Football

Wales vs Netherlands Preview

Wales v Netherlands preview

Fresh from securing their spot at the 2022 World Cup, Wales return to Nations League action on Tuesday when the Netherlands head to Cardiff.

Wales made history by qualifying for a first World Cup in 64 years courtesy of a hard-fought 1-0 win over Ukraine on Sunday.

Momentum key for Wales

Rob Page now has just five games, including Tuesday's encounter with the Netherlands, to work with his squad and every moment counts as they look to be in top shape for the Qatar showpiece.

After sealing their berth at the World Cup, Wales will want to make the most of their campaign, therefore, building momentum is essential.

Wales were promoted into League A in the Nations League this season and that should benefit them with higher-level opposition to warm up against.

The Dragons fell to a 2-1 loss against Poland in their Nations League opener last week, although Page deployed a weakened XI as he held his big guns back for the crucial clash with Ukraine.

Prior to that defeat to Poland, Wales were unbeaten in nine games and they have only lost one of their last 21 outings on home soil.

Scoring goals on a regular basis has been problematic for Wales, netting just once in three of their last four at home.

If they are to come through against the Netherlands then it's likely to be courtesy of a low-scoring triumph, so backing under 2.5 goals could be the way to go.

looks bright for Oranje

The Netherlands failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup but they'll be back on the biggest international stage once again in November.

They narrowly missed out on a spot in the Nations League finals last season, finishing just a point shy of Italy in Group A1.

With Louis van Gaal back at the helm, they will be hoping to enjoy another deep run at the World Cup as he led the national side to third place at the 2014 World Cup

Their opening Nations League game of 2022/23, which ended in a 4-1 win away in Belgium, suggests they aren't a team to be underestimated.

Memphis Depay bagged twice in the triumph in Brussels with Denzel Dumfries and Steven Bergwijn also on the scoresheet.

That win extended their unbeaten streak on the road to five matches, with four of those coming since Van Gaal took charge.

It's also worth noting that the Netherlands have met Wales on eight previous occasions and they have come out on top in all of them.

Page set to turn to fringe players

After a heroic performance against Ukraine, Page is likely to rest his senior players for this Nations League encounter.

Wayne Hennessey put in an inspired display in the World Cup playoff but he's expected to be replaced by Danny Ward between the sticks.

Chris Mepham, Johnathan Williams, Joe Morrell and Rhys Norrington-Davies, who all started in Poland, should come back into the XI, while Harry Wilson could get the nod from the start.

Van Gaal is also expected to rotate slightly as he looks to assess all his options and try some new combinations.

Stefan de Vrij and Matthijs de Ligt are both likely to come in, while Tyrell Malacia could earn just his fourth cap with veteran Daley Blind set to be rested.

2022-06-07