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Netherlands’ Ronald Koeman to experiment against Scotland


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Netherlands head coach Ronald Koeman will tinker with a three-man midfield in Friday’s friendly against Scotland in Amsterdam.

The Dutch have a single defeat to France in their six games since the Nations League finals last June, winning the other five.

But they will depart from their usual formation of two holding midfielders with another more attacking player further forward behind the strikers against what Koeman expects to be a battling Scotland side.

The former Netherlands defender admits he is unlikely to employ a pure three-man midfield from the start at the Euro 2024 finals but wants his side to develop various ways of playing.

“We are going to play with three midfielders, three real midfielders,” Koeman said, which is perhaps the reason why 33-year-old Georginio Wijnaldum has been drafted back into the national set-up after an absence of nine months.

“In the preparation for the European Championship, we are not going to experiment too much. But I’ve already said it – this team is able to play different systems.

“I have the reputation of being a cautious coach. But I would like to have the ball, attack, put pressure on the opponent. That is possible with multiple systems.”

Koeman, who celebrated his 61st birthday on Thursday, pointed out that Scotland, “a strong team”, can also “play out of different systems”.

“Maybe they will start with five at the back, maybe they will play 4-3-3 as a system and that makes it always difficult for the opponent and of course in that team, they have some good individual qualities of players who play for big teams in the Premier League,” he added.

“And they are a fighting team. That’s always one of the big qualities and, even when they play away, they will get the support of the Scottish people and that makes it and interesting game.”

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