The Netherlands will attempt to end their UEFA Euro 2020 qualification campaign in style when they host bottom of the group Estonia.
For the first time in three tournaments the Netherlands are back in business as they prepare to make their presence known on the big stage once again. They finally seem to have found some stability as a cohesive unit both in an attacking and defensive stance, and while it’s taken a while, their fans won’t care – they’ll just be looking ahead to the future. If they can continue to build up some momentum between now and next summer’s tournament, they’ll be looked at as genuine contenders.
One of the things that really does seem to have motivated the Netherlands in the last few months is their UEFA Nations League Final defeat to Portugal, which served as a reminder that they’ve still got plenty of work to do. They went on from there to secure four wins on the trot against Germany, Estonia, Northern Ireland and Belarus, before a draw against Northern Ireland confirmed their Euro 2020 slot.
With no hope of qualifying through either the playoffs or the Nations League, Estonia find themselves staring into the abyss of yet another failed qualification campaign. As a smaller nation there’s always a risk of this happening, and the only question surrounds what they can do to fix it. They’ll go into this game knowing they’ve literally got nothing to lose but in equal measure, there isn’t much to gain against a Dutch side that will almost certainly be taking a fairly light approach to proceedings after they already secured qualification.
Estonia’s only real positive result in their last six was a 0-0 draw against Belarus last month, because aside from that, they’ve been fairly dreadful. They were battered 8-0 by Germany, beaten by Belarus in the reverse fixture, edged out by Ukraine in a friendly and given two more beatings for good measure by the Germans and the Dutch.
Estonia may get off a shot or two but this is going to be a showcase game for the hosts – nothing more, nothing less. There’s a chance that they could wind up sneaking past Germany into top spot meaning they’ll still be eager to pick up the win, which we believe they’ll do. We should see a series of fringe players get a run out in order to try and impress the boss in the final international break of 2019, but even so, Estonia just don’t have enough fire power in them to make a noise.
We’re also going to go ahead and back the over 2.5 goals market in what could prove to be a massacre of a scoreline.
Verdict: Back the home win at odds of 1/33 and the over 2.5 goals scored at odds of 1/4. (All odds are taken from bet365).
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