Portugal are already the European Champions and now bid to add the UEFA Nations League trophy to their list of successes. All eyes will be on Cristiano Ronaldo after his hat-trick in the semi-final against Switzerland. However, the Portuguese face a Dutch side that are looking to bring back the glory days after a few years n the doldrums.
England’s hopes of winning the UEFA Nations League ended on Thursday, so the final sees reigning European Champions (and hosts) Portugal taking on the Netherlands. It promises to be an attacking game and the odds on both teams scoring are 5/6 (1.83) at Ladbrokes.
Portugal start as the 8/11 (1.72) favourites to lift the UEFA Nations League trophy. That’s not surprising considering they have home advantage and Ronaldo in form. The Portuguese have only one loss in their last 16 internationals, that being the 2-1 loss to Uruguay that saw them knocked out of the World Cup last year.Since that defeat, Portugal haven’t lost a match since that World Cup loss with four wins and five draws. The odds on this final ending level after 90 minutes are 9/4 (3.25) if placing your bet with William Hill.
Portugal were drawn against Italy and Poland in their Nations League group. A home win over the Italians and a 3-2 victory in Poland put them in the driving seat and qualification was confirmed with two draws in the return fixtures. All of which was achieved without the services of Cristiano Ronaldo who had been left out of their squad due to his off-the-feld problems.
They had drawn four games in a row (including their first two matches in their Euro 2020 qualifying group) before taking on Switzerland. They took an early lead but a Swiss equalizer looked as if the game was going to head into extra time. Then Ronaldo dished out some of his magic with two late goals to secure a 3-1 win. The odds on Portugal winning the final in 90 minutes are 6/4 (2.5) at Betfair. You can get 3/1 (4.0) on Ronaldo scoring the first goal in this match to help them on their way.
The four draws that Portugal had all had under 2.5 goals scored in them. It’s 8/11 (1.72) at Betfred that stat comes up in this game. The odds on over 2.5 goals being scored are 23/20 (2.15) which looks a decent bet.
It’s not been an easy few years for the Netherlands as they failed to reach the finals of both the 2016 European Championships and the 2018 World Cup. The appointment of Ronald Koeman as coach has turned things around for them, a lot more than it did for Everton and Southampton. His team are now 11/10 (2.1) at BoyleSports to lift the UEFA Nations League trophy.
The Netherlands faced a tough Nations League group as they were drawn against France and Germany. It didn’t look good for them as they opened their campaign with a 2-1 loss in France. They recovered well though with home wins over their rivals but still looked in danger of elimination as they trailed Germany 2-0 in their final fixture. Goals in the 85th and 90th minutes rescued them taking them into the semi-final against England.
They had to come from behind to win that clash with England and it’s 14/1 (15.0) at Unibet that they do that on Sunday. The midfield will be a key area in this game and the Dutch will be looking for another good display as was the case on Thursday. It’ll be tougher though and it’s 2/1 (3.0) at BetVictor they win this match in 90 minutes.
The Netherlands are unbeaten in their last two games against Portugal. Both of those games were friendlies and in competitive fixtures, Portugal have won four and drawn one of the last five.
Portugal will be without Pepe after he sustained a fractured shoulder blade on Wednesday and is likely to be replaced by Jose Fonte.
On paper and most likely in reality, Portugal v Netherlands does look a more tasty dish than an England v Switzerland game. It’s a close game to call but the home advantage may be the key. The odds of a Portugal win with Cristiano Ronaldo scoring are 21/10 (3.1) at Paddy Power.