MX23RW : Monday, August 15 06:02:52| >> :600:4128748:4128748:
[monks data]
Jun 8, 2022 at 7.45pm UK at Millennium Stadium
Wales
1 - 2
Netherlands
FT(HT: 0-0)
Koopmeiners (50'), Weghorst (90+4')
Teze (3')

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

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Nations League clash between Wales and Netherlands, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Returning to a party atmosphere in Cardiff, Wales quickly resume their UEFA Nations League campaign with the visit of the Netherlands in League A Group 4 on Wednesday night.

Rob Page guided the Dragons to their first World Cup in 64 years with victory over Ukraine, while Oranje most recently thumped Belgium by four goals to one.


Match preview

Wales forward Gareth Bale celebrating scoring with a deflected free kick against Ukraine on June 5, 2022.© Reuters

There was certainly an air of controversy surrounding Wales' 1-0 victory over a dogged Ukraine side on Sunday night, but the scoreline in the top-left hand corner was the only statistic that mattered for the Dragons, who ended 64 years of pain on the biggest international stage of them all.

Ukraine captain Andriy Yarmolenko directed Gareth Bale's free kick into his own net but felt aggrieved after an apparent stonewall penalty from Joe Allen's kick was not given, as Wales booked their tickets to Qatar to prepare for battle against Iran, the USA, and of course, England.

While the Dragons faithful would have partied long into the night, Page's players still have three Nations League fixtures to navigate during a gruelling six-day period, but a makeshift side performed admirably against Poland before slumping to a 2-1 defeat.

Wales spent two years vying for promotion in League B before clinching a spot in the big time, and defeat to Poland represents their only loss in 11 fixtures across all tournaments, and Cardiff turf is nothing if not a fortress.

Indeed, the World Cup participants are now unbeaten in 19 successive matches in front of their own fans since losing to Denmark in the inaugural Nations League, but the Netherlands well and truly laid down a marker during their recent trip to Brussels.

Netherlands boss Louis van Gaal pictured on September 1, 2021© Reuters

Perhaps thanking their lucky stars that Belgium's all-time record goalscorer Romelu Lukaku was forced off the field with a twisted ankle after just 27 minutes of action in Brussels, the Netherlands produced a ruthless attacking display to humble the world's second-ranked nation.

Memphis Depay struck twice alongside efforts from Steven Bergwijn and Denzel Dumfries to kill off any hopes of a Belgium comeback after the hour mark, although the Red Devils still managed to bag a late consolation through Michy Batshuayi, but the day belonged to those in orange.

Unsurprisingly sitting at the League A Group 4 summit with one game down and five to go, the Netherlands are still unbeaten since that shock last-16 exit to the Czech Republic at Euro 2020 - winning seven and drawing three in all competitions since.

It has also been over a year since the 2010 World Cup runners-up last suffered defeat of any kind on the road, where they are also unbeaten in four Nations League matches and have not failed to score since being held by Bosnia-Herzegovina in October 2020.

Furthermore, Oranje have played Wales on eight occasions previously and have come out on top in all eight of them, so Louis van Gaal's side travel to Cardiff firmly intent on spoiling the Dragons' World Cup party, even if the home crowd's spirits cannot be dampened.

Wales Nations League form:
  • L

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

Netherlands Nations League form:
  • W

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


Team News

Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk on May 14, 2022© Reuters

Wales came through their historic showdown with Ukraine unscathed, but Page is sure to make wholesale changes to his XI as he prepares for three more games in the space of a week.

Wayne Hennessey was one of the heroes of the hour on Sunday but could now be granted a rest as Danny Ward is drafted back into the side, as Chris Mepham and Rhys Norrington-Davies seek to earn starts in defence.

Brennan Johnson looked a danger when he was introduced at the weekend and is also in contention to feature from the first whistle, and the same can be said for Jonathan Williams, Joe Morrell and Harry Wilson.

Netherlands manager Van Gaal should also be working with a near full complement of players for Wednesday's contest, and it would not be surprising to see the visitors line up with an altered XI when taking Wales' need to make changes into account.

Stefan de Vrij and Matthijs de Ligt are both candidates to return to the Dutch defence as Virgil van Dijk goes on holiday, while Tyrell Malacia may earn just his fourth cap if veteran Daley Blind's legs are in need of a rest.

Van Gaal singled out his midfield contingent for their stellar showings in the win over Belgium, but there could still be room for Teun Koopmeiners or the uncapped Jerdy Schouten to get some game time here, while Vincent Janssen could return after missing out last week for his wedding.

Wales possible starting lineup:
Ward; Gunter, Mepham, Davies; Roberts, Williams, Morrell, Norrington-Davies; Wilson, James, Johnson

Netherlands possible starting lineup:
Flekken; De Ligt, Timber, De Vrij; Dumfries, De Jong, Klaassen, Malacia; Berghuis; Depay, Gakpo


SM words green background

We say: Wales 1-3 Netherlands

The result of Wednesday's game should pale into insignificance for a much-changed Wales side after the weekend's exploits, but Page's second-string XI still performed admirably against Poland.

Changes can also be expected on the visitors' end as they seek to end the Dragons' lengthy unbeaten run at home, but we can only picture Van Gaal's merciless side giving Wales a harsh reality check in Cardiff.

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


Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals 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.Over 1.5:data

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How you voted: Wales vs Netherlvss

Wales
16.3%
Draw
8.9%
Netherlands
74.8%
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Wales forward Gareth Bale celebrating scoring with a deflected free kick against Ukraine on June 5, 2022.
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