Preview: Netherlands vs Montenegro – prediction, team news
Sports Mole provides an overview of Saturday’s clash between Netherlands and Montenegro between World Cup qualifiers and Europe, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
The Netherlands and Montenegro will face off for the first time ever when they face off at Philips Stadion for the fifth game of their World Cup qualifying campaign in Group G.
Both nations have identical records in their first four games, with seven points, with the hosts only sitting above the visitors on goal difference.
Back for his third canoe trip as coach of the Dutch national team, Louis van Gaal was unable to get off to a winning start as his side played a 1-1 draw in Norway on Wednesday night.
Erling Braut Haaland continued their strong start to the season in front of goal, as the “Striking Viking” scored the Norwegians’ opening goal in the 20th minute, but the Netherlands responded when Davy klaassen tapped into the equalizer at close range 16 minutes later.
Group G is now shaping up to be one of the most competitive groups in European qualifying, with just one point separating the top four nations. The Dutch missed the opportunity to climb to the top of the group midweek, but with Montenegro winning one point against group leaders Turkey the gap to the top remains just one point.
The Netherlands have an impressive World Cup qualifying record under Van Gaal, having lost just one of their last 18 games.
Two important home games against Montenegro on Saturday and Turkey next Tuesday are now ahead for the Oranje, and expectations are high for them to win six points which would put them in the driver’s seat at the end of this current international break.
Montenegro has surprised many in the qualifiers so far and won another impressive result on Wednesday when they saved a 2-2 away draw in Turkey.
Objectives of Cengiz Under and Yusuf Yazici gave the hosts a two-goal lead after half an hour, but the visitors fell one five minutes before half-time thanks to Lazio Adam marusic, before replacing Risto radunovic scored a dramatic equalizer in the 97th minute.
The Brave Falcons have won seven points in their first four games, almost half of the 16 they accumulated in 10 playoffs for the 2018 tournament.
Montenegro approach their game in the Netherlands with a poor record against nations ranked in the top 12 by FIFA, losing five of their last six matches and conceding 19 goals in the process.
If they are to qualify for their first major tournament in their 14-year history as an independent nation, then claiming points on Saturday could be crucial for Miodrag Radulovicfrom the side.
Qualification form for the Netherlands World Cup – Europe:
Netherlands form (all competitions):
Montenegro World Cup Qualifications – Europe Form:
Montenegro form (all competitions):
On Wednesday, Van Gaal decided to switch from his confidence formation 3-5-2 to a 4-3-3 system, which saw the center-back Virgil van Dijk return to the starting eleven alongside Stefan from Vrij; both players are expected to remain at the heart of the defense this weekend.
Feyenoord goalkeeper Justin Bijlow made his international debut against Norway and he is expected to remain Van Gaal’s number one ahead of the experienced stopper Tim krul.
After scoring in midweek, Klaassen will be hoping to keep his place in the central midfielder ahead Roon’s marten and Ryan gravenberch, who were both unused substitutes in Oslo.
Memphis depay is expected to start as the center forward and Barcelona man could be joined in attack by Cody Gakpo and Steven berghuis, although Donyell malen, Steven bergwijn and Wout Weghorst will also push for a place in the first XI.
As for Montenegro, Radulovic probably won’t make too many changes to the squad that drew Turkey in midweek.
With the former Manchester City striker Stevan Jovetic withdrawing from the team due to injury, Uros durdevic and Drasko Bozovic – who started the last game – should again lead the line in attack.
Marusic and Sead Haksabanovic will likely provide breadth on the flanks, while the central midfielder partnership between Alexander Scekic and Nebojsa Kosovic should remain intact on Saturday.
Possible starting eleven in the Netherlands:
Bijlow; Dumfries, De Vrij, Van Dijk, Blind; Klaassen, De Jong, Wijnaldum; Berghuis, Depay, Gakpo
Starting eleven possible in Montenegro:
Mijatovic; Vesovic, Savic, Vujacic, Tomasevic; Marucic, Scekic, Kosovic, Haksabanovic; Bosovic, Durdevic
We say: Netherlands 2-0 Montenegro
While Turkey are expected to beat Gibraltar on Saturday, a victory for the Netherlands or Montenegro shouldn’t see them climb to the top of Group G.
However, three points achieved for each team at Philips Stadion would put them in a more solid position to finish in one of the top two qualifying places.
The hosts will be the favorites to come out on top this weekend and we don’t see them having too many problems at home.
Our expert tipster partners on Sporita.com predict less than 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their proven football tips.Under 3.5: data