UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE
NETHERLANDS vs. POLAND
FRIDAY 3RD SEPTEMBER 2020 – 7.45pm BST
UK TV: Sky Sports Premier League
International football returns this week as
Ronald Koeman’s Holland take on Poland in a UEFA Nations League Group 1 contest. Will Burns thinks despite the upheavel backstage, the Dutch can simply win this one.
Oranje’s caretaker manager Dwight Lodeweges takes control for the first time as the Nations League finalists began their journey against Poland, and the 62-year-old has inherited a side that were in impressive form during qualification for Euro 2020. The Dutch won six of their eight matches and suffered just one loss to finish as runners-up in Group C behind bitter rivals Germany.
Ronald Koeman left the national post to lead Barcelona next season but leaves the Oranje in a much better position than what he inherited from Danny Blind in 2018. Koeman guided his side to five wins from their final six Euro 2020 qualifiers to represent in next summer’s finals, having failed to qualify last time.
Lodeweges has an abundance of talent to pick from and could hand debuts to PSV wonderkid Mohamed Ihattaren, AZ’s Marco Bizot (GK) and Owen Wijndal (LB) or to Ajax’s central defender Perr Schuurs. Although Juventus defender Matthias de Ligt is missing, the usual suspects of Virgil van Dijk, Gini Wijnaldum and Memphis Depay will form a strong spine in the team with the likes Steven Bergwijn, Quincy Promes and new Manchester United signing Donny van de Beek all vying for a starting spot.
One major blow for Polish manager Jerzy Brzęczek is that arguably the best centre-forward in the world fails to join the squad for this set of games. Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski is having an extended rest after scoring 61 goals in 56 games for club and country this past year, I think he deserves it.
The history buffs will want to know that the Dutch’s record in 15 games against Poland is won six, drawn six and lost three. The Oranje are unbeaten in last seven encounters (W4 D3) since 2-0 European championship qualifying loss in Chorzow in May 1979. Poland have yet to win in seven games against Oranje in Netherlands (D5 L2). However, history means nothing at all when the team’s line-up on Friday night. After all half of these lads were even born in 1979.
Although I think the game may be a sluggish one for all concerned, and with the Oranje being disrupted by Ronald Koeman’s packing of his bags, I still think the Dutch are capable of clinching the win with ease.
The main Polish threat, Robert Lewandowski will not play so I fail to see how Holland’s defence can be breached.
No Bobby Lewi, no Polish party.
Netherlands win to nil (2.30 at Bet365)
We will post preview/betting articles for the Eredivisie, Eerste Divisie, European and International competitions like this one throughout the year and we will keep track of our profits and losses for the whole 2020/21 season. This is not an official bet due to lack of football from the Dutch sides over the past few months. Official bets will be begin in September.