Northern Ireland to show resilience again
Northern Ireland have been outstanding in the Euro 2020 qualifiers so far. Four wins out of five tells its own story but can they pull off a shock against the Dutch? Have a read of our preview here:
Northern Ireland are just so impressive
It almost doesn’t seem real to see Northern Ireland ripping up the Euro 2020 qualifiers in quite the way they have. This is a nation that for so long were no where near close to being a force but under Michael O’Neil that has changed.
When they were placed in Group C alongside both Germany and Holland you can forgive even the most optimistic of the Green and White army for being slightly sceptical about their chances.
Yet they came out of the traps flying. They beat Estonia 2-0 in game one and then followed this up with a 2-1 victory over Belarus at Windsor Park. Following the perfect start at home they travelled to Estonia and beat them again, this time thanks to a late second-half rally to come from behind and nick the win.
In Belarus another late winner, this time from Paddy McNair, saw them go four out of four to start the qualifiers which deserves so much credit considering how tough international football can be
A defeat by Germany is nothing to be ashamed of and the importance of getting something against the Dutch is vital. They are only three points behind Northern Ireland in the group and have played a game less.
If somehow Michael O’Neil can mastermind a top-two finish in Group C, it will be one of the greatest achievements in Northern Irish international history. With exciting players like Cardiff’s Gavin Whyte, Blackpool’s Jordan Thompson and Norwich City’s Jamal Lewis in the squad it could be an interesting mix of youth and experience – perfect to keep the progress going.
Dutch looking strong
Donny van de Beek is back in the squad for the Netherlands after recovering from injury while Frenkie de Jong and Georginio Wijnaldum will also be available for selection.
Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt is in the 25 to play Northern Ireland and he will likely be paired with Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk at the back. This is a Dutch side full of talented young players and they have very few weaknesses.
The attack will be spearheaded by the pacey Memphis Depay who has hit 17 goals in 50 international caps for his country. Luuk de Jong of Sevilla and Quincy Promes of Ajax are the other attackers to keep an eye on.
Netherlands vs. Northern Ireland betting tip
Northern Ireland have a record of being extremely resilient and they will have to be ultra-organised once again when they travel to Rotterdam on Thursday so backing this one to finish with under 3.5 goals at odds of 8/13 with Betfred seems a reasonable nod here.