On Thursday, Netherlands are in friendly action for the first time since the failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. Scotland are the opponents at Aberdeen’s Pittodrie stadium. 

In October, Netherlands won their two final World Cup qualifiers against Bulgaria and Sweden but missed out on a playoff spot because of goal difference.

After a second missed major tournament in a row, Oranje must now start planning for the Euro 2020 qualifiers beginning with a friendly double-header with Scotland and Romania over the next week. The two matches should also spell the end of Dick Advocaat’s third spell in charge, with his contract expiring at the end of the month.

First up is a trip to Aberdeen where they will meet Scotland, who also just missed out on a playoff spot after coming third in their group behind England and Slovakia. After the final qualifier in Slovenia, Scotland sacked their head coach Gordan Strachan with former Cardiff City and Wigan coach Malky Mackay taking temporary charge.

Team News

The tie with Scotland is the first international since Arjen Robben announced his international retirement, while Vincent Janssen, Wesley Hoedt, Jurgen Locadia, Bas Dost, Kenny Tete and Michel Vorm have all pulled out through injury.

Advocaat will go into the game with Luuk de Jong as the only recognised striker, but could experiment with Ryan Babel or Quincy Promes through the middle. It remains to be seen whether Daley Blind will remain in midfield after impressing against Sweden, while Donny van de Beek or Sergio Padt could make their international debuts.

Possible Netherlands line-up: Cillessen, Veltman, Ake, Van Dijk, Rekik, Blind, Strootman, Wijnaldum, Memphis, Promes, Babel

Scotland are set to use the game to experiment with seven players in line to make their debut’s including Aberdeen’s Ryan Christie and Nottingham Forest striker Jason Cummings. However, Netherlands will not come up against Celtic forward Leigh Griffiths or Stoke City’s Darren Fletcher after they both withdrew from the squad.

Possible Scotland line-up: Gordon; Robertson, Berra, Mulgrew, Tierney; Brown, Armstrong, Forrest, Phillips, Christie; Cummings

Previous Meetings

Netherlands and Scotland have met on 18 occasions with Oranje coming out on top in eight of those, while four have ended in draws and six defeats.

The last meetings came in the qualifiers for the 2010 World Cup with Netherlands winning 3-0 at home and 1-0 in Glasgow. Scotland’s last victory came in the playoffs for Euro 2016 with a 1-0 win before Netherlands won the second leg 6-0.

Odds

Scotland 29/10 Draw 12/5 Netherlands 11/10

Players to watch

Memphis Depay

The explosive winger has found his form for Lyon in recent weeks, with eight goals and four assists in fifteen games, and goes into the Netherlands squad brimming with confidence. With Arjen Robben announcing his retirement, Oranje need a new attacker to step up and Memphis may be the man to pick up the mantle. Janssen’s absence means Advocaat could line-up without a central striker, and Memphis could be deployed through the middle, a role he has filled for the national team before.

Kieran Tierney

The 20-year-old is seen as one of the finest young full-back’s in Europe after some excellent performances for Celtic and is now a regular at international level. Manchester United are regularly linked with signing the young Scot, who is an athletic defender with a great cross and an eye for goal. Whoever Netherlands deploy on the right-hand side will need to keep a keen eye on the youngster.




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