Netherlands clash with England in the semi-finals of the UEFA Nations League on Thursday. Kick-off in Portugal is at 7.45pm BST.

The inaugural Nations League has been a major success for Netherlands so far after they topped a group containing both Germany and France to reach the final four.

Ronald Koeman’s side have booked a playoff place for the European Championships should they fail to qualify through the group stages and now they are going for the trophy.

Standing between Netherlands and a place in Sunday’s final against either Portugal or Switzerland is England.

Gareth Southgate’s side built on a strong World Cup to top their Nations League group ahead of Spain and Croatia and they head to Portugal full of confidence.

England have made a good start to the Euro qualifying, beating the Czech Republic 5-0 and Montenegro 5-1. Netherlands, on the other hand, narrowly lost 3-2 to Germany.

The winner of the match goes onto the final while the loser will take part in a third-place playoff which also takes place on Sunday.

Team News

Ronald Koeman’s squad selection contained no surprises and his starting eleven can be predicted with only the midfield having question marks.

Frenkie de Jong is guaranteed to start but there are calls for Donny van de Beek to come into the eleven next to him or at number ten. That would mean Koeman dropping either Marten de Roon or Georginio Wijnaldum. Brighton’s Davy Propper is also an option for a midfield role.

Possible Netherlands line-up: Cillessen, Dumfries, Blind, De Ligt, van Dijk, De Jong, De Roon, Wijnaldum, Bergwijn, Babel, Memphis

Southgate has some doubts ahead of the game with Harry Kane’s fitness an issue. The Tottenham striker played 90 minutes of the Champions League final but didn’t look match fit. He could sit out this match allowing Marcus Rashford to start up front.

Jordan Henderson, Trent-Alexander Arnold, Joe Gomez, Eric Dier, Dele Alli and Danny Rose also played in the final and their fitness will be determined ahead of the game.

England could line-up with a back-four to match Netherlands with Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho set to start on the wing.

Possible England line-up: Pickford, Walker, Chilwell, Maguire, Stones, Rice, Barkley, Lingard, Rashford, Sancho, Sterling

Odds

Netherlands 19/10 Draw 9/4 England 7/5

The Bookmakers make England slight favourites to reach the final.

Head to Head

Netherlands and England met last year in what was Ronald Koeman’s first game in charge of Oranje. A sole Jesse Lingard goal gave England a 1-0 win in Amsterdam.

Before that loss, Netherlands were unbeaten against the English since 1996.

Overall the two nations have met 33 times since 1907 with England winning 14 times compared to Netherlands nine while ten games have ended all square.

Key Players

Memphis Depay

Despite his form for Lyon wavering at times this season, Memphis has always brought his a-game when pulling on an Oranje shirt.

As the focal point of Netherlands attack, Memphis has scored seven goals in his last eight internationals, while also providing four assists.

After his difficult spell in England with Manchester United, Memphis will be looking to make a point against the British press, who criticised the forward throughout his time in the country.

Raheem Sterling

The winger has been in unbelievable form for club and country this season and Sterling will be the main danger to Netherlands defence.

With 17 goals and 12 assists in the Premier League this season, Sterling was a big reason why Manchester City won the title, while he has six goals in his last four internationals.

Video Preview and predictions




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