Preview- Netherlands vs. Northern Ireland - prediction, team news, lineups Mole

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Preview: Netherlands vs. Northern Ireland - prediction, team news, lineups Sports Mole

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Sports Mole provides team news, predicted lineups and a full preview of Thursday's Euro 2020 qualifier between the Netherlands and Northern Ireland.

Northern Ireland make the trip to Rotterdam knowing that a point will be enough to keep them above Thursday's opponents Netherlands in Group C.

Netherlands head into the Euro 2020 qualifier trailing Michael O'Neill's side by three points, although they do still possess a game in hand.


Match preview

Netherlands manager Ronald Koeman on September 6, 2019© Reuters

While the Netherlands would have been disappointed to lose out to Portugal in the UEFA Nations League final back in June, Ronald Koeman will be delighted that his side have already been able to shake off that defeat.

Facing Germany on away territory was a test of the team's character, regardless of the struggles of the 2014 world champions, but Oranje came through with flying colours as they recorded a 4-2 success.

The result effectively cancelled out their home defeat to Germany earlier in the campaign, and Koeman and his team know that maximum points from their remaining four qualifiers will be enough to guarantee their spot at Euro 2020.

That said, Koeman will be taking nothing for granted, especially against a Northern Ireland team who have shown that they can handle the pressure of avoiding any slip-ups in games which they knew that they had to win.

Despite the late triumphs on their travels against Estonia and Belarus, there was nothing eye-catching about the performances, but that is something which will not concern O'Neill.

The Irish boss is aware that his team are huge underdogs to achieve a top-two spot in Group C, although this group of players will relish the opportunity to play at De Kuip with the backup of the reverse fixture in Belfast to come next month.

While minimalising the damage at the back will likely be O'Neill's top priority, he will also acknowledge that his players have to find a way to get early goals of their own on the board, with the bizarre own goal from Luxembourg their only first-half contribution in four games.

Only two players - Steven Davis and Kyle Lafferty - have more than half-a-dozen goals in this group, and a greater threat in the final third needs to be found sooner rather than later.

Netherlands form: WLWLWW

Northern Ireland form: WWWWWL


Team News

Jamal Lewis in action for Northern Ireland on March 21, 2019© Reuters

Northern Ireland have been dealt a blow by the withdrawal of Norwich City left-back Jamal Lewis, who has sustained a knee injury.

The setback could lead to Stuart Dallas switching to the opposite side of the defence, with Conor McLaughlin coming in at right-back.

Conor Washington is also out injured, meaning that O'Neill must decide between Lafferty or Josh Magennis in the middle of his attack.

Meanwhile, Koeman could potentially opt to name the same XI which began their last outing in Estonia.

Donyell Malen has done enough during his first two appearances to keep his place in the team, while Davy Propper should get the nod over Marten de Roon.

Netherlands possible starting lineup: Cillessen; Veltman, Van Dijk, De Ligt, Blind; Propper, De Jong, Wijnaldum; Malen, Depay, Babel

Northern Ireland possible starting lineup: Peacock-Farrell; McLaughlin, Cathcart, J.Evans, Dallas; McNair, Davis, Saville; C.Evans, McGinn, Lafferty


Sports Mole Logo

We say: Netherlands 4-1 Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland will no doubt take the positives from their performance against Germany, but they will likely have to play even better here. However, we feel that their hosts will match them for desire before ultimately easing to victory over the 90 minutes.


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Jamal Lewis in action for Northern Ireland on March 21, 2019Jamal Lewis in action for Northern Ireland on March 21, 2019

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Michael O'Neill optimistic of Jamal Lewis fitness for Netherlands clash

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