By Thomas Reynolds
Last Updated: 3rd June 2019
There’s little between the top three in the UEFA Nations League winner betting at the odds, but even so 3/1 shots the Netherlands look underrated.
Behind 7/4 joint-favourites England and host nation Portugal in the outright market, Ronald Koeman’s side should arguably be favourites for the competition.
Their recent form has the most substance
Yes, England have that brilliant, belief-breeding win in Spain on their Nations League resume and Gareth Southgate’s side have started Euro Championships qualifying in bloodthirsty fashion.
However, the Oranje topped League A’s undoubted group of death, earning their last-four place at the expense of the last two World Cup winners, France and Germany.
Six of their last seven games have been against either those two sides or Belgium, bronze medallists in Russia, so this outfit have near-exclusively tested themselves against the best of late.
By way of comparison, England’s on-going five-match winning streak includes the less notable scalps of the USA, Czech Republic and Montenegro.
Portugal, meanwhile, have scored once or less in six of eight internationals this season, a major contributor to them having drawn their last four games in all competitions.
Having lost their last home tournament (Euro 2004) to Greece, while in possession of an even better team, home advantage is no guarantee of success for Fernando Santos’ side either.
Like England, the Netherlands are stuffed with elite-level Champions League quality
The Three Lions can call upon five Champions League final starters in Trent Alexander-Arnold, Jordan Henderson, Danny Rose, Dele Alli and Harry Kane. Not to mention Manchester City first teamer Raheem Sterling.
However, the Dutch too can call upon two integral members of the winning side in Virgil van Dijk and Giorginio Wijnaldum, as well as key components of the thrilling Ajax team that reached the semis.
Godenzonen talents Matthijs de Ligt, Donny van der Beek, Frenkie de Jong and Daley Blind are all at Koeman’s disposal, while he can also call upon Barcelona goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen.
Coming only six days on from the final in Madrid, fatigue could prove a problem for both sides in their Nations League last-four clash, which England are 7/5 to win in normal time.
With less of their star players having contested the Champions League decider, the Dutch should also be the fresher XI as a result.