Netherlands vs Republic of Ireland recommended bets
Netherlands vs Republic of Ireland match preview
Netherlands have missed out on major tournaments in recent memory, namely Euro 2016 and World Cup 2018, but victory here will ensure the Dutch are heading over the boarder to Germany next summer.
Last time out, Ronald Koeman’s team faced a crucial trip to Athens, needing a victory to climb above Greece into second place.
Just as the clash at Agia Sophia Stadium looked set to finish scoreless, Oranje were awarded a penalty deep into stoppage time, with Virgil van Dijk confidently dispatching from 12 yards.
This leaves Holland above Greece on head-to-head record, having played one game fewer, so a victory in Amsterdam will secure qualification, ahead of Tuesday’s match against Gibraltar at Estádio Algarve.
Well, given how Republic of Ireland have been playing for many years now, a Dutch victory seems like a formality.
The Boys in Greens’ hopes of reaching a first major tournament since 2016 are now officially over, with Ireland having lost five of their seven qualifiers to far.
In fact, the only points Stephen Kenny’s team have on the board have all come in wins over Gibraltar, most-recently hammering the minnows 4-0 in October.
Regardless of what happens here, they’ll finish below third in a qualification group for the first time since Mexico ‘86 qualifying, while they haven’t lost ≥75% of matches in a campaign since 1972.
Overall, Ireland have now won just nine of their last 42 competitive fixtures, only beating Azerbaijan, Luxembourg, Scotland, Armenia, Gibraltar (four times) and Georgia since October 2017.
Given that he is out of contract, Tuesday’s friendly against New Zealand in Dublin is likely to be Kenny’s 40th and final game in charge; who replaces him is a much tougher question to answer.
Ireland have, surprisingly, quite a good record against the Netherlands, winning seven of 21 meetings, four of which have come on Dutch soil, albeit they’ve all been friendly internationals.
Holland came from a goal down to win 2-1 in Dublin in September, although a far more emphatic victory is expected this time at the Johan Cruijff Arena.
Netherlands team news
The home side are missing plenty of defenders due to injury, including Matthijs de Ligt, Micky van de Ven, Jurriën Timber, Sven Botman, Nathan Aké, Tyrell Malacia and Jeremie Frimpong.
Two of the more experienced members of the squad Frenkie de Jong and Memphis are also out, while Georginio Wijnaldum doesn’t get picked anymore, having moved to Saudi Arabia over the summer.
Ronald Koeman has already confirmed that Brighton’s Bart Verbruggen will start in goal, having won his first and then second caps last month.
Virgil van Dijk will captain the side, while Wout Weghorst and Cody Gakpo, who scored in the 2-1 victory in Dublin, will lead the line.
France’s 2-1 win in Amsterdam saw Netherlands line-up without a single Ajax player (past or present) in their XI for the first time since 1981, something only Daley Blind or uncapped Jorrel Hato can rectify here.
Predicted XI (3-4-3): Verbruggen; Geertruida, van Dijk, de Vrij; Dumfries, Reijnders, Wieffer, Hartman; Xavi Simons, Gakpo, Weghorst.
Republic of Ireland team news
Ireland are without captain Séamus Coleman, John Egan, Enda Stevens, Will Smallbone, Jeff Hendrick, Robbie Brady, Michael Obafemi and Aaron Connolly.
James McClean, who now has 102 caps to his name, a tally only four Irishman can better, will retire from international football after Tuesday’s friendly against New Zealand.
Here, Gavin Bazunu will get the nod in goal, chosen over Caoimhín Kelleher.
Liam Scales’ impressive performances for Celtic could see him keep his place at centre-back, possibly alongside Nathan Collins, chosen over Shane Duffy and Dara O’Shea.
In attack, Chiedozie Ogbene has been bright during a generally bleak campaign, while Evan Ferguson will be aiming to add to his three international goals, netting against Latvia and Gibraltar twice so far.
Predicted XI (4-5-1): Bazunu; Doherty, Collins, Scales, Manning; Cullen, Knight, Browne, Ogbene, Johnston; Ferguson.