Meanwhile, England and Switzerland play for third place
Portugal and Netherlands meet next Sunday (9 June) at the Estadio do Dragao, in the city of Porto, to decide the winner of the inaugural edition of the UEFA Nations League. On the same day, England and Switzerland will try to leave behind the frustration from losing in the semi-finals as they play for the third place in Guimaraes.
First things first
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First up, let’s start with the match between Portugal and Netherlands. The host country comes into this match unbeaten in their last nine matches – being the last one a 3-1 victory over Switzerland Wednesday, in the UEFA Nations League semi-final.
There are two reasons that give Portugal a slight edge for Sunday’s final. First, the squad will be playing in front of their supporters in the city of Porto. The second reason goes by the name of Cristiano Ronaldo: the Juventus forward scored a hat trick, his seventh for Portugal, in the semi-final against Switzerland. This was his first match with the Portuguese squad after a break following the 2018 World Cup.
The Netherlands reach the final after beating England 3-1 on Thursday. Differently than the offensive-oriented squads from the past, this Dutch team relies more on a firm foundation at the back, which includes defenders Matthis de Ligt and Virgil van Dijk.
Having failed to qualify for both Euro 2016 and the 2018 World Cup, the Dutch have been enjoying something of a resurgence of late. Even though they lost their last match to Germany in the Euro 2020 qualifiers, prior to that they had gone five games unbeaten, including a 3-0 win over Germany and a 2-0 victory over France in this very competition.
Both teams played last March and the Netherlands won 3-0. However, it is Portugal that has the lead in the overall series, having triumphed seven times.
And it is indeed Portugal who comes into this match as the clear favourites to win the title. You can back the host country to win at 2.40, while Netherlands are out at 3.01 to do the same – a draw is priced at 3.34, according to Oddsshark.
If the scores are leveled at the end of normal time, then there is extra time. In case no team has an advantage by then, the title is decided in a penalty shoot-out.
England meets Switzerland for third place
Hours before the final, England and Switzerland play for the third place at the Estadio Dom Afonso Henriques, in Guimaraes. Prior to falling in the semi-final, the British had won their last five matches in a row. The defeat was frustrating because it was a repeat of their semi-final against the same Netherlands at the 2018 World Cup: they lost a lead and eventually went down on extra time against an opponent that kept better hold of the ball.
For the upcoming match, British coach Gareth Southgate will probably make some changes in the starting line-up. Harry Kane and Jordan Henderson, who benched last Thursday to get some rest from the UEFA Champions League final, will probably be among the starters. On the other hand, Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford got injured against the Dutch and it remains to be seen if he will be fit enough to play on Sunday.
By way of comparison, Switzerland had a three-match unbeaten streak ended after Cristiano Ronaldo’s hat trick. The loss to Portugal was another example of the inconsistency shown by the team over the last few months or so – which included a hugely disappointing 1-0 loss to Qatar in a friendly match back in November of last year.
The Swiss hope to end the tournament on a high and count on players such as forwards Haris Seferovic, who plays for Portuguese club Benfica, and Xherdan Shaqiri, a recent Champions-League winner with Liverpool.
Switzerland have won just three of their 25 previous meetings with England, losing 1-0 in a September friendly.
While the betting is close, it is England who come into this match as the slight favourites to finish the UEFA Nations League in third place. The Three Lions are set at 1.97, while Switzerland appears a little higher at 3.78 – a draw is priced accordingly at 3.34.
UEFA Nations League final day fixtures:
Sunday, 9 June
(3.78) Switzerland x England (1.97); draw (3.58)
(2.40) Portugal x Netherlands (3.00); draw (3.34)11 BUSINESS NUGGETS FROM SUPER EAGLES BRONZE MEDAL TRIUMPH. The content of this ebook will propel you above your competition. DOWNLOAD NOW!!!