England can beat the Dutch for the first time in almost 20 years when the sides meet this evening.
England are coming off their best result under Roy Hodgson’s stewardship and are now being talked about as potential champions this summer after their win over the World Champions. One side who definitely won’t be winning anything this summer is the Netherlands, who were beaten 3-2 in Amsterdam by France last Friday. However, it’s almost 20 years since England last beat the Dutch, when Shearer and Sheringham fired them to a 4-1 win at Wembley in Euro ’96.
After contrasting World Cup experiences the fortunes of these sides have gone in very different directions. England have won 14 of their 17 matches with just one defeat and they’ve scored at least twice in seven of their last eight games. Furthermore, they’ve won nine in a row at home while scoring 23 times and conceding just once.
The Netherlands, meanwhile, have lost nine of 16 matches since finishing third in Brazil with four of their six wins coming against Latvia and Kazakhstan. It’s a youthful Dutch squad and while defensively they look highly vulnerable – they’ve conceded 17 goals in their last eight matches with their only clean sheet coming against Latvia – they do have a decent scoring record. In fact they’ve scored at least twice in each of their last four games against teams in the top 20 in our rankings but they’ve also lost three of those matches and they were all played at home.
England are bound to make several changes but it shouldn’t significantly weaken them with the players due to come in all in excellent form and it’s not a team that is overly reliant on a single superstar. That is an accusation that could be put towards the Netherlands side after how important Arjen Robben was for them during the World Cup and how they’ve struggled since as he’s been largely absent. The Bayern winger is currently out injured and we think it’ll be a fifth defeat in the sixth international match he’s missed over the past 12 months – the only game he played the Netherlands won as he scored a brace in a 3-2 win in Cardiff.
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