Netherlands at Portugal
|Date & Time||Sunday June 9, 2019, 2:45 PM (EDT)|
Estadio do Dragao
Portugal +137, Netherlands +200, Over 2.5 (+100) Under 2.5 (-125)
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Portugal is hosting Netherlands in a final match of UEFA Nations league.
Portugal is a really good and compact team with great players like Ronaldo, Silva, Moutinho, Felix, and Jota. In their last game against Switzerland, Portugal had 45% of ball possession, 3 shots on goal, 5 corner kicks and 86% of correct passes but their chemistry and compactness came to the light and with another hat-trick from Ronaldo, Portugal has won this match 3-1 and advanced into the finals. By having great and fast wingers in Bernardo Silva and Joao Felix in the team, Portugal is using them to the maximum and most of their plays are going through those players who are then crossing the ball into the box to Ronaldo. In the match against Switzerland, the pillar of Portuguese defense Pepe got injured and substituted in the 63rd minute and is still unknown if he will play in this match. Portugal is a really good team who hasn’t lost a match since September of last year and coach Santos always gets the best of his players, but the team that relies that much on Ronaldo who is scoring most of their goals is in a lot of trouble if Ronaldo is having a bad day and there is none else to ease that pressure off of him.
After years of struggle and missing out on a World Cup in Russia last year, Netherlands is finally playing good, fast and enjoyable soccer and more importantly is winning and scoring a lot of goals. With some of the best young players in the world in Bergwijn, de Jong, van de Beek, and de Ligt, Holland’s future are safe. In their last game against England, Netherlands was great with 53% of ball possession, 14 shots on goal, 7 corner kicks, 5 big chances and 86% of correct passes. After being down 0-1 in the first half, Netherlands has shown a lot of character and chemistry and managed to turn things around and to win 3-1 in overtime. Led by the best defender in the world, Virgil van Dijk, Netherlands looks unstoppable and is playing good soccer in both ends of the field. Coach Koeman still hasn’t announced his starting lineup but there might be a few changes in the offensive part of the field and a possible formation change to give Netherlands some advantage against Portugal’s defensive midfielders and defenders. Netherlands is ranked as 16th in FIFA standings, but just like Switzerland doesn’t deserve to be as high as they are, Netherlands deserves to be higher and its only a matter of time before they reach the top 10 again. In Euro Cup qualifications, Netherlands is in Group C with Germany, Northern Ireland, Estonia and Belarus and will compete with Germany for the top spot. After changing 4 coaches in last 5 years, Netherlands has finally found the right coach in Ronald Koeman who first did a soft rebuild of the team and got them back to their roots of playing soccer with a lot of possession which is working great for this team.
I will not look at the trends here because this is a final match and both teams are playing in good form. Portugal is playing at home, in front of their fans and while this gives them a certain advantage, I don’t think that Portugal has enough firepower or that their defense can handle Netherland’s high pressure and high possession game. With that being said, I’m going to pick Netherland’s to lift the trophy.