The Netherlands can seal their place in the World Cup when they host Norway in an empty De Kuip on Tuesday evening. The kick-off is at 19.45.

The Netherlands had their World Cup ticket firmly in their grasps on Saturday evening as they led Montenegro 2-0 with ten minutes left to play. However, Louis van Gaal’s side fell apart and Montenegro fought back to earn a 2-2 draw.

The Netherlands now goes into the final game against Norway with three possibilities still in play. Qualification, the playoffs, or worst-case scenario, no World Cup.

A win or draw for the Netherlands will be enough to seal a place at next year’s tournament. However, if Norway wins on Tuesday, then the Netherlands would be out if Turkey defeats Montenegro. If Norway wins and Turkey fails to beat Montenegro, the Netherlands would go into the playoffs.

Norway goes into the game on the back of a disappointing 0-0 draw at home to Latvia in their last game, and they will know only a victory can confirm their place in the World Cup.

The game will be played in an empty stadium after the Netherlands increased their coronavirus restrictions in the past week. Van Gaal will be coaching the Netherlands in a wheelchair after injuring his hip during the week.

Team News

Netherlands are without Stefan de Vrij after he was injured in the draw against Montenegro. He is likely to be replaced in the centre of defence by Matthijs de Ligt. Justin Bijlow has also left the squad with an issue, meaning Mark Flekken could make his Netherlands debut.

Van Gaal may put Steven Bergwijn into the starting line-up after Donyell Malen failed to impress on Saturday.

Potential Netherlands line-up: Flekken, Dumfries, Blind, De Ligt, Van Dijk, De Jong, Wijnaldum, Klaassen, Bergwijn, Danjuma, Memphis

Norway are without their star player Erling Haaland, but they still have a talented squad with former Heerenveen and Vitesse loanee Martin Odegaard the standout in midfield.

Feyenoord right-back Marcus Holgrem Pedersen should start the game, while his club teammate Frederik Aursnes is likely to be on the bench, along with Frederik Midtsjo of AZ Alkmaar.

Potenial Norway line-up: Nyland; Pedersen, Strandberg, Lode, Meling; Normann, Thorsby; Odegaard, Thorstvedt, Elyounoussi; Sorloth

Odds

Netherlands 2/5 Draw 15/4 Norway 6/1

Previous Meetings

Netherlands and Norway have met 21 times before with Oranje winning nine times, while they have lost on five occasions. The last Norway victory was back in 1992.

Since the last Norway win, the Netherlands have triumphed in four games, while there have been three draws. The last meeting was a 1-1 draw.

A nervous night ahead for Netherlands fans

The Netherlands should have already sealed their place in the World Cup and the last ten minutes of the game against Montenegro were an absolute disgrace defensively. Now, a very nervy and tense game awaits on Tuesday in a stadium without fans.

Norway will need to go for the win and that will hopefully open up some space for Netherlands on the attack, but the Oranje defence will need to be far more switched on than they were on Saturday evening.

Netherlands place at the World Cup hangs in balance and the country cannot afford to miss the tournament for the second time in a row. We need to see a commanding and motivated performance from Oranje, who have plenty to prove after their collapse in Montenegro.




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