It’s the international break which means no domestic football, but at least we get to see how national teams are looking ahead of the Russia 2018 World Cup.
England travel to Amsterdam to face off against the Netherlands.
For England, it will be a good chance for Gareth Southgate to get a better idea of his preferred starting XI for the World Cup, while Ronald Koeman will be looking to instil some national pride after the Netherlands failed to qualify for the upcoming tournament.
While the Netherlands failed to qualify for the World Cup, they are in a fairly decent run of form.
They haven’t lost since France put four past them in August. Since that loss, they have won five on the trot. Koeman will be looking to make it six wins in a row in his first game in charge.
Southgate’s England failed to win in their last two friendlies against Germany and Brazil, drawing both 0-0 at Wembley.
England comfortably topped their qualifying group and didn’t lose a game. The Three Lions haven’t lost since June last year where France ran out 3-2 winners.
Former Everton manager Koeman put five uncapped players in his squad: goalkeeper Marco Bizot, Hans Hateboer, Guus Til, Wout Weghorst, and Ajax youngster Justin Kluivert.
England should be familiar with Patrick van Aanholt, Nathan Ake, Virgil van Dijk, Timothy Fosu-Mensah and Georginio Wijnaldum as they all currently play in the Premier League.
England will be without striker Harry Kane who sustained an injury against Bournemouth. Southgate chose four keepers in his squad, with Nick Pope being called up after impressing for Burnley. Jack Wilshire has been called up for the first time since 2016, but could miss out through another unfortunate injury.
I’m sure a lot of England fans will remember the 4-1 demolishing at Euro ’96 as The Three Lions were rampant against Holland.
Braces from Alan Shearer and Teddy Sheringham saw England go through to the quarter-finals.
Patrick Kluivert managed to score Netherland’s only goal. The win saw England top their group while Holland scraped second place ahead of Scotland.
Possible Starting XIs
Netherlands: Cillessen; Fosu-Mensah, Van Dijk, De Vrij, Van Aanholt; Wijnaldum, Strootman, Propper; Depay, Dost, Promes
England: Hart; Walker, Tarkowski, Stones, Young; Dier, Alli, Henderson; Lingard, Rashford, Sterling
It’s a new chapter for Holland as Koeman looks to get a win in his first game in charge. England will need to be careful as they posses an aerial threat from set pieces, with Van Dijk looking to be a handful in the box.
For Southgate, this is a great chance to what his squad is looking like, and it’s likely he will give chances to younger players to prove themselves ahead of the World Cup.
Both teams will be setting out to win this, but Southgate will want to make sure that his squad gets no injuries before the World Cup in June.
I’m going for a 2-1 Netherland’s win.