United man Memphis Depay can carry on from his display in midweek. The 24-year-old Lyon winger bagged both of The Oranges goals against Peru.

Team News

Frenkie de Jong made his international debut in the 2-1 win over Peru in a match where 34-year-old Wesley Sneijder made his last appearance for the Netherlands. Former Manchester United forward Memphis Depay scored both his side’s goals in that win but there has been no room in the squad for his former teammate Timothy Fosu-Mensah.

Liverpool pair Virgil van Dijk and Georginio Wijnaldum both started at Amsterdam with Daryl Janmaat and Nathan Ake the other Premier League representatives.

Key Factors to Consider

  • France and Netherlands have faced each other 26 times in the past with Les Blues holding a slightly better record; winning 13 of those meetings.
  • The Blues have won the last four meetings between the two nations, including a 4-0 win back in November 2017.
  • France haven’t lost a competitive game (in normal time) on French soil since March 2013.
  • Holland have only kept one clean sheet in their last five matches in all competitions.
  • The Netherlands have not won in France for 65 years.

Conclusion

While Holland have shown some much-needed signs of improvements under the former Everton boss, a trip to the Stade de France may have come to early in their rebuilding process. Given their recent record up against the newly crowned World Champions, coupled with France’s very impressive record on home soil, we’re backing Didier Deschamps’ side to come away with the win in Sunday’s National League matchup.

Verdict: France win and under 2.5 goals

Best Odds: 11/4

Bookmaker: Bet365

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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