Ronald Koeman will reveal his first Netherlands preliminary squad on Wednesday for the upcoming ties with England and Portugal. Michael Bell tries to predict who could be included, who will miss out and picks some possible surprises.

Goalkeepers

Definitely in: PSV’s Jeroen Zoet and Barcelona’s Jasper Cillessen have been battling for the Netherlands number one shirt for the past few years and it will be the same under Koeman with the duo undoubtedly the best goalkeepers at our disposal.

Who should join them: Groningen stopper Sergio Padt has played third choice recently and has been in good enough form to keep his place in the squad.

Who could miss out: Maarten Stekelenburg, Kenneth Vermeer and Michel Vorm have barely featured for their sides this season and shouldn’t warrant a place in the squad.

Possible surprises: AZ Alkmaar goalkeeper Marco Bizot has had a solid season for the Eredivisie’s third place side and he could earn his first call-up.

Centre-backs

Definitely in: Virgil van Dijk is a candidate to be Netherlands captain and will be in the squad, along with Stefan de Vrij.

Who should join them: Ajax sensation Matthijs de Ligt, Southampton’s Wesley Hoedt and Bournemouth’s Nathan Ake have all been in recent squads and should keep their places.

Who could miss out: Bruno Martins-Indi played under Koeman at Feyenoord, but has not had a good season with struggling Stoke City and should fear for his place. Hertha Berlin’s Karim Rekik is also another who may miss out.

Possible surprises: Frenkie de Jong would have been almost assured of a place in the squad but an injury has made him a doubt. Will Koeman include him in hope he recovers in time?

Full-backs

Definitely in: The full-back positions is hard to predict with Netherlands as no one player seems to be able to hold down a spot in Oranje. Despite his lack of playing time for Manchester United, Daley Blind should be assured of a place due to his experience and leadership.

Who should join them: Joel Veltman of Ajax has been an ever present in recent Oranje squads and is a solid and versatile defender to include. Lyon’s Kenny Tete, Huddersfield Town’s Terence Kongolo and Crystal Palace’s Timothy Fosu-Mensah should also be included along with Daryl Janmaat.

Who could miss out: Erik Pieters has been left out of the squad in recent years and that may continue with Koeman given his recent form for Stoke City. Jetro Willems started the season in fine form for Eintracht Frankfurt but has been left out recently and not featured in their last six games.

Possible surprises: Playing week in week out for one of Serie A’s best sides should be enough to get you a spot in the Oranje squad, but so far Hans Hateboer of Atalanta has been overlooked. Will this finally change under Koeman?

Midfielders

Definitely in: With Wesley Sneijder ending his international career, Kevin Strootman and Georginio Wijnaldum will be looked at to take charge of the midfield under Ronald Koeman. The two have struggled to play alongside each other so far but their club form makes them certain to be included.

Who should join them: PSV captain Marco van Ginkel is having a great season and should definitely be included, along with Brighton’s Davy Propper, who has shone in recent Oranje appearances. Ajax’s Donny van de Beek and Feyenoord’s Tonny Vilhena are two of Netherlands most talented young midfielders and should keep their place. PSV duo Jorrit Hendrix and Bart Ramselaar also have a good chance of seeing their names on the squad sheet with their club storming to the Eredivisie title.

Who could miss out: Davy Klaassen is in a hopeless situation at Everton and his Netherlands career is probably on hold before he can get himself back to playing week in week out. Feyenoord’s Jens Toornastra hasn’t convinced for Feyenoord recently, while Leroy Fer’s season with Swansea is over through injury.

Possible surprises: A revelation in the Eredivisie this season, AZ Alkmaar attacking midfielder Guus Til has been in great form, scoring 7 goals and contributing two assists. He is already a Jong Oranje international and may get a senior call-up to cap an excellent campaign. There has been a lot of calls for Club Brugge’s Ruud Vormer to get a call-up given his form and under a new coach he may finally get it.

Wingers

Definitely in: Lyon’s Memphis Depay and Spartak Moscow’s Quincy Promes are two of the first names on the squad list in recent months and will be involved again.

Who should join them: Steven Berghuis has been a shining light in a disappointing campaign for Feyenoord and should be in alongside Ryan Babel who showed his importance to Besiktas on Monday with a double against Trabzonspor. Steven Bergwijn is on fire for PSV since the winter break and the youngster should get his first call-up.

Who could miss out: Jeremain Lens and Eljero Elia have been in poor form recently for their clubs in Turkey and shouldn’t expect a call-up.

Possible surprises: Bryan Linssen played a starring role for Vitesse in their win over Ajax at the weekend with a double and could be a shock inclusion. 22-year-old Oussama Idrissi has also been in red hot form for AZ Alkmaar since joining them from Groningen in January, scoring four goals and adding four assists. With Morocco looking at the youngster, could Koeman move in to keep him in line for Oranje? What about Justin Kluivert as well? The 18-year-old is getting better and better at Ajax and could emulate his father by representing his country before his 19th birthday.

Strikers

Definitely in: Bas Dost is Netherlands most in-form striker, scoring twenty goals in twenty-one league games for Sporting Lisbon and he will be in Koeman’s first squad. Luuk de Jong has also been scoring regularly for PSV and shouldn’t be left out.

Who should join them: Wout Weghorst has been excellent for AZ Alkmaar this season and is a big reason why they sit third and in the KNVB Cup final with twenty goals so far this campaign. He has yet to receive a call-up in Oranje but with a lack of options can Koeman really afford to leave him out? Jurgen Locadia is back to fitness with Brighton and scored two goals in two appearances. He has yet to play for Netherlands despite being called up before. He could finally make his debut this month.

Who could miss out: Vincent Janssen won’t be included with his injury keeping him sidelined at Fenerbahace. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar has also missed Ajax’s last few matches and is unlikely to be involved. Ricky van Wolfswinkel started the season in good form for Basel but after an injury kept him out for over two months the goals have dried up.

Possible surprises: With no Robben, Sneijder or Van der Vaart available, will Koeman decide to include one of the fab four in Robin van Persie? He has been used as a bit part player with Feyenoord so far, but contributed two goals in three games. Could he make a shock appearance in the selection given the lack of forwards available?

So what do you think? Who should be included and who should be left out of Koeman’s first Netherlands squad? Let us know in the comments section.




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