England and Netherlands will battle it out in Portugal as they seek to reach the first-ever UEFA Nations League final. Here is a look at the Three Keys to this fixture. Bet on the match here.
Virgil Van Dijk v Harry Kane
Virgil Van Dijk has just completed a fantastic season with Liverpool, where he won the Champions League and Premier League Player of the Year. All this whilst missing the Premier League title by a whisker. He will be expected to lead the backline for his national team against England in the Nations League tonight. Van Dijk kept Harry Kane deathly quiet in the Champions League final and he will be out to do the same tonight. We know he likes to keep defenders quiet as can be witnessed by the 22 clean sheets Liverpool kept in the just-concluded season.
Kane returned from injury to lead Tottenham’s attack in the Champions League final and he has been selected for the England squad. He might lack match fitness but he has been a key part of this team for the last couple of years. He will have to go into the game with a strong mentality otherwise it could be another long night for the 25-year-old.
Netherland’s modest form v England’s brilliant form
Netherlands have drastically improved since their failure to qualify for Russia 2018 but their recent record is modest as they have had to face some tough opponents. They have won four, drawn two and lost two of their last eight games, which includes three fixtures against Germany and two clashes with France. England are yet another big gun and it will be interesting to see how they turn out here.
The Three Lions have not slowed down since the World Cup as they have won six of their eight matches since then and lost just once. They have been exceptionally impressive in front of goal after scoring 20 goals in the process. This included wins against Spain away from home and getting revenge over Croatia at Wembley. With this brilliant record they can approach the match with confidence and hope to outdo their opponents.
Long wait for silverware
Both England and Netherlands have gone some time without a major trophy and that should be a factor going into this game. England have an opportunity to win a major tournament for the first time in over 60 years whereas their opponents are looking to end their own 30 year barren spell. This may not be the World Cup or the Euros, but the tournament has been taken seriously by all the participating teams. It will be interesting to see who turn out on the day to deny the other an opportunity to end their long run without major honors.