The Netherlands will look to take another step towards the European Championships when they travel to Dublin on Sunday for a clash with the Republic of Ireland. Kick-off is at 19:45 BST.

The Netherlands breathed life into their qualifying campaign with a 3-0 victory over Greece in Eindhoven on Thursday.

Ronald Koeman switched back to a 5-3-2 formation and that resulted in the best performance since he returned to the national team fold.

The win put Netherlands in second place on head-to-head against Greece but Koeman’s side now face another crucial match on Sunday. A tricky trip to the Aviva stadium awaits for a clash with the Republic of Ireland.

Coached by Stephen Kenny, the Irish side are currently sitting on three points in the group after a 2-0 loss in France on Thursday. At home, the Republic of Ireland is a different test though and the Netherlands will need to be strong to come away with the three points.

Team News

Koeman is sweating on the fitness of Nathan Ake, who had to come off at the break against Greece after picking up a knock. A decision will be made on his availability on Sunday morning.

Lutsharel Geertruida is also a doubt after leaving training early on Saturday. Stefan de Vrij and Matthijs de Ligt can come into the eleven if both miss out.

Other than that, Koeman may decide to stick with the same eleven that was too strong for Greece on Thursday.

Possible Netherlands line-up: Flekken, Dumfries, Blind, De Vrij, Van Dijk, De Ligt, De Roon, De Jong, Simons, Gakpo, Weghorst

The Republic of Ireland is without a number of key players for the game, such as Brighton forward Evan Ferguson. Matt Doherty, Seamus Coleman, and Michael Obafemi all miss out, along with Troy Parrot, who is currently on loan with Excelsior.

The squad is made up of a number of players who play in the English Championship but Brentford defender Nathan Collins, Burnley’s duo Dara O’Shea and Josh Cullen, and Chiedozie Ogbene of Luton Town add some Premier League quality.

Will Keane picked up an injury against France as well as Enda Stevens, making both very unlikely to feature.

Possible Republic of Ireland line-up: Bazunu; Collins, Egan, Duffy; Browne, Cullen, Molumby, McClean; Ogbene, Idah, Knight


Republic of Irelands 9/2 Draw 3/1 Netherlands 3/5

Previous meetings

The idea of facing the Republic of Ireland in a qualifying campaign is enough to fill some Netherlands fans with a sense of dread. It was the Irish that ruined Netherlands chances of reaching the 2002 World Cup with a 1-0 loss in Dublin one of the darkest days in recent Dutch football history.

Overall the two nations have met on 20 occasions and the record is fairly even with the Netherlands winning nine ties and the Republic of Ireland, seven.

The last meeting was a 1-1 draw in Dublin back in a 2016 friendly.

Can the Netherlands book a crucial victory?

After the win over Greece, confidence has returned to the national team, but that could all go away if the Netherlands fails to win in Dublin. That would leave the Netherlands in a dangerous position going into a tough-looking double header in October at home to France and then away in Greece.

The atmosphere will be hostile for the Netherlands and an early goal would be crucial if they were to silence the crowd. Let the crowd get some confidence, then it could be a long night for the Dutch, especially with the Republic of Ireland set to go all out for a win.

Against Greece, the Netherlands were intense and they chased down the ball for the whole ninety minutes. Another performance like that and another big three points could be in the bag.

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