A place in the finals of the Nations is on the cards as the top two sides in the group, Netherlands and Belgium test each other in Amsterdam.
Louis van Gaal’s men need just a draw to finish as the group leaders while the Red Devils had to register a win but with a four-goal margin due to the head-to-head rule to stay in the competition next year.
NED vs BEL Match Details
Date: Sunday, 25 September 2022 / Monday, 26 September 2022
Time: 20:45 (CET) / 00:15 (IST)
Venue: Johan Cruyff Arena, Amsterdam
NED vs BEL Match Preview
It has been a perfect Nations League campaign for the Nations League this season to say the least. The Dutch have not lost a single game so far in the competition dropping points only once and are frontrunners to be in the finals of the Nations League for the second time being the beaten finalists in 2019. The Orange shirts are also in this incredible undefeated run since Louis van Gaal took charge for his third spell after the European Championship last year winning 10 of the 14 games since. The 2-0 controlled win with goals from Coady Gakpo and Steven Bergwijin over an ineffective Poland side showed the Netherlands’s might under the management as they look to build on their winning momentum in lead up to the World Cup in Qatar this November. Louis van Gaal has made his side an all-around team with little to no issues to think about. He will direct the nation to their first World Cup after two editions himself being in the hot seat when the Dutch last competed in the showpiece back in 2014 in Brazil. That time they reached the semifinals of the competition and will be hoping for something similar or go better this time around. The Dutch have also scored more goals than any other nation in League A with 13 and despite conceding some cheap goals in the contest, are composed in their defense. Netherlands know a draw will confirm their place among the last four but even if they lose against Belgium it will take a thrashing from the Red Devils to dislodge them from the top spot. The Dutch handed the guests a 4-1 defeat in the reverse fixture in the curtain raiser of the Nations League this season in June, hence, have the head-to-head stat to their advantage as well. With destiny firmly in their own hands, it is for Netherlands to lose from here with the pressure of the game lying more on Belgium.
The 4-1 loss in this fixture three months back was the only fragility Belgium went through in the Nations League this season as they stepped up their game by winning three of the next four games. Roberto Martinez’s men dropped points against Wales in the first game but managed to beat them in their last with Kevin de Bruyne’s scoring and Michy Batshuayi netting for the third time in the tournament. Wales picked up their game in the second half getting a goal back through Kieffer Moore’s belting header and despite coach Roberto Martinez sent off to the stands, Belgium managed to hold on for the 2-1 result. With consecutive victories leading up to the last group stage game, Belgium have to do more than just win against the Netherlands in order to get into the finals of the Nations League next year. The Red Devils are currently second in the table on 10 points trailing the Dutch by three points. The head-to-head rule says Belgium have to beat the group leaders by four goals to be in contention for the playoffs bringing their A-game to the table. Even if Belgium failed to meet their objective of the match the scenario provides them with the chance to test their strength against a top nation. Regardless of the result in the game, Martinez will feel his side couldn’t have done any better in these pre-World Cup games. With many of his key players likely to play in the tournament last time in their prime, the golden generation of Belgium is running out of time. This is the last shot to win a major silverware Red Devils have in Qatar this November and moving into the World Cup with a win in the store will be definitive for the preparations.
NED vs BEL Team News
Netherlands will be without star duo Teen Koopmeiners and Memphis Depay for the final group stage game in the Nations League. The Atalanta midfielder suffered a head injury six minutes into the game whereas Depay had to withdraw in the 52nd minute for a hamstring injury. Marten de Roon and Steven Berghuis will replace them from the start. The rest of the squad remains unchanged.
Belgium, on the other hand, have no injuries troubling ahead of the fixture with Roberto Martinez sticking to the eleven from the last game. However, he will not be present on the touchline for the clash after being red-carded for an argument with the officials. Kevin de Bruyne made his 92nd appearance and scored his 25th goal in the win over Wales. The Manchester City playmaker will be hoping for his first goal contribution against the Dutch.
NED vs BEL Predicted Lineups
NED: Remko Pasveer; Jurlien Timber, Van Dijk, Nathan Ake; Denzel Dumfries, De Roon, De Jong, Steven Berghuis, Daley Blind; Steven Bergwijn, Cody Gakpo
BEL: Thibaut Courtois; Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Arthur Theate; Timothy Castagne, Youri Tielemans, Axel Witsel, Yannick Carrasco; De Bruyne, Eden Hazard; Michy Batshuayi
NED vs BEL Dream11 Team Prediction
GK: Courtois (7.5)
DEF: Alderweireld (7.5), Vertonghen (8), Ake (7.5), Blind (8)
MID: Dumfries (9), De Bruyne (9), Tielemans (8.5), Bergwijn (7)
FW: Batshuayi (8), Gakpo (7)
Captain: Kevin de Bruyne
Vice-captain: Michy Batshuayi