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Northern Ireland v Netherlands betting preview
Northern Ireland must win this match to keep their hopes aliveNorthern Ireland are three points behind both Netherlands and Germany. Four out of four wins saw Northern Ireland lead a qualifying group but successive defeats in their last two qualifying games mean that they are no longer in control of their own destiny. Anything less than a win against the Dutch would likely end their qualification hopes unless Belarus beat Germany. Michael O'Neill's men have really struggled going forward (scoring just eight goals in their six matches). As to direct encounters, in seven previous meetings between the two teams, Northern Ireland have one win, two draws and four losses against the Netherlands.
Michael O'Neill appears to have an almost fully-fit squad to choose from since defenders Craig Cathcart and Michael Smith having overcome knocks since the squad was announced. Sidelined players Will Grigg and Jordan Jones have been omitted from the squad. The lone striker role is contested between Josh Magennis and Kyle Lafferty with Conor Washington unavailable for the home side.
Netherlands need just a point to confirm their place in next summer’s EurosThe Netherlands are currently top of Group C due to their superior head-to-head goal difference over rivals Germany. They have lost just one qualifying game so far in this campaign. The 3-2 home defeat against Germany was avenged with a 4-2 victory in Hamburg. The Oranje have won their last three games on the road, plundering 10 goals in the process. The only problem for the Dutch is their defensive issues, with the visitors shipping a goal in nine of their last 10 matches away from home. The last meeting between these two sides resulted in a 3-1 home win for the Dutch side despite Northern Ireland taking the lead in the 75th minute.
PSV Eindhoven pair Donyell Malen and Steven Bergwijn have both been ruled out with ankle and hamstring injuries. Furthermore, Memphis Depay is a doubtful starter. As a result, the likes of Quincy Promes, Luuk De Jong and Ryan Babel should lead the line. In midfield, Georginio Wijnaldum is also a doubt as he recovers from the flu. Virgil Van Dijk, Matthijs de Ligt, Frenkie de Jong and in-form Ajax men Donny van de Beek will regularly feature from the off.
Northern Ireland v Netherlands Starting Lineups Northern Ireland (4-5-1): Peacock-Farrell; Smith, Cathcart, J. Evans, Ferguson; C. Evans; Dallas, McNair, Davis, Saville; Lafferty
Netherlands (4-3-3): Cillessen; Veltman, Van Dijk, De Ligt, Blind; F. De Jong, Wijnaldum, Van de Beek; Promes, L. de Jong, Babel
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