Thursday, December 5, 2019

Prediction: Northern Ireland vs Holland

Verdict: Memphis Depay to score anytime

Best Odds: 6/5

Bookmaker: Bet365

Seeing their EURO 2020 qualifying dreams take a major hit last month, Northern Ireland will once again face off against Holland when they welcome the Orangers to Windsor Park on Saturday night.

Northen Ireland

Starting with the hosts, while Northern Ireland may have picked up a 3-2 win away in the Czech Republic in a firednly contest last month, there is no doubt that they will still be feeling the effects of their heartbreaking defeat out in Holland in their last Group C appearance. Also now looking for someone to replace Head Coach Micheal O’Neil who took over the vacant role at Stoke last week, the Greens find themselves sat three points adrift of both the Dutch and Germany with just two qualifying matches remaining. Knowing that nothing short of a minor miracle can help them end their major tournament exile and having to enter Saturday’s contest without a boss in the dugout, fans around Windsor Park will be calling on leading marksman Josh Magennis to spearhead their charge this weekend. Finding the net against Holland out in Rotterdam last month, the 29-year-old has also found the net in back-to-back matches with Championship outfit Hull.

Team News

Saturday’s hosts have no injury concerns or suspensions to worry about this weekend.

Holland

As for the visitors, while Holland might not have been at their best against Northen Ireland in Rotterdam last month, Ronald Koeman’s men have moved into pole position to end their own major tournament exile. Holding a three-point buffer over Saturday’s hosts with just two Group C matches remaining, the Oranges have won each of their previous four qualifying appearances. Continuing to build off of their silver medal finish in the inaugural UEFA Nations League, one man who has continued to spearhead their EURO 2020 qualifying dreams is Lyon striker Memphis Depay. Bagging a brace against Northern Ireland last month and also continuing to shine in Ligue 1 this season, the one-time Manchester United winger has now recorded eight goals in his last seven matches for club and country, including six qualifying strikes this year. Although the former European giants might be continuing to shine in the final third, Koeman will have some minor concerns over his side’s issues at the back. Holland have recorded just a pair of clean sheets in their last 10 matches across all formats.

Team News

Despite suffering with a thigh injury earlier in the month, Memphis Depay has been included in Holland’s squad and Head Coach Ronald Koeman is confident the Lyon ace will overcome a late fitness test.

Key Factors to Consider

  • When the two nations faced off last month, Holland came away with a dramatic 3-1 win thanks to a pair of injury-time strikes.
  • Northern Ireland have suffered back-to-back Group C defeats.
  • Bagging a brace against Northern Ireland last month, Memphis Depay has eight goals in his last seven matches for club and country.
  • Ireland striker Josh Magennis has three goals in his last three matches for club and country.
  • Holland have scored 10 goals in their last three matches on foreign soil.

Conclusion

Although Northern Ireland’s form at the start of qualifying may have caught the eye, they have since come crashing back down to earth and are now without long-standing boss Micheal O’Neil. Picking up a 3-1 win last month, one man who should be relishing Saturday’s trip to Belfast is leading marksman Memphis Depay. Bagging a brace against Ireland last month and continuing to shine for Lyon heading into November, we’re backing the winger to extend his run this weekend.

Verdict: Memphis Depay to score anytime

Best Odds: 6/5

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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