Portugal vs. Netherlands
|Date & Time||Sunday June 9, 2019, 2:45 PM (EDT)|
Estadio do Dragao
Portugal +137 Netherlands +200
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Portugal and the Netherlands will battle it out to become the first ever country to be crowned UEFA Nations League champions. They come up against each other in Porto on Sunday after both claiming 3-1 victories in the semi-finals.
Portugal beat Switzerland to reach the final and will go into this match as slight favorites. Cristiano Ronaldo bagged a sublime hat-trick to ensure his team will feature in the inaugural Nations League final in front of an expectant home crowd.
The Netherlands beat England in the other semi-final. In a dramatic match that had no shortage of drama, the Netherlands scored twice in extra-time, capitalizing on two defensive errors from England to claim their spot in the final.
The Netherlands have been enjoying a resurgence under Ronald Koeman. They have become a force to be reckoned with once again on the international scene and possess some of the world’s most exciting young talent.
Reigning European champions Portugal have also been in fantastic form which has seen them go unbeaten in their last 9 matches. They too have a star-studded squad which will make for a great match on Sunday.
There has been a total of 14 meetings between these two teams, all of which have come within the last 30 years. Portugal have won 7 times and the Netherlands have managed just two victories, with 5 games ending as draws.
However, their most recent meeting came in a friendly international last year where the Netherlands beat Portugal 3-0. All the goals came in the first half; Memphis Depay, Ryan Babel and Virgil van Dijk were all on target to claim a rare victory for the Netherlands over Portugal.
22-year-old Frenkie de Jong ran the show against England in the semi-final and will be key to the Netherlands’ chances against Portugal. The Barcelona-bound midfielder plays with extreme confidence and will need to be at his best once again in the final.
Portugal and Netherlands are relatively evenly matched so the difference between them on Sunday could come down to the individual brilliance of Cristiano Ronaldo. He is one of the most prolific goal scorers the game has ever seen and can single handedly turn a match on its head.
Ronaldo's hat-trick in the semi-final against Switzerland suggests that he is in red hot form. He opened his account with a trademark free kick before ruthlessly converting a low cross for his second. Ronaldo then produced a number of step overs before cutting inside and finishing expertly to secure his hat-trick.
Whilst soccer is a team sport, when Cristiano Ronaldo is concerned, his side normally comes out on top. With Portugal playing in front of a home crowd on Sunday, I predict them to beat the Netherlands and claim the first ever Nations League trophy.