England get their UEFA Nations League Finals campaign underway on Thursday as they take on the Netherlands at the Estádio D. Afonso Henriques.
The Three Lions qualified for the tournament as they edged out Spain and Croatia to finish top of their group. Meanwhile, Ronald Koeman’s troops head to Portugal having also qualified top of their group that included reigning world champions France and also Germany. The Dutch are at odds of 3/1 with Betfred to win the inaugural competition, whilst Gareth Southgate’s troops are available at a price of 7/4 to win their first piece of silverware since the World Cup in 1966.
Should the two teams have aspirations of lifting the trophy this summer, they will have to get beyond each other – an aspect that may be difficult for the Three Lions because of the recent record between the two sides. Since 1964, England have only managed to beat the Dutch on four occasions. The most recent of those victories though came in the last meeting as a solitary Jesse Lingard strike at the Johan Cruyff ArenA in March 2018 was enough to earn victory. They also notched a win the last time the two teams came together in a competitive context as the Three Lions won 4-1 in the UEFA European Championships in 1996. England are at 6/4 with Paddy Power to win this time around, whilst the Netherlands can be backed at odds of 2/1. A draw after 90 minutes, meanwhile, is at a price of 9/5.
Gareth Southgate may have to shuffle his pack for the game following Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur’s excursions in the UEFA Champions League final last week. Danny Rose, Eric Dier, Jordan Henderson, Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Trent Alexander-Arnold all joined up later than the rest of the group.
Elsewhere, the Dutch also had some late arrivals due to the final being held last week. Virgil van Dijk and Georginio Wijnaldum both appeared and indeed lifted the trophy so will hope to add to their medal hauls in Portugal.
Despite an under-par appearance in the final as Spurs were edged out, Kane is the favourite between the squads to open the scoring in the game. He can be backed at a price of 7/2 with William Hill. A familiar name to fans of English football is one of the favourites to score the opening goal from the perspective of the Dutch as former Manchester United forward Memphis Depay is available at a price of 5/1.