Netherlands vs England: Preview and Prediction

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Southgate’s England have been underwhelming but once again scraped through

Netherlands takes on England in the second semi-final of the UEFA Euro 2024 on Thursday from 12:30 AM IST. This colossal clash will be held at the iconic Signal Iduna Park in Dortmund.

On paper, this looks set to be a brilliant game but the reality might be different. Both teams have struggled to win games comprehensively despite the talent in their squads. 

Liverpool forward Cody Gakpo currently leads the Golden Boot standings with 3 goals in 5 games, and he will hope to return to form after a quiet showing in the quarter-finals. Interestingly, current coach Ronald Koeman played in the Dutch team which won the 1988 European Championships after beating England 3-1 in the group stages thanks to a hat-trick from Marco van Basten.

On the other hand, one of England’s finest hours in the European Championships came in the UEFA Euro 1996 when they beat Netherlands 4-1 in their last group game but the Three Lions ended up losing in the semi-finals on penalties thanks to a miss by current manager Gareth Southgate. This will be Southgate’s third semi-final in 5 years as England manager which means he will be desperate for the silverware in Germany this year to right all the wrongs. 

This England side, obviously different from that one, has regained some confidence mentality-wise and still believes they can win Euro 2024 despite an attack that has a lot of cohesion issues. 

Southgate’s 101st game in charge will see England try to become just the sixth team to make consecutive European Championship finals, and now a familiar foe stands between them and a place in Sunday’s showpiece.

Current Form

The Dutch were only third in their group after a shock defeat to Austria but got back on track with a 3-0 win over Romania in the last 16.

An upset looked on the cards in the quarter-final as Turkey led with 20 minutes to go, but Stefan De Vrij levelled with a header before an own goal put the men Oranje in front again before they saw the game out. 

Against Turkey, it took some real scraping through as an own goal from Mert Mulder which ended up being the winner in a feisty encounter that ended with a red card for Bertug Ozgur.

England has flattered to deceive as well but it seems they have got progressively better at plugging holes throughout the tournament. They topped Group C with 5 points from 3 games, defeating Serbia and drawing against Slovenia and Denmark. 

In the Round of 16, they beat Slovakia 2-1 thanks to a Jude Bellingham stunner and it went down to the penalties to beat Switzerland in the quarter-final after Bukayo Saka sensationally equalised in regulation time. It took some heroics from Jordan Pickford to save the day for the Three Lions, who have once again squeezed through to the last 4 of a major international tournament.

Head to Head Record

The two teams have faced each other 22 times, with Netherlands notching 7 wins and England having 6 victories to their name.

The most recent of those nine encounters also came in a semi-final, with the Netherlands winning 3-1 after extra time in the UEFA Nations League – both Southgate and Koeman were in the dugouts on that occasion too. 

Marcus Rashford scored from the spot that night while Matthijs de Ligt and Quincy Promes found the back of the net for the Dutch. Kyle Walker conceded an own goal as England bowed out from the competition in 2019.

Team News

Wout Weghorst was a revelation against Turkey for the Oranje

As the only specialist left-back in Gareth Southgate’s squad, the return of Luke Shaw has been eagerly awaited as the Manchester United defender missed England’s first four matches while completing his return from a hamstring injury, but after appearing briefly against Switzerland he should be fit to start now. 

Harry Kane was taken off in extra time last weekend but he should be fit to start against the Oranje as well and will look to score a record-setting 6th goal in European Championship knockout stages – no one has scored more before.

As of now, Koeman has no injury concerns and will most likely field the same XI as he did against Turkey.

Predicted Starting XIs

Netherlands (4-2-3-1): Bart Verbruggen; Denzel Dumfries, Stefan de Vrij, Virgil Van Dijk, Nathan Ake; Jerdey Schouten, Tijjani Reijnders; Donyell Malen, Xavi Simons, Cody Gakpo; Memphis Depay.

England (4-2-3-1): Jordan Pickford; Kyle Walker, John Stones, Marc Guehi, Luke Shaw; Kobbie Mainoo, Declan Rice; Bukayo Saka, Jude Bellingham, Phil Foden; Harry Kane


While there are never any favourites in a knockout clash, England’s history against their Dutch counterparts has been littered with defeats: of all nations, they have faced more than 20 times to date, only versus Brazil do they have a lower win rate of 27%.

That trend could continue in the Euro 2024 semi-finals, as the Oranje’s talented attackers are starting to click and will surely punish another tame Three Lions performance, especially with the likes of Wout Weghorst also being able to turn the game on its head after being introduced at half time against Turkey. If Southgate’s side cannot improve, they are more than likely to miss out on the final.