HomeFootballPreview: Netherlands vs. Scotland - prediction, team news, lineups

Preview: Netherlands vs. Scotland – prediction, team news, lineups


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Sports Mole previews Friday’s friendly clash between Netherlands and Scotland, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Netherlands welcome Scotland to the Johan Cruijff ArenA for an international friendly fixture on Friday evening.

The two nations face off for the first time since June 2021 when they played out a 2-2 friendly draw at the Estadio Algarve in Portugal.

Match preview

© Reuters

Following a rocky start to his second stint in charge of the Netherlands at the beginning of 2023, losing three of his first four matches, Ronald Koeman ended the year on a positive note as his Dutch side claimed five wins out of six to qualify for Euro 2024.

The Oranje accumulated 18 points from their eight Group B matches, but they had to settle for second place behind group winners France, who beat them both home and away by an aggregate score of 6-1.

Ranked sixth in the world by FIFA, the Netherlands have come up short in recent years when facing teams with a similar prestige to themselves on the European stage, and Koeman will be keen to rectify that ahead of Euro 2024 in friendly fixtures against a resurgent Scotland outfit and Germany this month.

Although the Netherlands will be considered as favourites to come out on top in Friday’s fixture, considering that they are unbeaten in their last five meetings with Scotland, their recent record in friendlies leaves little to be desired, as they have won just four of the last 12 such matches.

Scotland, meanwhile, travel to Amsterdam on the back of a five-game winless streak in all competition, drawing their final two fixtures of 2023 against Georgia (2-2) and Norway (3-3) in Euro 2024 qualifying.

Despite that, the Tartan Army – who won five qualifiers in a row earlier in the year – finished second in Group A behind Spain to secure automatic qualification to just their fourth European Championships, qualifying with a game to spare and advancing to back-to-back Euros for the first time since 1992 and 1996.

A group-stage battle with hosts Germany, Hungary and Switzerland awaits Scotland this summer, and Steve Clarke will be desperate to see his side put together a strong run of form across four friendly fixtures ahead of the tournament, starting with a challenging trip to the Netherlands.

Scotland, ranked 34th in the world by FIFA, have struggled on the road in recent years having won just three of their last 10 away internationals, as well as just one of their last seven away friendly fixtures, while they last celebrated success against the Netherlands back in November 2003 when James McFadden scored the only goal in a 1-0 home victory.

Netherlands form (all competitions):

Scotland form (all competitions):

Team News

Netherlands' Wout Weghorst celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on November 18, 2023© Reuters

Ajax striker Brian Brobbey has pulled out of the Netherlands squad after sustaining a hamstring injury, while Joshua Zirkzee (muscle), Frenkie de Jong (ankle), Micky van de Ven (hamstring) and Sven Botman (ACL) are also in the treatment room.

Feyenoord midfielder Quinten Timber has received his first senior call-up and is set to battle with the likes of Teun Koopmeiners, Marten de Roon, Joey Veerman and Georginio Wijnaldum for a start on Friday.

Xavi Simons has been in fine form for RB Leipzig this term, recording nine goals and 13 assists in 36 games, and the playmaker could be handed a start in a three-man attack alongside Wout Weghorst and Premier League-linked Donyell Malen.

As for Scotland, defender Grant Hanley was recalled to the squad after a lengthy spell on the sidelines with an Achilles injury, but the Norwich City man has now decided to withdraw from the senior setup, as has fellow centre-back Scott McKenna due to injury.

Clarke still has plenty of defensive options at his disposal, though, with Liam Cooper, Jack Hendry, John Souttar, Ryan Porteous and Kieran Tierney – if he is not deployed at left-back – all capable of operating at centre-back.

Forty-one-year-old Craig Gordon is in contention to earn his 75th cap between the sticks, while John McGinn, Scott McTominay and Lewis Ferguson – who has impressed in Italy with Bologna this season – will all be pushing to start in midfield.

Netherlands possible starting lineup:
Verbruggen; De Vrij, Van Dijk, Ake; Dumfries, Koopmeiners, De Roon, Blind; Simons, Malen; Weghorst

Scotland possible starting lineup:
Clark; Cooper, Hendry, Tierney; Patterson, McTominay, McGinn, Robertson; Ferguson; Adams, Dykes

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We say: Netherlands 3-2 Scotland

Three or more goals have been scored in eight of the last 10 international matches involving Scotland, while the Netherlands have found the net in each of their last eight fixtures, so goals could be on the cards in Amsterdam.

It remains to be seen how strong both nations will line up for this contest, but the Netherlands should ultimately have enough quality within their ranks to come away with a victory.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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