Portugal vs Netherlands, Sunday’s match for the Final of the UEFA Nations League at the Estádio do Dragão, Porto, Portugal.
Portugal against the Netherlands for the UEFA Nations League final on Sunday. Portugal and the Netherlands meet in Porto on Sunday in an attempt to crown the first champions of the Nations League of Europe.
The semi-final of Portugal and Switzerland on Wednesday was far from the best performance of the European champions, but again the ability of one of the greatest players in history paid dividends. Cristiano Ronaldo scored two goals at the end of the match and completed a hat-trick against the Swiss.
In all honesty, Portugal was probably the weaker side in that confrontation. Switzerland, and in particular Xherdan Shaqiri, caused all sorts of back problems and they could not have complaints if they had lost the game. Still, the quality of the star proved to be the deciding factor in the end.
The Dutch semi-final against England was a little different. They were led into extra time, and they only came close thanks to an equalizer at the 73rd minute from Matthijs de Ligt.
The last 30 minutes saw their opponents crumble, with risky defensive plays of John Stones and Ross Barkley virtually giving the Dutch a ticket to the final, which, unlike Portugal’s result, was in fact a fair representation of the game.
The assured quality of the Netherlands in the middle of the field, constantly had England under pressure, and it was only the poor performance of their defense that put them out in extra time.
Defensively, there were some problems for Ronald Koeman’s team, though. Matthijs de Ligt, despite all their quality, made two juvenile mistakes in the back, one of which led to the goal, while Denzel Dumfries was constantly exposed by the flank. This is an area that Portugal will want to explore on Sunday.
All things considered, this seems a balanced element, and we expect players from both teams to shine in Porto. This can result in a difficult night for the rear lines on both sides.
Portugal kept only one clean sheet in three of their last 11 games and in just one of five Nations League matches. The Netherlands similarly suffered goals in eight of their last 11 matches, and with five of the last seven matches between those sides ending with both teams scoring.
So, I believe the result is likely a draw with 1 goal each, but clearly that both to score is a good bet. My bet is both scores.