Saturday, April 13, 2024

Prediction: Netherlands vs Scotland

Tom Dunstan in Free Soccer Predictions 19 Mar 2024

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Verdict: Netherlands win

Best Odds: 4/9

Bookmaker: Olympusbet

Two camps looking to pick up some real momentum ahead of EURO 24, the Netherlands will welcome Scotland to Amsterdam for a friendly showdown on Friday night.

Netherlands

Starting with the hosts, while the Netherlands might have initially struggled to find their feet when Ronald Koeman was reappointed last year, the European giants signed off 2023 in the midst of a real purple patch. Eventually cruising their way to a major tournament return, the former Barcelona boss will be dreaming of the chance to mount a genuine EURO 24 charge this summer. Drawing a line under their qualifying adventure with a routine 6-0 romp away at Gibraltar, Holland also collected six victories from their final seven Group B appearances. Although the Netherlands might have come under plenty of scrutiny following their Nations League exit last summer, they do appear to have found some much-welcomed defensive steel. Including a 1-0 win against Ireland on November 18th, Koeman’s side have recorded three consecutive clean sheets for the first time since the end of 2022.

Team News

Playing a crucial role as Atletico Madrid punched a Champions League quarter-final ticket last week, Memphis Depay has been recalled to Koeman’s squad. Continuing to shine since arriving at German outfit RB Leipzig last summer and attracting plenty of heavyweight interest, 20-year-old Xavi Simons should once again start in Holland’s attack here.

Despite now playing his domestic football in Saudi Arabia with Al-Ettifaq, Georginio Wijnaldum has been handed a recall for this month’s fixtures. At the heart of a Premier League title scrap with Liverpool, Virgil van Dijk will earn a 65th international cap on Friday night.

Scotland

As for the visitors, while Scotland might have once again made real history last year as they as they booked their ticket for EURO 24, the Tartan Army do have the feel of a squad seeking a recent boost. Despite flying out of the traps when getting their qualifying adventure underway, Steve Clarke’s side largely dragged themselves over the finish line. Last seen back on November 19th playing out an action-packed 3-3 stalemate against Norway, the former Kilmarnock boss has seen his squad fail to win any of their previous five appearances across all competitions. Hit with a 3-1 drumming when they meet British rivals England back on September 12th, Clarke will have a real headache over his side’s extended issues at the back. Shipping 14 goals on their five-match winless run, Scotland will be more than aware that they have a real battle on their hands this weekend.

Team News

In what is a huge boost for Scotland, influential skipper Andy Robertson has been recalled to Scotland’s squad and the Liverpool defender will lead Clarke’s side out in Amsterdam. Likewise, despite now being 41 years of age, veteran goalkeeper Craig Gordon has also been included in the Tartan Army’s squad.

However, dealing with a recent injury issue, Callum McGregor will not feature this month. Short on attacking options, Southampton striker Che Adams could be handed the chance to lead Scotland’s charge after notching 10 Championship strikes this season.

Key Factors to Consider

    • When the Netherlands and Scotland last met for a friendly showdown back in June 2021, Friday’s opponents played out a 2-2 stalemate.
    • Holland signed off 2023 by winning all of their final three appearances by an aggregate score of 8-0.
    • Likewise, the Netherlands won five of their final six EURO 24 qualifying appearances last year.
    • Scotland have failed to win any of their previous five appearances across all competitions.
    • The Tartan Army have also shipped 14 goals on their five-match winless run.

    Conclusion

    Signing off 2023 in the midst of a real purple patch and eventually cruising their way to this summer’s European Championships, Holland will simply be looking to keep up their recent momentum here. Last seen storming their way to a routine 6-0 romp away at Gibraltar, Koeman’s men also claimed 15 points from their final six EURO 24 qualifying appearances. With Scotland set to face a real challenge when they arrive in Amsterdam on Friday night, we are backing a home victory here.

    Verdict: Netherlands win

    Best Odds: 4/9

    Bookmaker: Olympusbet

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Tom Dunstan


    Formerly of The Independent, Tom has spent the past six years as one of our senior writers and betting experts. Alongside working with numerous publications from across the globe, Tom also graduated from the University of Falmouth in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Digital Media.
    Spending almost the past decade working in countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada, he has also spent time featuring in sports radio. Tom can be followed on Instagram - @iamtomdunstan

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