Thursday 21 March: 7.45pm KO
There’s been a familiar face missing at the last World Cup and European Championship finals. The Netherlands have been absent from both tournaments but they are on the up again under Ronald Koeman. They kick off their bid to reach the 2020 European Championship finals with a home game against Belarus.
The Netherlands have been an important part of world football for several decades but the last few years haven’t been flushed with success. They failed to qualify for both the 2016 European Championships and the 2018 World Cup. Managers have come and gone but they are starting to enjoy success under Ronald Koeman.
The former Southampton and Everton manager may not have set the English Premier League alight but he’s doing well in international football. Koeman has guided his Dutch side to the semi-finals of the UEFA Nations League, where they face England in the semi-finals. You can get odds of 10/3 (4.33) on them winning that tournament in June.
Victory in that tournament would see them qualify for Euro 2020 but they could still do that by finishing in the top two in this qualifying group. They need to finish in the top two and take on Germany, Northern Ireland, Belarus and Estonia. The odds on them winning the group are 13/8 (2.61) with BetVictor.
The Netherlands are unbeaten in their last four internationals with a win and a draw against Germany, a win over world champions France and a draw with Belgium. Seven of their last eight home internationals have been won, the other being a loss to England in the lead up to last year’s World Cup finals.
Belarus have never qualified for a major championship, usually finishing fourth in their group. They come into this game on a six–game unbeaten run. Not just that, but they have kept a clean sheet in each of those matches.
Is this a golden era in the history of the Belarus football team? Well, not quite because those unbeaten games were in League D of the UEFA Nations League. While the Dutch were beating Germany and France, Belarus were beating Luxembourg, Moldova and San Marino.
Up against tougher opposition, they struggle with a loss to Finland, though they did win a friendly in Slovenia last year. They are 50/1(51.0) at Ladbrokes to win this group and 22/1 (23.0) to win this match against the Netherlands.
The Netherlands have won six of their eight previous internationals against Belarus, losing the other two. They have won the last two scoring seven goals in World Cup qualifiers in 2016 and 2017. All four home games against Belarus have been won and by an aggregate score of 11-1. It’s 1/4 (1.25) that the Dutch side score at least twice in this match.
The Netherlands haven’t named any new caps for this match. There’s a recall for Feyenoord’s Kenneth Vermeer and Ruud Vormer of Club Brugge has also been named in their squad.
Both Teams To Score?
The Netherlands come into this game on the back of some impressive results. They aren’t the finished item though and six of their last eight matches have seen both teams score. It’s 6/4 (2.5) at SkyBet that both the Dutch and Belarus get on the score sheet in this game
Or Another Dutch Win to Nil Perhaps?
The Netherlands haven’t conceded in their last two home games. Not a bad feat considering they were playing Germany and France. You can get odds of 4/6 (1.66) on them beating Belarus without conceding a goal.
Late Late Show
Each of the final three UEFA Nations League games played by the Netherlands had a dramatic ending. The Dutch scored in second-half injury time in each of those games. The odds of the last goal scored in this match being between the 76th and the end of the game are 5/6 (1.83) at Betway.
The Netherlands can get their Euro 2020 campaign off to a good start. They have had impressive results of late and take on a Belarus side who struggle at this level. A bet on Netherlands to win and over 2.5 goals in the game is 4/7 (1.57) at Ladbrokes.