Netherlands v Scotland: Clarke's men in at the deep end with Euro 2020 preparation
Scotland take on the Netherlands in preparation for their Euro 2020 curtain-raiser against the Czech Republic. Betfair's Frankie Monkhouse previews this friendly...
Performance is paramount
Scotland manager Steve Clarke throws his young side in at the deep end when taking on the Netherlands in a friendly match on Wednesday evening. For the first time in almost four years, the nations meet as both managers aim to put the finishing touches on their Euro 2020 preparation.
The performance is more important than the result for these teams in this sparring session, but victory would do wonders for morale. Can Scotland get their first win over Oranje since bagging a 1-0 at Hampden in a 2003 Euros playoff?
Fans want a reason to cheer
The Netherlands have won the European Championships once before and have finished third on another four occasions. They are one of the pre-tournament favourites to win Euro 2020 and will be eager to flex their muscles and show their class with a comfortable win over Scotland. There's a gulf between the nations in the world rankings, and Frank de Boer will want to see his men show why.
Victory over Scotland would provide a timely confidence boost to the Netherland's squad, but they also know defeat to a lowly ranked opponent would cause concern amongst supporters. Virgil van Dijk and co need the support of their fans, so must give them something to cheer on Wednesday. Manager de Boer is likely to send out a solid team to ensure they do just that.
Their recent form is nothing to shout about, with the Netherlands managing just one win in their last six games. That run stretches back to November 2020 and consists of three draws and two defeats. The spare win did come last time out when beating Poland 1-0 thanks to a winning goal from Steven Bergwijn.
23 years of hurt
With club football wrapped up across Europe, Scotland can now focus on their long-awaited return to the big stage. The Tartan Army haven't cheered on their team in a major tournament since France 1998. They bowed out of that competition with a painful 3-0 defeat against Morocco. What followed was more than two decades in the wilderness.
There has been more pain than pleasure for a generation of Scots, but they now have something to look forward to. Manager Clarke will have a good idea of his best 11, but there's still time for players to impress. An eye-catching performance against the Netherlands would certainly do that.
They may be the underdogs for this game, but Scotland arrives in strong form and are unbeaten in their last six games. That purple patch stretches back to a 1-0 Nations League loss in Slovakia. Since then, they have won three and drawn three. Another level finish would rate as a great result.
No shocks in the betting
It's not often Scotland head into a match against Holland as the form team, but that's the case for this game. There are no major surprises in the betting, however. The Netherlands are priced at 1.49 on the Betfair Exchange to win this friendly match.
Most Scotland fans won't expect a win over the Netherlands, but they will want to see a strong performance. The underdogs must be competitive, and the players must show they are ready to stand up and take their chance at Euro 2020. The Scotland win trades at 6.8 on the exchange with the draw 4.6.
One side to draw a blank
The stats attached to this fixture show the Netherlands lead the head-to-head by nine wins to six and four draws. Each of the last seven has seen at least one team fail to find the net. No in the both teams to score here is 1.96 with yes in the same market 1.9.
Each of the last two meetings has produced 1-0 wins for Holland, and followers of the stats may wish to follow the trend at 8.4 while under 2.5 goals is 2.14.
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