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Nov 19, 2019 at 7.45pm UK
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Preview: Netherlands vs. Estonia - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Tuesday's Euro 2020 qualifier between the Netherlands and Estonia, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

The Netherlands will round off their Euro 2020 qualification campaign with a home game against Estonia on Tuesday night.

Ronald Koeman's side booked their spot in next summer's finals with a goalless draw against Northern Ireland on Saturday, while Estonia are bottom of Group C with just one point from their seven games.

Match preview

Netherlands manager Ronald Koeman on September 6, 2019© Reuters

Five wins, one draw and one defeat - that is how the Netherlands have performed in Group C. As mentioned, Koeman's team picked up a goalless draw against Northern Ireland on Saturday to ensure that they would be present in next summer's finals.

Holland can still top Group C, although they would have to overcome Estonia and hope that Northern Ireland pick up a result against section leaders Germany. First position is certainly not off the table for the Oranje, but booking their spot in the finals was always the priority.

The Netherlands famously failed to qualify for Euro 2016, while they were also eliminated in the group stages of Euro 2012. As a result, not since 2008 - when they reached the quarter-finals - have the nation made a strong impression in this particular competition.

They did reach the semi-finals in three of their four participations between 1992 and 2004, though, and certainly have a squad capable of making an impression next summer.

In terms of standout results in Group C, Koeman's side lost 3-2 at home to Germany back in March but gained revenge by recording a 4-2 victory in the reverse match. They also made the final of the inaugural UEFA Nations League back in June before losing to Portugal, who secured the trophy with a strike from Goncalo Guedes.

Northern Ireland's Josh Magennis in action with Estonia's Karol Mets during their Euro 2020 qualifier on June 8, 2018© Reuters

Estonia have never qualified for the finals of a World Cup or European Championship and that unwanted record has continued. Indeed, the Blueshirts have only collected one point from their seven matches to sit bottom of the group heading into their clash with the Netherlands.

Karel Voolaid's side did reach the qualifying playoffs for Euro 2012 after finishing second in their group but have got nowhere near that this time around. They lost 8-0 to Germany back in June, while their only point came away to Belarus during the October international break.

Estonia have not actually played a competitive match since losing 3-0 at home to Germany on October 13. Indeed, their clash with Ukraine on Thursday was only a friendly but brought another defeat, this time 1-0.

Considering that Estonia have scored just twice and conceded 21 times in their seven matches, it is not too difficult to see why they have struggled to compete. Voolaid's team will finish bottom of the group even if they manage to pick up a shock win over the hosts on Tuesday night.

The reverse match between the two teams brought a 4-0 win for Holland in September, while Estonia have never overcome their opponents on Tuesday, although they did pick up a 2-2 draw during qualification for the 2014 World Cup.

Netherlands form: LWWWWD

Estonia form: LLLDLL

Team News

Netherlands' Memphis Depay celebrates scoring their third goal with teammates© Reuters

Memphis Depay did not play against Northern Ireland on Saturday night due to an injury, and it seems unlikely that the Lyon attacker will be risked for the Netherlands once again.

Matthijs de Ligt did start against Northern Ireland but could drop out for this one, while Georginio Wijnaldum is expected to come into the midfield after not featuring last time out.

Myron Boadu and Calvin Stengs will both be hoping to make their debuts, although Koeman is still expected to name a strong side as first position in the section is not closed.

Donyell Malen would have been a candidate to start with the attacker in excellent form for PSV Eindhoven this season, but the former Arsenal youngster missed out on a spot in the squad through injury.

Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk, meanwhile, has pulled out of Tuesday's affair for personal reasons.

As for Estonia, Suwon FC forward Henri Anier led the line against Ukraine last time out and that is again expected to be the case here with the 28-year-old the joint-second leading goalscorer in the squad.

Indeed, Anier has 13 strikes in 61 appearances, while the skipper Konstantin Vassiljev has 25 goals to his name.

Gert Kams could again be deployed in a wide position for the visitors, with Karol Mets and Joonas Tamm expected to line up as the two central defenders for the visitors.

Netherlands possible starting lineup: Cillessen; Veltman, Ake, Blind, Dumfries; De Roon, F de Jong, Wijnaldum; Berghuis, L de Jong, Promes

Estonia possible starting lineup: Lepmets; Baranov, Tamm, Mets, Pikk; Puri, Vassiljev, Antonov, Ainsalu, Kams; Ainer

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We say: Netherlands 4-0 Estonia

It is difficult to back anything other than a home win on Tuesday night when taking everything into consideration. The fact that the Netherlands can still finish top of the section means that Koeman is likely to name a strong side, and Estonia will struggle to compete with the quality that Holland undoubtedly possess.

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Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill on October 10, 2019
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