Netherlands will look to bounce back from their defeat to England when they face Portugal in Geneva on Monday evening. Kick off is at 7.30pm.

Koeman’s debut as Netherlands manager didn’t go as hoped on Friday night with England deservedly leaving Amsterdam with a 1-0 victory.

The coach’s 3-4-3 formation saw Netherlands look solid defensively but going forward they offered very little and Koeman has stated he will be making changes for the tie with Portugal as he wants to see more from his attackers.

He told the press on Sunday, “If I want, I can start with the same eleven as against England but I do not do that.”

Koeman also spoke about his decision to switch to a 5-3-2, “We do not play 5-3-2 to only adapt to the opponent. In that system we also have to create something offensive ourselves. We have to try to set up the team so that you can create a man extra somewhere on the field.

“We are no longer among the best in the world. Not for a while. Then you have to try to get results in a different way.”

Euro 2016 champions Portugal are preparing for the World Cup and came from behind to defeat Egypt at the weekend thanks to two late goals from Cristiano Ronaldo.

Portugal have been a bogey team for Netherlands ever since their first meeting in 1990 and they will be hoping to maintain their good form of late. The team of Fernando Santos hasn’t lost in 90 minutes since a 3-2 defeat to Sweden in a friendly back in March last year.

Santos told the media on Sunday that he doesn’t know what to expect from Netherlands, “Two months ago I could have told you a lot about the Netherlands, but they have now undergone a transformation with a new style of playing and a new national coach, I do not know what to expect, but that makes it interesting: Duels between Portugal and the Netherlands were always interesting, I do not expect that to be different now.”

Team News

Koeman has already stated that he will make changes to the side that lost to England with Jasper Cillessen already confirmed to start in goal. The 3-4-3 is also set to be ditched in favour of 5-3-2 which can turn into 3-5-2 going forward.

After disappointing performances against England, Strootman, Bas Dost and Quincy Promes are all expected to be dropped but Wijnaldum will start. The back five may stay the same although Kenny Tete could be deployed at right-back.

Possible Netherlands line-up: Cillessen, Tete, Van Aanholt, De Vrij, De Ligt, Van Dijk, Wijnaldum, van de Beek, Propper, Memphis, Babel

Santos has stated he will make some changes to the side that beat Egypt at the weekend and it is unsure whether Ronaldo will start. Portuguese media believe he will, but the winger will want rest before Real Madrid’s big Champions League quarter final with Juventus next week.

Possible Portugal line-up: Rui Patricio; Cancelo, Rolando, Fonte, Guerreiro; Martins, Bruno Fernandes, Carvalho, Quaresma; Guedes, Ronaldo


Portugal 6/5 Draw 21/10 Netherlands 5/2

Head to Head

Netherlands have a torrid record against Portugal having won only once in their 12 meetings so far. That win came during qualifying for the 1992 European Championships with Richard Witschge scoring the only goal.

Since then Portugal have got the better of Oranje on six occasions, including wins which knocked them out of Euro 2004 and the 2006 World Cup. The 2006 match, which has been named the “Battle of Nurnberg” was infamous for being one of the dirtiest matches in history. Four red cards and 16 yellow cards were shown during the game which finished 1-0.

The last meeting between the two nations came in 2013 with the game ending 1-1 after Ronaldo equalised late on to cancel out Strootman’s opener.

Players to Watch

Cristiano Ronaldo

The Real Madrid superstar loves playing against Netherlands, having scored four goals in four appearances against Oranje. He netted the opener during the semi-final of Euro 2004, a double in Euro 2012 and the equaliser the last time they met.

Ronaldo scored twice for Portugal at the weekend and is on red-hot form for Real Madrid. In 14 games since the turn of the year, Ronaldo has contributed 23 goals and the Oranje defence will have to be at their best to stop him scoring again.

Donny van de Beek

The Ajax midfielder was given a minute at the end of the defeat to England but with Koeman set to make changes to his midfield, van de Beek could be in line to start.

The 20-year-old has been excellent for Ajax this season, contributing four assists and twelve goals so far. His energy and passing ability are a big asset for the Amsterdam club and he could be a vital player for the Netherlands going forward.

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