Portugal and the Netherlands look to establish their credentials ahead of next summer’s Euro Championships when they face-off in the final of the Nations League. Virgil van Dijk will have task of keeping semi-final hat-trick hero Cristiano Ronaldo quiet and one expects the if he can overcome this challenge his odds to lift the Ballon d’Or will be slashed! Form Labs bring you their betting preview and tips for the game while as ever we have the value with our enhanced odds which can be found in our FanBoosts section.
Ronaldo In Spectacular Form
The hype surrounding Joao Felix will have dampened ever so slightly after the semi-final with Switzerland completely passed the 19-year-old wonderkid by, but Cristiano Ronaldo’s dazzling hat-trick ensured Portugal will compete for the silverware on home turf this Sunday.
For the Netherlands, a 3-1 win in extra-time was a just reward when considering they produced 14 shots on target compared to England’s measly three, though the Portuguese defenders are unlikely to try and imitate John Stones and take liberties at the back.
Van Dijk And De Ligt Key
The Dutch of course possess a ridiculously strong centre-half pairing featuring PFA Player of the Year Virgil van Dijk and rising star Matthijs de Ligt, but the Oranje play some entertaining football and they’ve still seen both teams score in eight of their past 11 matches, following Marcus Rashford’s penalty on Thursday.
De Ligt started all of these outings and van Dijk only missed two, though they both offer an aerial threat down the other end as well, bagging five goals between them across Holland’s last seven matches.
Portugal A Hard Working Team
Set pieces could certainly prove pivotal in this clash. The introduction of VAR has of course led to more penalties, particularly in the World Cup, while Ronaldo isn’t just a threat in the air like the Dutch centre-backs, but also directly from free-kicks as the Swiss were the latest to find out.
The Portuguese under Fernando Santos have been a solid, hard-working outfit and weren’t especially fantastic on the ball against Switzerland, and we suspect the Dutch – who largely dominated England in that respect – will probably have a greater control on proceedings but may find clear cut chances hard to come by.
Ronald Koeman’s side certainly enjoyed their previous meeting with Portugal, a 3-0 friendly win on neutral territory in March last year as the coach’s tenure really started to take shape.
However, since then the Navigators have gone W6-D9-L1 as their sole defeat came in the knockout stages of the World Cup against Uruguay, and it would be no surprise to see them grind out a stalemate over 90 minutes.
Indeed, they drew each of their four outings prior to facing Switzerland, with all of these competitive fixtures, while since their last meeting with the Dutch they’ve drawn with the likes of Belgium, Spain, Croatia and Italy.
Portugal v The Netherlands Betting Tips
There’s further reason to think Portugal can at the very least take things to extra-time as they’re W14-D6-L1 over their past 21 fixtures on home turf.
That includes six stalemates from their last nine, with all but one of these score draws, as four finished 1-1.
Eight of Portugal’s last 12 matches across all venues have seen fewer than three goals, including five of six home games over this period, and so there would be no surprise if another 1-1 draw and extra-time ensues.
In fact, the Netherlands have drawn five of 11 games over 90 minutes since these two last met, with both teams scoring in each stalemate, leaving the score draw as an enticing option.
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