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Prediction: Netherlands vs Belgium

Verdict: Both teams to score

Best Odds: 4/6

Bookmaker: William Hill

Old rivals Netherlands and Belgium are set to square off in an international friendly at Amsterdam ArenA, and it will be up to Oranje to try and prove they’ve got what it takes to match their neighbours. The Red Devils have upstaged Danny Blind’s side over the last few years and they have won last two meetings with Netherlands.

Netherlands

Even though there is still plenty of fresh talent coming through the ranks, namely Ajax and Feyenoord youth academies, Netherlands can no longer be regarded as one of Europe’s top sides as we have yet to see worthy successors to the likes of Van Persie, Sneijder and Robben, who are slowly stepping off the international stage. Oranje’s Euro 2016 qualifying campaign has been a major disappointment as they finished the competition in fourth position, with mere 13 points, but Danny Blind was, nonetheless, given the opportunity to make amends. Netherlands have since showed some improvement, defeating England, Poland and Austria on the road, while losing to France and Greece in international friendlies, before taking four points from their first three 2018 World Cup qualifiers. Given the difficult fixture list, that was not such a bad result, and the Belgium game will be a perfect opportunity for the team to show how far they have come since the Euro 2016 failure. There have again been numerous withdrawals, but star winger Arjen Robben is back after a year-long absence and his return should serve as a major boost for the hosts.

Team News

Netherlands boss Danny Blind will have to make do without Quincy Promes, Terence Kongolo, Davy Propper and Rick Karsdorp through injury.

The likes of Bruno Martins Indi, Steven Berghuis and Joshua Brenet were called as replacements, while Marvin Zeegelaar and Bart Ramselaar could be handed their debuts.

Belgium

Belgium have done a lot better than their more illustrious neighbours over the last few years, but the team have yet to realise its full potential and it is now up to former Everton boss Roberto Martinez to try and make that happen. Even if the Red Devils were completely outclassed by Spain in his first game in charge, the team have shown a remarkable improvement since, hammering Cyprus, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Gibraltar in their first three competitive fixtures, scoring 13 goals and keeping three clean sheets in the process. Nevertheless, Belgium still need to prove they can also match some of the best sides in Europe, and even though Netherlands have seen their stock fall of late, a good result against the neighbours would be considered a major boost. Roberto Martinez caused a great deal of controversy by opting to leave AS Roma star Radja Nainggolan out of the side and the midfielder has made it clear he was disappointed not to be selected. The good news is that both Kevin De Bruyne and Vincent Kompany are back in the squad, but the manager will have to make sure they are fit for the World Cup qualifier against Estonia, scheduled for 13th November.

Team News

Jordan Lukaku, Nacer Chadli, Thomas Vermaelen and Toby Alderweireld are out injured, whereas Youri Tielemans is finally expected to be handed his debut.

Moussa Dembele and Marouane Fellaini are both rated doubtful, whereas Vincent Kompany is likely to be preserved for the Estonia game.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Netherlands are winless in last six meetings with Belgium (D4 L2)
  • Belgium won their last two meetings
  • Their last five meetings produced 23 goals
  • Oranje lost six of their last seven home games
  • Belgium won all three WC qualifiers without conceding

Conclusion

Matches between Netherlands and Belgium tend to produce plenty of goals, especially when they square off in international friendlies and we expect this game to be no different. The Red Devils are rightly considered favourites here, but backing both teams to score is a safer bet.

Verdict: Both teams to score

Best Odds: 4/6

Bookmaker: William Hill

Tue 8 Nov, 2016
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