After their win over Germany, Netherlands head to Brussels on Tuesday to face neighbours Belgium in a friendly. Kick-off is 7.45pm GMT. 

Ronald Koeman’s side beat rivals Germany 3-0 in Amsterdam to get their first UEFA Nations League win and spark widespread praise in the media.

During his press conference, Koeman played down the notion that Netherlands are back near the top of the European game, “Whether we are back? We are in the process of placing ourselves for the European Championships in 2020. Only when we are there and also perform there, can we say that we are back.”

Next month, Netherlands host France and travel to Germany in the final Nations League ties, but first they travel to meet Belgium in the Derby der Lage Landen.

Looking at the tie, Koeman said, “We are playing against the number one in the world, they have a great team that has been playing in the same system for years and is fully geared to each other. I want to win every game, but it will be incredibly difficult. We have shown very good football in parts of matches. If we do not make the mistakes we made against France and also Germany, we have a chance against everyone.”

Opponents Belgium, who are ranked number one in the FIFA rankings, finished third at this summer’s World Cup and head into the tie on the back of a 2-1 win over Switzerland in the Nations League. They have won all of their three ties since the World Cup and have only lost twice in their last 30 internationals under current boss Roberto Martinez.

Team News

Koeman will be without Virgil van Dijk who has pulled out of the friendly in order to recover from a rib injury that has been troubling the defender for weeks. Stefan De Vrij and Nathan Ake will be fighting it out to replace him.

Pablo Rosario returns after being suspended for the Germany tie and should make his debut.

Possible Netherlands line-up: Cillessen, Dumfries, Van Aanholt, De Ligt, Ake, Rosario, F.De Jong, Wijnaldum, Danjuma, Promes, Memphis

Martinez is expected to experiment with his line-up on Tuesday with Thibaut Courtois, Thomas Meunier, Axel Witsel and Romelu Lukaku set to be rested. Kevin De Bruyne, Jan Vertonghen and Adnan Januzaj are injured and not involved in the squad, while Marouane Fellaini is a doubt.

Possible Belgium line-up: Mignolet, Boyata, Mechele, Kabasele, Denayer, Chadli, Praet, Tielemans, Mertens, Hazard, Batshuayi

Odds

Belgium 4/7 Draw 11/4 Netherlands 5/1

Head to Head

Netherlands wins: 55 Belgium wins: 41 Draws: 30

Netherlands recent record against Belgium is awful with Oranje not triumphing over their neighbours since 1997. Since then there has been five draws and two Belgian victories.

The last meeting between the two nations came in 2016 when a Davy Klaassen penalty was cancelled out late on by Yannick Carrasco in a 1-1 draw.

Can Netherlands end their rotten run against Belgium

A 21 year wait for a win against Belgium is far too long and after gaining confidence against Germany, Netherlands head to Brussels with a great chance of getting a result.

Martinez is set to tweak his formation and several of their key players will be missing, meaning Netherlands should be confident of getting a good result.

The positivity around the Dutch national team is at its highest since Louis van Gaal left in 2014 and let’s hope that can continue going into next month’s crucial matches against France and Germany.




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