Two European giants lock horns at Amsterdam Arena as Netherlands host France in a high profile friendly match on Thursday night.
France are on a solid form, while the Dutch side are on rebuilding phase after a disappointing Euro Qualifying campaign. Didier Deschamps’ side have won five of their last six matches and look like a strong contender to challenge for the tournament in the home soil.
The Danny Blind managed Oranges will be setting sights on World Cup 2015 qualification campaign and this will be his opportunity to test his players at the highest level.
Holland bounced back with a 3-2 win over Wales, after losing 3 of their last 4 Euro qualification matches. Their only win during the time came against a lowly Kazakhstan by 2-1.
The Dutch side are very vulnerable at back and have conceded 10 goals in their last five outings.
They have also lost all of their last three matches at home, which came against the likes of USA, Iceland and Czech Republic.
France have won 5 of their last 6 matches, with their last match ending in a 2-0 defeat away to England.
Opposed to their home form, which stand at three consecutive wins, the Les Bleus are not that strong on away games after managing 3 wins in their last 7 outings.
Netherlands: Team News
Danny Blind has decided to call a number of players impressing in the domestic league to his new Netherlands set-up. PSV Eindhoven youngster Jurgen Locadia is a new face in the squad alongside the likes of Ajax prodigies Mitchell Dijks, Joel Veltman, Riechedly Bazoer and Davy Klaasen.
While Robin Van Persie has been left out as he continues to struggle with Turkish Super Lig giants Fenerbahce.
And there will be familiar faces in the Oranje setup in the form of Arjen Robben and Wesley Sneijder.
Stoke City full-back Erik Pieters has been withdrawn from the squad to face France but his club team-mate Ibrahim Afellay is set to start.
Netherlands Predicted Line-up (4-2-3-1):
Cillessen – Willems, van Dijk, Bruma, Karsdorp – Blind, Sneijder – Wijnaldum, Afellay, Depay – de Jong.
France: Team News
Leicester City’s hard working midfielder N’Golo Kante earned his first call to the France national team and will be poised to start here alongside Paul Pogba.
Dimitri Payet, who has been impressive with West Ham in the Premier League is also certain to start on his return to Deschamps’ team.
Karim Benzema is still suspended while Mathieu Valbuena is carrying an injury and will miss the game.
Notable exclusions come in the form of Eliaquim Mangala of Manchester City as well as Kevin Gameiro, Alexandre Lacazette and Hatem Ben Arfa, who are all set to watch this friendly from home.
France Predicted Line-up (4-2-3-1):
Lloris – Sagna, Varane, Koscielny, Digne – Pogba, Kante – Payet, Griezmann, Martial – Giroud.
Netherlands vs France: Head-to-Head Stats
The teams have met on 23 occasions and share 10 wins each.
The Dutch were victorious in 2 matches in their last 5 meetings, while 2 has been draw and the French winning once.
However, France haven’t won in their last two visits to Holland, which includes a 4-1 defeat in 2008, before a 0-0 stalemate in 2004.
Netherlands vs France: Prediction
Netherlands are still in their rebuilding phase and the head-coach will take this as an opportunity to tinker with his tactics and line-up. While France look like a more settled side and have plenty of quality in all departments.
The Dutch side are leaky in defence and the likes of Martial and Greizmann could run straight at them. I expect a comfortable win for France and expect at least 2 goals from them.