Netherlands vs England, Thursday’s semi-final match for the UEFA Nations League Final Stage.
The Dutch, who failed to qualify for the 2018 and 2016 World Cups in Russia, found in the League of Nations an opportunity for redemption and confidence in the renovation work of the team promoted by coach Ronald Koeman.
They faced the last two world champions in the first phase and they were the first place in Group 1 to score seven points with eight goals scored and four conceded. They overcame France, the reigning world champion, in direct confrontation, and they left Germany, winner of the 2014 World Cup, in the last place of the group, with two points, downgraded to League B.
Germany, however, turned the tables on the Euro 2020 qualifiers. In March, they beat the Netherlands 3-2. With that, the Dutch were in third place in group C of the dispute. They are behind Northern Ireland and the Germans. However, it was not enough to shake Koeman’s confidence in his team, so much so that he kept the base he had called for the League of Nations semi-finals.
He, however, had to make a cut. Lyon defender Kenny Tete suffered an ankle injury during training and was dismissed as there would not be enough time for recovery. Hans Hateboer of Atalanta was summoned to fill the vacancy
Two English victories combined with two Spanish defeats in the final rounds of Group 4 of the League of Nations of Europe allowed the English Team to advance to the semi-finals of the tournament. The team reached seven points leaving behind Spain and Croatia, which ended up being demoted to Second Division.
The reaction boosted England’s big start in the Euro 2020 qualifying campaign. The squad thrashed the Czech Republic and Montenegro, taking the top of Group A four points clear of Bulgaria in second place.
It established an unbeaten run of seven games in a spectacular moment of English football, which placed four teams in the Champions League and Europa League finals.
In this Admiral Sea, coach Gareth Southgate can even afford to take the 23-man roster submitted to the League of Nations semi-finalists right-back Kieran Trippier, who was among the 27 pre-selected, by technical criteria.
Also missing out is teammate Harry Winks, however, by injury. The duo James Ward-Prowse and Nathan Redmond completed the cuts, but were kept in the group for the training and will be triggered if necessary.
The advance of the English teams to the decisions of the continental tournaments certainly affected in a negative way the preparation of the selection. Thus, the prognostic of success of the Netherlands in the match on Thursday seems to be the best guessing option for the semi-final of the League of Nations of Europe in its inaugural edition.