The Frank de Boer era with the Dutch national team begins on Wednesday when the Netherlands host Mexico in an international friendly. Kick-off in Amsterdam is at 7.45pm UK time.

Later this week, Netherlands continue their UEFA Nations League campaign with an away trip to Bosnia & Herzegovina but first they will take on Mexico in a friendly.

The clash will be Frank de Boer’s first game in charge of the national team, and a chance to prove some of his critics wrong. Many see the former Ajax and Inter Milan boss as the wrong man to replace Ronald Koeman, and the only way for him to change opinions is to get wins, and that could begin against Mexico on Wednesday.

However, the game is one that De Boer would rather not have. The tight schedule in the domestic leagues and with two Nations League coming, the Oranje boss would have preferred to have extra time to train. He said, “It is not ideal to play a friendly game when you have two other official matches in such a short period of time. We could’ve had an entire week to prepare the UEFA Nations League’s games and a lot of my players saw activity this past weekend. Due to the pandemic, a lot of players have had little rest due to the change of schedules so I would have to make a lot of adjustments for Wednesday’s game.”

The visitors are in good form and recently defeated Guatemala 3-0. They have won 17 of their last 18 games, with their only defeat coming against Argentina.

Team News

De Boer could hand a Netherlands debut to AZ Alkmaar trio Owen Wijndal, Marco Bizot and Teun Koopmeiners during the clash, but Mohamed Ihattaren was forced to pull out of the squad through injury. Steven Bergwijn is also missing.

Donyell Malen could feature in the attack, while in-form Steven Berghuis is also in the running after missing the loss to Italy last month. Stefan De Vrij and Daley Blind are also back from injury.

De Boer could decide to rest some players from the start including Virgil van Dijk and Georginio Wijnaldum, who played three games in a week for Liverpool. It gives De Boer a chance to experiment with his line-up for the more important games to come against Bosnia and Italy.

Possible Netherlands line-up: Cillessen, Dumfries, Blind, Ake, De Vrij, De Jong, De Roon, Van de Beek, Malen, Berghuis, Memphis

Ajax midfielder Edson Alvarez could feature for Mexico as well as former PSV Eindhoven duo Andres Guardado and Hector Moreno. Former Twente winger Jesus Corona is also in the squad.

However, former PSV Eindhoven forward Hirving Lozano is not in the squad.

Possible Mexico line-up: Gonzalez; Rodriguez, Araujo, Moreno, Arteaga; Alvarez, Herrera; Corona, Pizarro, Lainez; Jimenez

Odds

Netherlands 3/4 Draw 27/10 Mexico 7/2

Previous Meetings

Netherlands v Mexico is now seen as a grudge match after the 2014 World Cup clash which saw Netherlands win 2-1 thanks to a controversial last minute penalty won by Arjen Robben.

The two nations met later in 2014 in a friendly with Mexico winning 3-2.

Overall, Netherlands have four wins against Mexico out of eight games, with three ending in defeat.

What to expect from De Boer’s first game in charge

This is a match that De Boer did not want but a chance for him to experiment and give some players a chance. The game against Bosnia is far more important later this week, but De Boer will want to begin with a win against a very good side in Mexico.

The visitors are in excellent form and have a number of good players, including Wolves striker Raul Jimenez, who will pose a big threat.

The result, in the end, doesn’t matter, but the likes of Koopmeiners, Wijndal, and Stengs get a chance to impress. It should be an entertaining game, and it’s a chance to see De Boer’s tactics in action for the first time.




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