England are in action on Thursday, in the second semi-final of the inaugural UEFA Nations League. George Pitts looks at the betting...
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Netherlands v England
Two nations with promising young players meet in Portugal on Thursday, with a place in the final of the first ever UEFA Nations League campaign on offer.
It is a great chance for them to get silverware and kick on ahead of next summer's Euro 2020 tournament.
Everything is positive around England at the minute, with the feel-good factor continuing from last summer's World Cup run, where they finished fourth in Russia.
Gareth Southgate has continued the impressive work, since giving opportunities to more talented youngsters. They are now on a seven-match undefeated run, beating the likes of Croatia and Spain to qualify for the last four of the Nations League, while hitting five without reply against the Czech Republic in Euro 2020 qualifying.
With Champions League winners Jordan Henderson, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joe Gomez in their ranks, and the emergence of the likes of Jadon Sancho, Callum Hudson-Odoi (missing here through injury) and Declan Rice, plus Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane having impressive seasons again, the future is bright.
Meanwhile, after missing out on the World Cup last year, Holland are in a rebuilding phase under Ronald Koeman. They have lost just two of their last eight and beat Germany as well as world champions France en route to the Nations League semi-finals.
They also have a lot to be optimistic about, with Ajax's European exploits showing the young Dutch talent coming through.
Frenkie De Jong, 22, is heading to Barcelona this summer for an initial £65m while defender Matthijs de Ligt is attracting interest from Europe's biggest clubs with Juventus reportedly tabling a £75m bid.
De Ligt, at just 19 years of age, is already Ajax's captain and a partnership with Van Dijk at the back could make the Netherlands extremely tough to beat in the coming years.
They cannot do it on their own though and that showed in their 3-2 Euro 2020 qualifying defeat to Germany in March.
When: 1945 BST kick-off on Thursay, June 6
Where: Estadio D. Afonso Henriques, Guimaraes, Portugal
How to watch: Sky Sports Main Event
If England are to win, you would think at least two goals are required and they are a tempting 11/8 to score two on the night, but the match does not reek of goals due to the scheduling of the tournament.
We saw how sluggish both Tottenham and Liverpool players looked in the Champions League final on Saturday after three weeks without competitive action. Both sides having players feature last week should help a little with sharpness, should they opt to start them.
This fixture coming so soon after the Champions League, though, means these nations have not been able to have a warm-up game in the run-up to what should be a big clash and it is a tough ask to chuck them into the semi-finals nearly a month after the conclusion of the campaign. Backing England to edge it with under 3.5 total goals at a shade over 2/1 is a preference with the expected rustiness in mind.
They are both promising young sides, but the Three Lions are further down the line in their development and they are fancied to edge it.
Score prediction: Netherlands 1-2 England (Sky Bet odds: 9/1)
Goalkeepers: Marco Bizot (AZ Alkmaar), Jasper Cillessen (Barcelona), Kenneth Vermeer (Feyenoord)
Defenders: Nathan Aké (Bournemouth), Daley Blind (Ajax), Stefan de Vrij (Inter Milan), Denzel Dumfries (PSV), Matthijs de Ligt (Ajax), Hans Hateboer (Atalanta), Patrick van Aanholt (Crystal Palace), Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool)
Midfielders: Frenkie de Jong (Ajax), Marten de Roon (Atalanta), Davy Pröpper (Brighton and Hove Albion), Kevin Strootman (Marseille), Donny van de Beek (Ajax), Tonny Vilhena (Feyenoord), Georginio Wijnaldum (Liverpool)
Forwards: Ryan Babel (Fulham), Steven Bergwijn (PSV Eindhoven), Luuk de Jong (PSV Eindhoven), Memphis Depay (Lyon), Quincy Promes (Sevilla)
Goalkeepers: Jack Butland, Jordan Pickford, Tom Heaton
Defenders: Kyle Walker, Ben Chilwell, Michael Keane, Harry Maguire, Danny Rose, Trent Alexander-Arnold, John Stones, Joe Gomez, Fabian Delph
Midfielders: Eric Dier, Jordan Henderson, Ross Barkley, Dele Alli, Declan Rice, Jesse Lingard
Forwards: Harry Kane, Jadon Sancho, Raheem Sterling, Callum Wilson, Marcus Rashford
- England have won only two of their last 14 matches against Netherlands (D7 L5) and are looking to win consecutively against them for the first time since November 1946 under Walter Winterbottom.
- Netherlands have lost just one of their five competitive matches against England (W2 D2), although that defeat came in their last such match in EURO 1996 (1-4).
- Gareth Southgate is looking to become the first England manager to win more than once against Netherlands in all competitions.
- England are unbeaten in seven matches (W6 D1), winning the last five in a row. The Three Lions last won six consecutive games back in March 2015 under Roy Hodgson (7).
- Netherlands lost their last game versus Germany (2-3) – they haven’t suffered consecutive competitive defeats since September 2015 under manager Danny Blind.
- Netherlands have won just one of their previous nine matches played in Portugal (W1 D4 L4), beating Latvia at EURO 2004 (3-0) under Dick Advocaat.
- England have scored five goals in each of their last two matches, beating Czech Republic (5-0) and Montenegro (5-1); they last netted 5+ goals in three consecutive games between November 1960 and May 1961.
- Harry Kane has been directly involved in 34% of the 59 goals scored by England under Gareth Southgate (17 goals, 3 assists); a higher share than any of his teammates.
- After netting just two goals in his first 45 games for England, Raheem Sterling has since scored six goals in his last four appearances for the Three Lions. Indeed, Sterling, who could make his 50th appearance in this match, has scored with six of his last seven shots on target for England.
- Netherlands’ Memphis Depay has had a hand in 21 goals in his last 20 games in all competitions for the Dutch national side (13 goals, 8 assists).