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Netherlands vs Scotland: preview, team news, how to watch and prediction

The March international break is upon us and this is going to be the last international fixtures ahead of the summer’s European Championship.

The March international break is upon us and this is going to be the last international fixtures ahead of the summer’s European Championship.

21 out of the 24 teams have already qualified for the Euro 24 and three more will book their place in this competition through the playoff rounds – which will take place during this period.

However, Netherlands and Scotland have secured their place for this tournament – which is set to be hosted by Germany – so fans are eager to buy Euro 2024 tickets ahead of the summer action. The two nations will play a couple of friendly fixtures over the next few days. Therefore, this is almost the final preparation for them before the big tournament in a few months time.

Netherlands will face off against Scotland in one of the friendly games at Johan Cruijff Arena on Friday evening.

The Dutch have secured their place in the European Championship through the qualifying rounds pretty comfortablely and this can be said about Scotland as well.

Netherlands will be coming into this game after winning their previous three games so they will be hoping to make it four in a row. However, Scotland haven’t won a game since September last year so they will be desperate to return to winning ways ahead of this summer’s European Championship.

Previous meetings

The Netherlands have been dominant over their Friday’s opponent over the last few decades as they last lost to Scotland back in 2003. The game ended in a stalemate when these two sides previously met in an international friendly a few years ago.

So, it remains to be seen how things pan out in this encounter as Scotland have been displaying promising performances in recent years, while Netherlands haven’t been at their best.

How to watch

The game will kick off at 7:45 PM UK time and the match will be televised live on Viaplay Sports 1 in the UK

Team news

Frenkie de Jong has been out injured in recent times with Barcelona so he hasn’t been called up for this month’s international fixtures. Therefore, this will be a huge blow for the Dutch.

In addition, Tyrell Malacia has been sidelined with a serious knee problem since the start of the season so he isn’t available at the moment either, but Ronald Koeman currently has enough defenders at his disposal. So, the Manchester United star’s absence won’t be an issue for the hosts.

For Scotland, they will be without Callum McGregor and Aaron Hickey as they have been out injured due to their respective problems.

Predicted line-up

Koeman could field his team in 3-4-2-1 formation with Mark Flekken likely to be in goal. Virgil van Dijk could commence at the back and alongside the Liverpool captain, Matthijs de Ligt and Nathan Ake should start with Jeremie Frimpong and Quilindschy Hartman expected to be in the wing-back position.

Tijjani Reijnders should be in the deep-lying playmaker position and the AC Milan man could be paired up with Mats Wieffer in the engine room. In front of them, Xavi Simons and Teun Koopmeiners might be the two attacking midfielders, while Memphis Depay should lead the line for Netherlands.

Expected Netherlands line-up vs Scotland

Flekken; De Ligt, Van Dijk, Ake; Frimpong, Wieffer, Reijnders, Hartman; Simons, Koopmeiners; Depay

As for Scotland, Steve Clarke could decide to go with the 3-4-2-1 formation as well with Angus Gunn likely to be between the sticks. Jack Hendry could be at the back alongside Scott McKenna and Kieran Tierney, while Andy Robertson and Nathan Patterson could be the two wing-backs for the visitors.

Billy Gilmour could be paired up with John McGinn in the engine room, pushing Scott McTominay and Ryan Christie in the attacking midfield position. Che Adams may lead the line for Scotland.

Expected Scotland line-up vs Netherlands

Gunn; Hendry, McKenna, Tierney; Patterson, Gilmour, McGinn, Robertson; Christie, McTominay; Adams

Key players

Depay hasn’t been able to play regularly for Atletico Madrid this season, but he has looked impressive in recent games. So, the former Manchester United man will be hoping to get some game time under his belt during this international break ahead of an upcoming crucial stage of this campaign.

Depay is the talismanic figure for Netherlands so the onus will be on him to help his side win this game by putting his name on the score-sheet. In addition, Koeman’s side’s fate in the European Championship will be heavily dependent on the forward’s form.

Frimpong has enjoyed a stellar campaign in Bundesliga this term, helping Bayer Leverkusen mount a title charge. So, it remains to be seen whether the defender can replicate the same performance on the international stage as well.

Simons has also enjoyed a productive campaign for RB Leipzig this season. Now, it remains to be seen how the youngster develops his international career having already showcased glimpses of his qualities in the club football in recent times.

The backline of De Ligt, Van Dijk and Ake look really strong so it will be hard for Scotland to break down the Netherlands defence this fixture.

For Scotland, Robertson is their captain but he hasn’t been at his best in recent times after returning from his injury issue. He has found himself in and out from Liverpool’s starting eleven so the fullback will be hoping to use these international matches to regain his confidence by performing at his best.

McTominay has been enjoying a productive campaign for Man Utd this season so he will be hoping to continue his goal-scoring form in the international stage as well.

Adams is likely to lead the line for Scotland in this game so the onus will be on him to help his country come away with a victory from this fixture by putting his name on the score-sheet.

Prediction

Netherlands will be at home so they will be the big favourite in this encounter. However, they haven’t been able to showcase their best yet under Koeman’s guidance so they will be desperate to gain their form ahead of the European Championship.

On the other hand, Scotland have enjoyed a promising spell in recent years. After qualifying for the European Championship in the previous edition, they have now also booked their place in this year’s European Championship, beating Spain along the way, though La Furia Roja eventually finished the group at the top.

So, Scotland won’t bow down easily in this game and the hosts will have to be at their very best to come away victorious in this encounter. However, beating Koeman’s side away from home won’t be easy for the visitors so the game could end in a stalemate. Nevertheless, it is going to be interesting to see how the game eventually unfolds on Friday night. Netherlands 2-2 Scotland

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