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How Netherlands could line up against Northern Ireland

Sports Mole looks at how the Netherlands could line up for Saturday's Euro 2020 qualifying clash with Northern Ireland.

The Netherlands are locked in a fierce contest with Germany to top Euro 2020 qualifying Group C, with the pair level on 15 points going into the final round of fixtures.

Despite Germany's superior goal difference, the Netherlands top the group on head-to-head and can secure qualification with a point against Northern Ireland, while claiming maximum points in their next two games would see them win the group.

Northern Ireland are still able to secure automatic qualification, however, sitting just three points behind the top two and will be looking to claim what could be a crucial win against Ronald Koeman's side, needing to match Germany's result against Belarus to remain in contention.

Here, Sports Mole looks at how the Oranje could line up for Saturday's showdown.


Possible NED XI vs. NI

Out: Steven Bergwijn (hamstring), Donyell Malen (ankle), Davy Propper (knock)
Doubtful: Memphis Depay (hamstring)

Koeman is unlikely to make too many changes from his side's 2-1 victory away in Belarus, although injuries will force him to make at least two alterations.

However, Jasper Cillessen is not among the injury concerns and will start between the sticks, with the back four that played against Belarus likely to remain intact - Joel Veltman and Daley Blind flanking the central defensive partnership of Virgil van Dijk and Matthijs de Ligt once more.

The midfield trio is also likely to remain the same, with Giorginio Wijnaldum and Donny van de Beek starting either side of Frenkie de Jong in a deeper role to form a well-balanced triumvirate.

It is in attack where changes will be made, with Malen and Bergwijn unavailable due to injury. Luuk de Jong could come in up front, while Ryan Babel could replace Bergwijn on the wing. While Depay has been called up, his fitness remains in doubt, meaning that Quincy Promes will hope to retain his place in the side, although he is likely to be switched from the left flank to the right in order to accommodate Babel.

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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
JapanJapan124521
ChinaChina115824
United StatesUnited States1011930
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia78520
AustraliaAustralia61916
Great BritainGreat Britain56516
Today's Olympic highlights header

Thursday's key events


ROWING
· Comeback queen and super-mum Helen Glover goes for her third Olympic gold alongside Polly Swann in the women's pair final (1.30am)
· There is also a medal on offer for GB pair Emily Craig and Imogen Grant in the lightweight women's double scull final (2.10am)

SWIMMING
· As second-fastest qualifier for the final, Team GB's James Wilby is among the medal contenders in the men's 200m breaststroke (2.44am)
· Alys Thomas takes part in the women's 200m butterfly final, although he faces a difficult task to challenge for the medals (3.28am)
· Caeleb Dressel of the USA has been touted by some as the successor to Michael Phelps, and he has the chance to notch up a fourth Olympic gold in the men's 100m freestyle final (3.37am)

RUGBY SEVENS
· After Team GB's men narrowly missed out on a medal, the women get their campaign underway against the Russian Olympic Committee (3am) and New Zealand (10.30am)

HOCKEY
· It is a Great Britain vs. Netherlands double-header, with the men up first in Pool B (4.15am)
· Most eyes will be on the women's showdown between the two nations, though, as Netherlands - the world's best team - look to gain revenge on GB for defeat in the 2016 Olympic final (11am)

CANOE SLALOM
· Mallory Franklin takes part in the women's canoe semi-final, and will hope to do enough to qualify for the final later in the day (6am-8.45am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· With Simone Biles now out of the women's all-around final, the competition has been blown wide open. Team GB twins Jessica and Jennifer Gadirova are among those taking part (11.50am-2.05pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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