Friday, April 19, 2019

Prediction: Portugal vs Netherlands

Prediction: Cristiano Ronaldo to score first

Odds: 7/2

Bookmaker: 888Sport

The Netherlands round off their international commitments on Monday evening as they take on Portugal at the Stade de Genève in Switzerland in an international friendly.

Ronald Koeman’s men will be aiming to better their 1-0 defeat to England from Friday evening, whilst Portugal will be in a buoyant mood following their late victory over Mo Salah’s Egypt.

Portugal

Cristiano Ronaldo was the catalyst for Fernando Santos’ men’s victory over the Egyptians. The Real Madrid superstar netted twice in the closing minutes to overturn the deficit of Salah’s opening goal. The result means that the current reigning European champions have won three out of their last four international friendlies, the only game they did not claim victory was in a 1-1 draw with the USA back in November.

As a matter of fact, the Portuguese have only lost one of their last 14 international matches, that coming in the form of a penalty shoot-out defeat to Chile at the 2017 Confederations Cup in Russia. If the Dutch are to find a way past their opponents on Monday, they will have to find a route to goal past a tough Portugal defence. Santos’ troops have kept clean sheets in four out of their last six games, only conceding two goals in that time.

Team News

It is expected to be a somewhat different Portugal side to take on the Netherlands. Cristiano Ronaldo netted two against the Egyptians last time out so is expected to start again. Fabio Coentrao and Ruben Dias have both had to withdraw from the squad due to injury however.

Netherlands

Ronald Koeman’s Netherlands team come into this clash on the back of a tight 1-0 defeat to Gareth Southgate’s England in Amsterdam. Having been appointed as the country’s manager in February, it was not the best start for the former Everton boss, however there are reasons to be optimistic. The Oranje had won their five previous games and only conceded two goals in that time.

It has nevertheless been a tumultuous period for the Dutch since their World Cup final defeat to Spain in 2010. The team failed to qualify for Euro 2016 in France and a horrific recent qualifying campaign for the 2018 World Cup in Russia has again seen them miss out, resulting in the dismissal of then-manager Danny Blind. If they lose to Portugal on Monday evening, it would be only the second time that the Dutch have lost two consecutive international friendlies within the last 20 years.

Team News

In a similar theme to Portugal, the Netherlands maybe tempted to rotate their team for this particular clash. Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Justin Kluivert and Guus Til are all included in the squad so could be afforded valuable international minutes on Monday evening.

Key Facts To Consider

  • Portugal boast the far better recent record of the two teams (W7, D4, L1)
  • The last match between the two ended 1-1 in 2013
  • There has only been 22 goals scored in the last 12 matches between the two teams
  • Cristiano Ronaldo has scored three goals in his last two games against the Netherlands
  • Portugal have only lost one out of their last seven international friendlies

Conclusion

Whilst it should be an intriguing clash as these two come together, Portugal should just have the edge. Their greater depth and quality should be too much for the young and relatively inexperienced Dutch side to handle. With the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo leading the line, Santos’ men should have the advantage.

It is unlikely to be a high-scoring affair on Monday but the Real Madrid forward is an excellent bet to find the net.

Prediction: Cristiano Ronaldo to score first

Odds: 7/2

Bookmaker: 888Sport

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Daniel Orme


Daniel is currently a second-year football journalism student at the University of Derby. He has been freelance writing for approximately four years now and brings considerable experience. A season ticket holder at local club Leicester City, he witnessed the Foxes miraculously lifting the Premier League trophy in the 2015/16 campaign.

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