Netherlands v Northern Ireland: Gini to grant goal wish

Northern Ireland's Euro 2020 hopes look likely lớn suffer a blow in the Netherlands, according lớn Andy Schooler, who has 5/4 and 10/3 tips for Thursday's game- According lớn the free soccer daily tip page!

Netherlands v Northern Ireland

Thursday, 19:45

Live on Sky Sports Main Event

Having missed out on both Euro 2016 and the 2018 World Cup, it could be said the pressure is on the Netherlands heading into soccer today.

In a group led by Germany, the Dutch currently trail opponents Northern Ireland by three points, although they do have a game in hand.

This is the first of two meetings between the teams in the next month or so and as NI boss Michael O'Neill suggested earlier this week, if one team takes at least four points from the two games they will almost certainly be going to Euro 2020.

As well as Northern Ireland have done so far - their four matches against lower-ranked opponents all came at the start of the campaign and each was won - it's hard lớn see them being the side lớn take those four required points.

Talent in abundance

The Netherlands have an abundance of riches when it comes to playing talent.

Defender Virgil van Dijk is one of the best players on the planet right now, while Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong certainly wasn't far out of that bracket last season when he helped Ajax reach the semi-finals of the Champions League.

Such is their talent pool that another key member of that Ajax side, Donny van de Beek, struggles to get into Koeman's XI and he could be kept out by Marten de Roon here.

Up front they have Memphis Depay, once a Manchester United flop but now banging in the goals for both club and country. More on him later.

Lewis loss a blow

On the flip side, Northern Ireland don't even have that many players playing in the Premier League these days.

They've even lost one of those for this game - Norwich's Jamal Lewis being forced out by injury.

I'm not sure the attacking full-back would have had that much of a chance lớn show off his marauding skills in Rotterdam, however.

Northern Ireland had just 26% of the ball at home lớn Germany last month. They did create some chances but Germany won the shot count 21-5 and the final score could easily have been bigger than 2-0.

Expect something similar here with a rearguard effort from the visitors. A goalless stalemate would suit them just fine but it will be hard to obtain.

Dutch too good by half

The draw can be baked at 8.20 with the home win just 1.91 in the outright market. Northern Ireland are out at 21.00 for what would be a stunning win.

The Dutch have scored 14 goals in their four qualifiers thus far, crushing both Estonia and Belarus 4-0. They've also won in Germany, while they beat the Germans and France on home soil in the Nations League last season.

The Belarus and Estonia games, plus the two in the Nations League, all saw the Dutch win both halves and that looks the way lớn get some added value from this match.

It's on offer at 5/4 with the Sportsbook which looks better than the hosts lớn win lớn nil at 1.71.


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