Netherlands host neighbours Belgium in a friendly at the Amsterdam Arena on Wednesday.

oranje-gvhggDanny Blind’s main focus is the World Cup qualifier in Luxembourg next Sunday but the Oranje warm up for that crucial game with a glamour friendly against local rivals Belgium in Amsterdam.

Speaking at his press conference, Blind stated that games against rivals are important but he is more bothered by the FIFA ranking points on offer. He said, “The Netherlands v Belgium is a special game. There is prestige involved in this game but more important than that are the ranking points accrued for an advantage in the eventuality of any play-off game that we might play in the future.”

Netherlands currently sit 20th in the World Rankings while Belgium are fourth, and the Red Devils have had the upper hand in meetings between the two nations recently. The Oranje go into the game looking to end a run of six games against Belgium without a win.

Belgium are using the game against Netherlands as a warm-up for their World Cup qualifier against Estonia. Roberto Martinez’s side currently top their qualifying group with three wins out of three, 13 goals scored and not one conceded.

Team News

Davy Propper, Rick Karsdorp, Quincy Promes and Terence Kongolo all pulled out of the squad earlier this week, with Bruno Martins Indi returning to the national team, along with Steven Berghuis, while PSV full-back Joshua Brenet could make his debut. Sporting Lisbon left back Marvin Zeegelaar has also been handed his first call-up and he could earn his first cap.

Arjen Robben will not play in the friendly after the KNVB made an agreement with Bayern Munich, while Wesley Sneijder is to be rested for the game against Luxembourg.

Possible Netherlands line-up: Stekelenburg, Veltman, Blind, Van Dijk, Martins Indi, Clasie, Klaassen, Wijnaldum, Lens, Memphis, Janssen

Martinez will be without the injured Marouane Fellaini, while the coach has confirmed that Mousa Dembele will be rested for the game against Estonia. Anderlecht sensation Youri Tielmans will be hoping to make his debut along with Watford’s Christian Kabasele, and Gent’s Thomas Foket.

Possible Belgium line-up: Courtois, Meunier, Cavanda, Verthongen, Ciman, Witsel, Defour, De Bruyne, Hazard, Carrasco, Lukaku

Odds

Netherlands 2/1 Draw 12/5 Belgium 13/10

Previous Meetings

Netherlands and Belgium have met each other on 127 occasions with the Oranje winning 56, while the Red Devils have come out on top in 41 of those games. However, recent meetings have gone in the favour of Belgium, who have won the last two while you have to go back to 1997 to find the last Netherlands victory.

The last game was Louis van Gaal’s first game in charge back in 2012 with Belgium winning 4-2.




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