Monday 26 Mar

Portugal vs Netherlands - Match Preview

26 Mar 2018 Ed Mackey INTERNATIONAL: Int. Friendly Games
INTERNATIONAL: Int. Friendly Games

Portugal

  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • W

vs

Kick-off
18:30 GMT
26 March 2018

Netherlands

  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L

Kick-off
18:30 GMT 26 March 2018

With the first wave of international fixtures over, there’s time for another before the players return to action for their clubs. One of the highlights of the upcoming games sees the Netherlands travel across Europe to face Portugal. To many people’s surprise, Netherlands won’t feature at the World Cup in Russia while their opponents on Monday have confirmed their place.

STATS

  • Since their Euro 2016 triumph, Portugal have been in great form. They won nine of their 10 matches during the recent qualifying campaign which meant they didn’t have to use a play-off to get into the group stages. Their last game was widely seen as Cristiano Ronaldo vs Mohamed Salah when they faced Egypt and it was the Real Madrid forward who came out on top. He scored two stoppage-time goals to overturn the one-goal deficit created by Salah.
  • With this summer’s World Cup being the second consecutive major tournament the Netherlands have failed to qualify for, there is a big inquest into why they are failing to perform. They missed out on goal difference this year as Sweden pipped them to second place with France coming first. They were beaten 1-0 on Friday night by England at the Amsterdam ArenA.
  • In European qualifying Group A, Arjen Robben was the second highest goal scorer with six goals. Only Marcus Berg of Sweden got more.
  • There’s no surprise to see that Cristiano Ronaldo had a better goal-to-game ratio of any European during World Cup qualifying, averaging one every 51 minutes and scoring 15 in the process.

HEAD TO HEAD

Portugal have only been beaten once by the Netherlands in their 12 previous meetings and that came back in 1992. In the last five, the Portuguese have won three and drawn two. The most recent was a friendly in August 2013 where Ronaldo cancelled out a Kevin Strootman opener to secure a 1-1 draw. In four of those five, both teams have scored but in the 12 fixtures, there has only been one where both teams have scored two.

PORTUGAL NEWS

This is Portugal’s final meaningful World Cup warm-up before the end of May so it’s important that they get it right. Ronaldo will be the centre of attention as always and will be looking to continue his incredible recent form.

Latest matches: Portugal

23.03.2018 Int. Portugal Egypt 2:1 W
14.11.2017 Int. Portugal USA 1:1 D
10.11.2017 Int. Portugal Saudi Arabia 3:0 W
10.10.2017 Worl Portugal Switzerland 2:0 W
07.10.2017 Worl Andorra Portugal 0:2 W

NETHERLANDS NEWS

There is no place for the Netherlands in Russia but under their new manager, Ronaldo Koeman, it’s important for them to find a winning formula. Memphis Depay, Quincy Promes and Bas Dost are expected to spearhead that.

Latest matches: Netherlands

23.03.2018 Int. Netherlands England 0:1 L
14.11.2017 Int. Romania Netherlands 0:3 W
09.11.2017 Int. Scotland Netherlands 0:1 W
10.10.2017 Worl Netherlands Sweden 2:0 W
07.10.2017 Worl Belarus Netherlands 1:3 W

SUMMARY

With more to look forward to for Portugal, they will be taking the game more seriously and should come away with a win. The Netherlands won’t want to get beat but with nothing to aim for, it might be a challenge for Koeman to inspire his players to victory.

About the author - Ed Mackey

Experienced sports writer and huge Leicester City fan.

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