Preview and Prediction | Netherlands vs Belgium

In their final competitive match before the 2022 World Cup, Netherlands and Belgium go up against one another, with top spot in their Nations League group at stake.

Heading into the game, the Dutch hold a lead of three points over their neighbours having beaten them 4-1 in the first match between the two back in June.

Due to goal difference, Roberto Martinez’s side will need to win by at least three goals in Amsterdam to overtake Oranje and go through to the semi-finals of the Nations League themselves.

Their task will be made more difficult by the fact that Martinez is suspended after being sent off for time-wasting towards the end of the last match with Wales. Thierry Henry will take charge in his place.

While the Red Devils won the match, it wasn’t a particularly encouraging evening for the side with them only prevailing 2-1 despite playing their strongest XI.

On the bright side, they managed to avoid getting any injuries and should be able to field their best team in their final Nations League match. The same can’t be said for the Netherlands.

It was a positive night in Warsaw in many ways for Louis van Gaal and co, with them beating Poland 2-0 with a very impressive performance. However, it was hugely tainted by the fact that key players Memphis Depay and Frenkie de Jong as well as Teun Koopmeiners all got injured.

All three will be unavailable for the lowlands derby, with youngsters Brian Brobbey and Ryan Gravenberch being called up to replace the trio.

Predicted lineups

With it being their final chance to fine-tune their teams before the World Cup, both managers will most likely play the closest thing they can to their first-choice XI.

Given that, Martinez probably won’t make too many changes, although Timothy Castagne could come in for Yannick Carrasco in an attempt to deal with the attacking threat of Denzel Dumfries.

The home side meanwhile will be forced to make three changes with Marten de Roon most likely to play in place of De Jong, Steven Berghuis in place of Koopmeiners and Vincent Janssen in place of Depay. Van Gaal may also want to try Jasper Cillessen and Davy Klaassen, with the goalkeeper and number 10 positions being two he has yet to decide on.

Netherlands: Cillessen; Timber, Van Dijk, Ake; Dumfries, Berghuis, De Roon, Blind; Klaassen; Bergwijn, Janssen.

Belgium: Courtois; Debast, Alderweireld, Vertonghen; Meunier, Witsel, Tielemans, Castagne; De Bruyne, Batshuayi, Hazard.

Predicted result

Netherlands have been in stronger form and seem in better shape than Belgium at the moment, although the injuries they’ve suffered should make things more even.

Knowing they’ll finish top of the group as long as they avoid a big defeat, they’ll have less incentive to give their all than their opponents too.

Even so, looking at the recent performances of the two teams, it’s hard to see the Belgians winning this match.

Prediction: Netherlands 1-1 Belgium

Finley Crebolder

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