Netherlands v France is the showcase match in the second round of games during this international break. Holland remain wounded from their failure to reach Euro Football 2016, while this summer’s tournament hosts want a response after losing the final in Paris.
France swept aside Romania 4-1 on Friday night to banish the 0-0 nightmare that was their trip to Belarus last month. Kevin Gameiro bagged two timely goals for Les Bleus alongside club team-mate Antoine Griezmann.
Meanwhile, the Dutch beat Belarus 4-1 in their first game of this international break. It was a resounding display from Danny Blind’s men as Quincy Promes netted twice within the first 31 minutes to settle the nerves.
Head to Head
Holland are unbeaten in their last three competitive games against France. That includes wins at Euro 2008 and Euro 2000, along with a 0-0 draw at Euro ’96 (which France actually won 5-4 on penalties). More recently, Les Bleus have had the upper hand with friendly victories in both 2014 and earlier this year.
These sides met in Amsterdam back in March as France continued their preparations to compete at Euro Football 2016 and they surrendered a two-goal lead to the Dutch before Blaise Matuidi secured a 3-2 victory with three minutes remaining.
Ones To Watch
Of course, France striker Antoine Griezmann is the man of the moment right now and definitely worth considering for first goalscorer in Amsterdam. The Atl Madrid striker is in fine form this season and shone at the Euros in the summer. Matuidi, alongside Manchester United’s Paul Pogba, is another one to keep an eye on in this star-studded French team.
Yet despite their individual talent there was a real team flatness in the goalless draw with Belarus last month and manager Didier Deschamps will hope a robust opposition in Holland will stir France into motion.
As for Holland, Danny Blind’s men are definitely in a transitional period. Vincent Janssen has not hit it off at Tottenham as much as football betting fans would like but is a reasonable punt to score against the French on Monday night Yet the shrewd punter may back Wesley Sneijder to once again roll back the years and find the net.
Slovenia V England
Fresh off their Malta victory, England head to Slovenia seeking what should be a comfortable three points. Manager Gareth Southgate is now firmly in the hot seat and will expect his men to perform here. England beat Slovenia home and away when these sides met in Euro Football 2016 qualification. Jack Wilshere scored an emphatic double and Wayne Rooney netted the winner in a 3-2 result in Ljubljana.
Expect England to dominate this game but don’t rule out Slovenia scoring on their home patch. England’s defence is far from rock solid — partly due to the everyone’s obsession with the forward line meaning the back four is often neglected — and Slovenia are a good price to score here.
Germany V Northern Ireland
Germany beat Northern Ireland 1-0 at Euro Football 2016 and are firm favourites heading into this clash. Manager Joachim Löw is seeking to defend his World Cup crown in Russia two years from now before possibly turning his head to club management. The boss will expect a win here, especially at home, but Northern Ireland proved plucky in the Euros and pose a threat.
The last time Northern Ireland avoided defeat to the Germans was back in the 1990s when they secured three successive 1-1 draws. Another could be on the cards. However, that requires Michael O’Neill’s men to be defensively watertight and clinical in front of goal. Northern Ireland drew 0-0 in Czech Republic on their last away outing and that may give them confidence on Tuesday.
Denmark V Montenegro
Denmark, like Holland, were notable absentees at Euro Football 2016 and new manager Åge Hareide has a big task ahead of him to continue the work done by former boss Morten Olsen, who was in the job for 15 years. Hareide has got this team reasonably well structured, with Simon Kjaer anchoring the defence and William Kvist and Thomas Delaney both doing the job in midfield. In Nicolai Jørgensen then Danes also have a goalscorer, while Nicolas Bendtner’s return to club football (he joined Notting Forest recently) means Hareide has options up front.
Denmark beat Montenegro 2-1 in a friendly back in June 2015 and should realistically have no problems with this clash. However, it will be interesting to see how Hareide changes things around three days on from their trip to Poland.