Northern Ireland vs Netherlands
Who? Northern Ireland vs Netherlands in Matchday 9 of Group C of Euro 2020 Qualification
Where? Windsor Park, Belfast
When? 19:45 GMT, Saturday 16th November 2019 (Live on Sky Sports)
A hugely significant game in Group C sees Northern Ireland take on The Netherlands at Windsor Park at they fight for a place in Euro 2020.
The Green and White Army nearly suffered a blow heading into this crucial match. Manager Michael O’Neill, after nine years of pushing the nation forward, made the switch to domestic football. He joined strugglers Stoke City in the Championship, however will still be in charge of the national team for these two games and any potential play-off games in March 2020. A lot could happen from now until then, however, and it would be very unusual to have someone else come in at the start of a tournament next summer should they qualify. Regarding their results, Northern Ireland could count themselves unfortunate to have this reverse fixture slip away. After taking a shock lead through Josh Magennis, a late Memphis Depay brace sealed a 3-1 victory for The Netherlands.
For the Dutch, their campaign to Euro 2020 has been remarkable. The Netherlands are looking very strong and arguably back to their best. The defensive pairing of Virgil van Dijk and Matthijs de Ligt will be a partnering for years to come. Midfielders like Georginio Wijnaldum, Donny van de Beek and Frenkie de Jong oozes class and quality. Options going forward include Memphis Depay and Quincy Promes, with great back ups including Luuk de Jong. This is a side that has only lost once in qualifying to Germany, and has won four qualifiers in a row. With a place in the play-offs certain ahead of kick-off, they will want to secure a top spot in the group. Northern Ireland came close in the reverse fixture, so the Dutch will need to be wary and professional throughout.
Northern Ireland (6/1* to Win): Unfortunately, for Northern Ireland, neither first choice goalkeepers Michael McGovern or Bailey Peacock-Farrell are playing first-team football for their clubs. A solid partnership of Jonny Evans and Craig Cathcart will be important, however. Michael O’Neill has good options to cover the midfield area and leave the lone striker up front. We expect the likes of George Saville, Paddy McNair, Steven Davies and Corry Evans to feature. It is a toss up between Kyle Lafferty and Josh Magennis up front. Magennis might be the better impact player off the bench, just like in this reverse fixture.
Netherlands (4/9* to Win): AZ wonder kids Myron Boadu and Calvin Stengs have both been called up to the senior team. Both may have to wait until the final qualifying game for their debuts, however. This tie likely sets Ryan Babel up make his 63rd cap for the Netherlands aged 32. Wijnaldum will probably make his 62nd appearance, having impressively scored 15 goals from midfield. Only Daley Blind has more caps in the selected squad with 68 caps.
10 Oct 2019: Netherlands 3-1 Northern Ireland
02 June 2012: Netherlands 6-0 Northern Ireland
12 Oct 1977: Northern Ireland 0-1 Netherlands
13 Oct 1976: Netherlands 2-2 Northern Ireland
07 Apr 1965: Netherlands 0-0 Northern Ireland
*odds as of November 14th at 10:12 GMT and subject to change
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