Thursday 6 June: 7.45pm KO
Live on Sky Sports
Not since 1966 have England won a major trophy but that long wait for success could come to an end in the next week. They head to Portugal for the UEFA Nations League finals and take on Netherlands in the semi-finals with the winners facing either Portugal or Switzerland in the final.
When the UEFA Nations League was announced, it wasn’t entirely met with enthusiasm. The new tournament replaced some of the boring international friendlies but there were still misgivings over whether we needed another competition. The fact that England may be its first winners has rather changed opinions. England are 2/1 (3.0) at Unibet to win the Nations League but they face a tough task getting past the Netherlands in the semi-finals. You can get odds of 7/5 (2.4) at William Hill on them winning this semi-final in 90 minutes.
Just getting through to the semi-finals was difficult enough for England. At the halfway stage of their group, they only had one point and were five behind Spain. Then came one of several surprising results in the 2018/19 season. After losing at home to Spain, fans were a bit fearful of playing them away from home, but England found themselves 3-0 up in the first half, eventually winning 3-2. A 2-1 home win over Croatia followed, taking England into these finals.
Gareth Southgate will be delighted that none of his players involved in the Champions League final at the weekend were injured. Harry Kane made his return from injury and although not looking that sharp, should hopefully improve for that time on the pitch. He’s 6/4 (2.5) at BetVictor to score in this match.
The Netherlands are finally back on the big stage after missing Euro 2016 and the 2018 World Cup. They are 3/1 (4.0) at Paddy Power to win this tournament. It’s been a tough few years for the Dutch national side and they probably weren’t too keen on having to face France (fresh from winning the World Cup) and Germany in their Nations League group.
Their campaign got off to a poor start with a 2-1 loss away to France. However, they bounced back with a 3-0 and 2-0 home wins over Germany and France. Their final game was away to Germany and with just five minutes remaining, they were 2-0 down. It was their turn for a great comeback with goals in the 85th and 90th minutes got them the point that won them the group.
Since qualifying for the finals, they have beaten Belarus 4-0 at home in a Euro 2020 qualifier but then lost 3-2 at home to Germany. In that latest clash with the Germans, they went 2-0 down again, got it back to 2-2 but then lost out to a 90th minute winner. The Netherlands are 2/1 (3.0) at SkyBet to beat England in this semi-final.
The Netherlands had been unbeaten in seven games against England before losing to them in March of last year. Four of the last seven matches played between these two countries have ended in a draw. The odds on this match ending level are 23/10 (3.3) at 888sport.
England have no injury worries coming into this game but will have to decide whether to start Harry Kane from the start.
Both Teams to Score
Four of the last five games played between these two countries has seen both teams score. If you think that will happen in this semi-final, then the odds of that happening are 8/11 (1.72) at BoyleSports.
England have grown in confidence as the season has progressed. It’s been important that England built on their World Cup semi-final appearance and that has been the case. Raheem Sterling’s goal drought for his national team is officially over. He can help fire Gareth Southgate’s team to victory in this game and it’s 7/2 (4.5) at Sportingbet for England to win this match and both teams score.