Saturday, April 20, 2019

Prediction: Holland vs France

Tom Dunstan in Free Soccer Predictions 15 Nov 2018

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Verdict: Both teams to score and over 2.5 goals

Best Odds: 21/20

Bookmaker: Bet365

World champions France are looking to seal the deal with in their Nations League group, and will qualify for next summer’s semi-final stage with a point in Rotterdam.

Holland

Starting with the hosts, after Holland failed to qualify for back to back major tournaments, new boss Ronald Koeman has done an impressive job with his Netherlands rebuilding process. Although they may have suffered late heartbreak in Belgium last time out, Holland did leave with a point, even if the former Everton boss will feel that they deserved more. Also picking up a very eye-catching 3-0 win over bitter-rivals Germany last month, they have now lost just one of their last eight matches across all competitions. While the Oranges have now managed to record just one clean sheet in their last six, they have begun to impress in the final third. With Arjen Robben recently announcing his retirement, one man to watch for the hosts will be former Manchester United winger Memphis Depay. Scoring in their famous 3-0 win over Joachim Low’s side last month, the Lyon man has now grabbed six in his last eight for club and country. The 24-year-old also scored a brace in his final outing before the international break.

Team News

The Netherlands have made some alterations to their squad too, with Marco Bizot and Javairo Dilrosun both looking to win their first caps. Regular squad players Eljero Elia, Jeffrey Bruma and Daryl Janmaat whilst Roma starlet Justin Kluivert has also not been selected.

France

Following on from lifting the World Cup for the first time in 20 years, it appears that the mood in the France camp could not be any higher. Sat top of the group and yet to be beaten in any competitive fixture since June 2017, they only need a point on Friday to secure their spot in the semi-final of this years UEFA Nations League. However, much like Koeman, France boss Didier Deschamps will also be mildly concerned with Les Bleus’ defensive record of late. While they have always found a way to avoid defeat, they have now failed to record a clean sheet in their last three, including conceding two against a struggling Iceland side last month. Unsurprisingly, one man to watch for the visitors will be 19-year-old sensation Kylian Mbappe. Winning the Young Player of the Tournament award out in Russia, the PSG forward has nine goals in his 10 appearances this season. Given Holland’s struggles to come away with a clean sheet, Mbappe will be confident of extending his goalscoring tally.

Team News

The France squad will be missing some big names for this difficult trip to Rotterdam. Les Bleus will be without key midfielder Paul Pogba and his Manchester United team-mate Anthony Martial. Alexandre Lacazette was called up as a Martial replacement but has also been confirmed as unavailable along with Manchester City full-back Benjamin Mendy.

Key Factors to Consider

  • France have won the last five meetings with Holland across all competitions.
  • Four of the last six matches between the two nations have seen over 2.5 goals.
  • Kylian Mbappe has scored six times in his last ten international outings.
  • Both teams have scored in five of the Netherlands’ last six games in all competitions.
  • The Netherlands have drawn three of their six matches since the end of last season.

Conclusion

On paper, it should be a match that produces plenty of chances at both ends. Given both sides recent dazzling form in the final third, coupled with their inability to record a clean sheet of late, we’re backing both teams to find the net at the Stadion Feijenoord and we’re also backing over 2.5 goals at full-time.

Verdict: Both teams to score and over 2.5 goals

Best Odds: 21/20

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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