Best Odds: 5/2
Another international break is upon us and yet despite the apathy that tends to create from domestic football fans, there are some important steps to be taken on the Road to UEFA Euro 2021. Still, while there are playoff games to be settled, the UEFA Nations League is still taking place as teams across the continent attempt to build some momentum prior to the aforementioned showpiece next year. Today, we’ll be taking a look at what is bound to be an interesting clash between Italy and the Netherlands.
The Italians were clearly out to prove a point during qualifying and you can bet that trend is going to continue as we approach the Euros next year. From faltering in the group stages of big tournaments to not even qualifying for the World Cup, they’ll know that their reputation as one of Europe’s elite footballing nations is at stake. If they want to do well next summer then the best way to prepare themselves for a run deep into the knockouts is by getting the fans excited about what the future holds.
Castrovilli is injured and Belotti has been ruled out through suspension, but elsewhere, El Shaarawy is hoping to earn a recall to the starting XI. Chiellini also looks set to make an appearance with Acerbi playing in both games during the break already.
For the first time in seven years, the Netherlands will be competing at a major international tournament during the Euros next year. They’ve finally been able to assemble a squad that can put it all together on the pitch and justify the hype behind them, but right now, their biggest problem is scoring goals. They need to provide their forwards with the service they need to consistently thrive because if they don’t, they’ll be down and out before their tournament has even really begun.
Depay should return to the starting XI after his suspension with de Roon being out through suspension. One of van Dijk or de Vrij is also expected to be dropped.
Factors to Consider
- Italy won Group J with 30 points from 10 games whereas the Netherlands finished 2nd in Group C with 19 points from eight games.
- Italy have won four and drawn two of their last six games.
- Netherlands have won two, drawn two and lost two of their last six games.
- Italy have scored 20 goals and conceded two in their last six games.
- Netherlands have scored six goals and conceded two in their last six games.
Italy are going to be the clear and obvious favourites heading into this game but as we saw in their tie against Poland, they sometimes struggle against better opposition in comparison to when they absolutely batter the minnows. The Dutch are going to come to fight as we saw from them in the first edition of the Nations League and we’re expecting a really competitive game here, and in terms of an official prediction, we’ll go for 1-1 – but we could see far more goals than that.
Best Odds: 5/2
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