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

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's International Friendlies clash between Netherlands and Scotland, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

With less than two weeks until they kick off their Euro 2020 campaign, the Netherlands and Scotland square off in a friendly in Portugal on Wednesday.

Scotland qualified for their first major tournament since 1998 with a victory over Serbia in a penalty shootout last year, and they will aim to build confidence going into the group stage as they take on a strong Netherlands outfit who will also make a return having missed the two previous major competitions before this year's European Championships.


Match preview

Netherlands' Luuk de Jong celebrates scoring their second goal with Memphis Depay on March 27, 2021© Reuters

In their last round of international fixtures in March, Netherlands kicked off their World Cup qualifying campaign with a disappointing 4-2 defeat to Turkey, as Burak Yilmaz netted a hat-trick before Hakan Calhanoglu added a fourth, and late goals from Davy Klaassen and Luuk de Jong were not enough to salvage a result.

Oranje bounced back from that loss with two consecutive victories, firstly defeating Latvia 2-0 thanks to goals from Steven Berghuis and de Jong.

Frank de Boer's side then recorded an eye-catching 7-0 win away against Gibraltar, as Memphis Depay netted a brace alongside goals from Berghuis, de Jong, Georginio Wijnaldum, Donyell Malen and Donny van de Beek.

Having failed to qualify for Euro 2016 and the 2018 World Cup, Oranje will be hoping to make a strong return to major tournaments, as they head into Euro 2020 with a strong chance of making it out of the group stage.

De Boer's men will look to add a third straight victory on Wednesday, as they aim to build confidence with their first group game coming in under two weeks.

They take on a Scotland side who will also look to build towards the European Championships, as they head into their first major tournament in over 20 years.

Scotland manager Steve Clarke pictured on November 15, 2020© Reuters

After a mixed qualification campaign in 2019, which ended with three straight victories, Scotland made the playoff round for Euro 2020, firstly taking on Israel.

That game finished goalless and went to a penalty shootout, and the Tartan Terriers progressed as Kenny McLean netted the winner after John McGinn, Callum McGregor, Scott McTominay and Lawrence Shankland had all scored from the spot.

Steve Clarke's men then took on Serbia with a place in Euro 2020 at stake, and they looked to see out a 1-0 win thanks to Ryan Christie's opener before Luka Jovic took the game to extra time with a 90th-minute equaliser.

The additional 30 minutes saw no further goals, resulting in a second consecutive penalty shootout, with goalkeeper David Marshall being the hero as he saved Aleksandar Mitrovic's penalty to book his side's spot in their first major tournament since 1998.

In their last round of international fixtures, Scotland kicked off their World Cup qualifying campaign with draws against Austria and Israel, followed by a 4-0 victory over Faroe Islands, as McGinn netted a brace alongside goals from Che Adams and Ryan Fraser.

They will now turn their attentions back to Euro 2020, as they aim to build confidence for the group stage with what would be a statement victory on Wednesday.

Netherlands International Friendlies form:
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • D

Netherlands form (all competitions):
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W

Scotland International Friendlies form:
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L

Scotland form (all competitions):
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • D
  • W



Team News

Scotland's Che Adams celebrates scoring against the Faroe Islands on March 31, 2021© Reuters

Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk recently confirmed that he will be out for the European Championship and the preceding friendlies, having missed the majority of the Premier League campaign through a ligament injury.

In his absence, Matthijs de Ligt and Stefan de Vrij should partner up at the heart of the defence, while Manchester City centre-back Nathan Ake will also push for a starting spot.

The key man in their attack will be Memphis Depay, who starred for Lyon in Ligue 1 this season with 20 goals and 12 assists in 37 league games.

Frenkie De Jong and Georginio Wijnaldum recently joined up with the rest of the Netherlands squad, and they should partner up in midfield on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, goalkeeper Jasper Cillesen is yet to arrive at the camp, having recently tested positive for COVID-19.

Forward Che Adams recently pledged his allegiance to the Scottish national team, and he will look to secure his place in the starting XI for the upcoming tournament.

He could be joined in attack by Lyndon Dykes, given the injuries to Ryan Fraser and Oli McBurnie.

Scotland possess an impressive left-hand side, with Arsenal defender Kieran Tierney expected to operate on the left of a back three while Liverpool defender Andrew Robertson will take on attacking and defensive responsibilities from a wing-back role.

With Robertson alongside the likes of John McGinn and Scott McTominay, they have a strong line across the middle, shielding the back three of Tierney, Grant Hanley and Leeds United centre-back Liam Cooper.

Netherlands possible starting lineup:
Stekelenburg; Dumfries, De Ligt, De Vrij, Ake; Wijnaldum, De Jong; Berghuis, Klaassen, Depay; De Jong

Scotland possible starting lineup:
Marshall; Hanley, Cooper, Tierney; O'Donnell, McTominay, McGinn, McGregor, Robertson; Adams, Dykes


SM words green background

We say: Netherlands 2-1 Scotland

Scotland definitely present a challenging proposition, especially with the momentum of heading into their first major tournament since the turn of the century, but we see them being slightly outclassed in Portugal.

Even in the absence of Van Dijk, Netherlands possess an exciting blend of attacking and defensive quality, and they will look to build confidence going into the Euros with an important win.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a home win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home Win:data


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How you voted: Netherlvss vs Scotlvs

Netherlands
74.1%
Draw
10.9%
Scotland
15.0%
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Scotland manager Steve Clarke pictured on November 15, 2020
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