Wales vs Netherlands: Preview and Prediction￼
Wales will take on the Netherlands on matchday 3 of the 2022-23 UEFA Nations League Group A4 fixtures on Tuesday, 14th June. This game will be played at the Stadion Feijenoord in Rotterdam.
The Netherlands has had a nearly flawless campaign so far. They started their journey with a couple of back-to-back wins, beating Belgium and Wales in the process. However, their run came to an end in the last match where Poland held them to a 2-2 stalemate. Despite that draw, Oranje is placed at the top of the standings in their group with 7 points.
On the other hand, Wales has not looked convincing in this competition, having lost two and won one of their first three matches. Rob Page’s team suffered defeats against Poland and Netherlands, while they played out a 1-1 stalemate against Belgium. With only one point to their name, Wales is languishing at the very bottom of the table.
Ever since the heartbreaking end of their 2020 UEFA European Championship campaign, the Netherlands have not had to look back. They have played 12 matches from then to now and have not suffered a single defeat.
Louis van Gaal’s team played out four draws – against Norway, Montenegro, Germany and Poland. Besides that, the Oranje also registered eight victories – against Montenegro, Turkey, Latvia, Gibraltar, Norway, Denmark, Belgium and Wales.
On the complete contrary, Wales has not been in good form coming into this competition, except that they did beat Ukraine to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. If we are to consider their last 13 fixtures, Page’s team won five encounters – twice against Belarus and once each against Estonia, Austria and Ukraine.
Besides that, the Dragons also played out six draws – four of them coming against the Czech Republic and Belgium, and the other two against Finland and Estonia. As for defeats, they have lost a couple of these games – against Poland and Netherlands.
Head to Head Record
The head-to-head record between these two sides is astronomically skewed in favour of the Oranje. Netherlands and Wales have crossed paths on nine occasions previously, and the former has had the last laugh on each of those occasions.
The last meeting saw van Gaal’s team securing a 2-1 triumph, courtesy of goals from Teun Koopmeiners and Wout Weghorst. As for the Dragons, Rhys Norrington-Davies scored their solitary goal.
With this being the last match before the players go on a vacation, van Gaal is expected to field a full-strength starting XI for this match. He will be fortunate enough to pick his team from an entirely fit squad barring defender Virgil Van Dijk, who has opted to start his holidays before his teammates.
Jasper Cillessen is expected to return under the sticks in Mark Flekken’s place, whilst in defense, Jurrien Timber might have to make way for Matthijs de Ligt. The five-man midfield contingent is expected to remain the same, but Cody Gakpo could come in place of Steven Bergwijn in attack.
As for Page, he might not be able to select Joe Allen in his starting XI as the Stoke City midfielder picked up a knock in the previous encounter. Besides that, Norrington-Davies will not have the opportunity to score against Oranje once again as he is suspended for this match.
We have predicted a couple of changes in the Dragons’ starting XI. Allen is likely to make way for Aaron Ramsey, whilst Brennan Johnson could be rewarded for his late equalizer in the Belgium clash with a role in the starting XI. In such a scenario, the Nottingham Forest winger could replace Fulham’s Harry Wilson.
Predicted Starting Lineups
Netherlands (3-5-2): Jasper Cillessen; Matthijs de Ligt, Stefan De Vrij, Nathan Ake; Denzel Dumfries, Steven Berghuis, Davy Klaasen, Frenkie de Jong, Daley Blind; Cody Gakpo, Memphis Depay.
Wales (3-1-4-2): Wayne Hennessey; Chris Mepham, Joe Rodon, Ben Davies; Ethan Ampadu; Connor Roberts, Neco Williams, Aaron Ramsey, Brennan Johnson; Daniel James, Gareth Bale.
Be it current form, strength on paper or head-to-head statistics, the Netherlands is head and shoulders above Wales in every single aspect. Hence, we have predicted van Gaal & Co. to win this match and retain their pole position.