Nations League: Netherlands vs Belgium Preview & Betting Tips – Punters’ Dutch Courage

Steven BergwijnThe big two in Group 4 of UEFA Nations League A go head-to-head on Sunday (7.45pm), as Belgium’s Red Devils make the short trip to take on the Netherlands at Johan Cruyff Arena. Can the visitors make amends for the defeat earlier in the group and emerge as group winners? Or will the hosts get the point they need to proceed?

It was another pleasing night of Nations League action for the Netherlands on Thursday, as they returned from Eastern Europe with all three points, thanks to their 0-2 victory over the Polish. That’s now two Nations League wins on the bounce for Louis van Gaal’s men, who’ve won four and drawn won of their five games in Group 4. The men in Orange are also undefeated since their disappointing exit at the Euros, which means that they’ve gone 14 games unbeaten, ten of which they’ve won.

The Belgians have performed well in this group too, though perhaps not quite good enough, as they come into this final game needing to beat the Dutch by at least three goals to make it through. Their performances in general have been sufficient. They went to Poland and won much like their Dutch counterparts. They were perhaps better value for the win than their narrow victory over the Welsh last time out suggested. Unfortunately, though, they could only return from Wales with a point back in June, while they had no reply for their rampant visitors in the reverse of this fixture. An improved effort is very much required.

Prolific scorers in recent times

During the current UEFA Nations League campaign, the Dutch certainly haven’t been shy in coming forward. In fact, they have impressed hugely in the final third, scoring at least twice in each of their five games in League A’s Group 4. They’ve scored a total of 13 times in those five matches, making them the highest scorers of all the teams in League A’s four groups.

What is a little bit worrying is that they have kept just one clean sheet. It seems that such attacking productivity has come at the small cost of conceding in four out of five, shipping a total of six goals.

Belgians pack less of a punch on the road?

When they beat Poland by six goals to one in Brussels, Belgium showcased their full attacking repertoire, though they’ve since failed to build on such promising attacking foundations. They followed up by disappointing in Wales, scoring just a single goal, while they were as subdued in Poland, where they again scored just a single goal. Such form is a little bit concerning, especially because they are required to deliver something of a storming attacking performance in this fixture If they don’t, they’re out.

What will also worry Martinez is the fact that his men have kept few clean sheets during their time in Group 4, shutting out their opponents in just one out of five. Given that they must attack and thus leave themselves open on Sunday evening, this record is hardly encouraging.

No win in four against Oranje

The Red Devils were beaten badly in the reverse fixture back in June, losing by four goals to one. That was their first defeat against the Dutch in some years and they have now gone three games against the Netherlands without winning. When the pair last met at this venue, back in 2018, they drew 1-1.

It remains to be seen whether Roberto Martinez’s men can turn things around, but one thing that seems likely is goals for both. The pair have met four times in the last decade, and both teams have scored in each of the four games. Interestingly, the Belgians haven’t left Holland without scoring since 1998, scoring in each of their last four games in the neighbouring country.

Home win on the cards

The hosts look like a good bet here. Sure, they don’t exactly need to win this game, but things are set up in their favour. When the teams played before, the Netherlands were incredibly dangerous on the break, and although Sunday’s visitors would ideally like to play a different way to avoid a similar fate, they haven’t got much choice. If they sit back, they are struggling.

What’s more, Belgium’s attacking efforts on the road just don’t match what the Dutch have produced at home in that sense. That’s a big factor here. Both teams like to flex their muscles offensively, and it is the hosts who have done the better job of doing so throughout this Nations League process. With that, they look a sound bet to qualify with a very healthy 16 points in the bank.

Bergwijn to bag

Maligned by fans of both Tottenham Hotspur and the Premier League in general, Steven Bergwijn has thrived since returning to the Eredivisie, scoring six goals in seven games for Ajax so far this term. He has also enjoyed himself in a Netherlands shirt in recent months, scoring twice in the Nations League and three times in friendly action.

It is fair to say that the attacker is once again a main player for both club and country. The way Belgium will be forced to come out and play on Sunday evening, there should be plenty of opportunities for the pacey Bergwijn. He is in fine scoring form, averaging a healthy 2.68 shots per 90 minutes. He looks an appealing bet to get on the scoresheet. The betting tips for this Netherlands vs Belgium preview look like this:

  • Netherlands to win @ best odds of 13/10 with Betfred.
  • Steven Bergwijn to score anytime @ 21/10 with Bet365.