By 90Min
June 04, 2019

England will take on the Netherlands on Thursday night in Guimarães for a place in the inaugural Nations League final.

Gareth Southgate's men qualified for the last four following a dramatic late victory over Croatia, a result which saw the team finish above the Croats and Spain in Group A4.

Catherine Ivill/GettyImages

The Dutch meanwhile have been one of the most impressive teams in international football since last summer's World Cup, as they progressed past the two previous world champions France and Germany in Group A1.

England are two wins away from winning their first major trophy since 1966, while the Dutch are aiming to end their wait for silverware which dates back to the 1988 European Championships, with the winner of the clash facing the victor of the Portugal vs Switzerland game on Wednesday.

Here's our breakdown of Thursday's huge Nations League semi final clash.


Where to Watch


When Is Kick Off? Thursday 6 June
What Time Is Kick Off? 19:45 (BST)
Where Is it Played? Estádio D. Afonso Henriques
TV Channel/Live Stream? Sky Sports Main Event
Referee? Clement Turpin

Team News

This has been a historic week for English football, with four Premier League sides contesting the major European finals.

However, those clashes have caused Southgate a serious selection headache, with all seven Liverpool and Tottenham players in the squad featuring in the Champions League final in Madrid on Saturday night.

Michael Regan/GettyImages

One of those players was England skipper Harry Kane, who didn't look fully fit despite playing 90 minutes for Spurs following the ankle injury he suffered in April.

Southgate is expected to rotate his side, with Marcus Rashford likely to start up front with Ross Barkley, who came on in Chelsea's Europa League final win over Arsenal in Baku last Wednesday, in midfield.

The big concern for the Dutch will be the fitness of captain and star man Virgil van Dijk who played the entirety of Liverpool's victory over Spurs, but otherwise Ronald Koeman has a full strength side to pick from.

Stuart Franklin/GettyImages

Predicted Lineups

England Pickford; Walker, Stones, Maguire, Chilwell; Rice, Lingard, Barkley; Sancho, Rashford, Sterling.
Netherlands Cillessen; Dumfries, Van Dijk, De Ligt, Blind; De Jong, Wijnaldum, Van de Beek; Bergwijn, Depay, Promes.

Head to Head Record

The two sides have identical records against one another, with nine wins and six draws apiece.

Southgate's side won the most recent clash between the two, with Jesse Lingard scoring the only goal in the Johan Cruyff Arena last March in a pre-World Cup friendly.

That was the Three Lions' first win over the Oranje in eight attempts, but the last competitive game between the European heavyweights was at Euro 96, where an Alan Shearer inspired England thrashed the Dutch 4-1 at Wembley in one of their greatest performances.

Shaun Botterill/GettyImages

That historic result for the English came as revenge after now manager Koeman scored a stunning free-kick in 1993 to stop Graham Taylor's side from qualifying for the World Cup in the USA, with the only other competitive game between the two ending in a draw four months previous.


Recent Form

Following England's incredible World Cup last summer, they lost at Wembley to Spain and drew at Croatia in front of an empty stadium to start their Nations League campaign in poor fashion.

However, after a stunning 3-2 win in Spain, Southgate's young side were five minutes away from relegation to Group B, before Kane popped up with a late winner over Croatia to seal their semi final spot and gain a measure of revenge over their World Cup conquerors.  

David de Gea,Raheem Sterling

Ten goals in two games against the Czech Republic and Montenegro in their Euro 2020 qualifiers leaves them in pole position to qualify from Group A.


After the Netherlands' failure to qualify for Russia, Koeman has put his trust in youth, a decision which is certainly paying off.


The Dutch progressed past Germany and France to earn their semi final place, before a 4-0 victory over Belarus and a 3-2 home defeat to the Germans got their Euro 2020 qualification off to a mixed start. They should still have more than enough to make next summer's tournament.

ROBIN UTRECHT/GettyImages

Here's how each team has performed in their last five fixtures:

England Netherlands
Montenegro 1-5 England (25/3) Netherlands 2-3 Germany (24/3)
England 5-0 Czech Republic (22/3) Netherlands 4-0 Belarus (21/3)
England 2-1 Croatia (18/11) Germany 2-2 Netherlands (19/11)
England 3-0 USA (15/11) Netherlands 2-0 France (16/11)
Spain 2-3 England (15/10) Belgium 1-1 Netherlands (16/10)

Prediction

Gareth Southgate

This may be the most exciting time to be an England fan for a generation, and Thursday's clash is a fantastic opportunity for Southgate to create even more buzz ahead of next summer's European Championships.

With the amount of key players missing due to club commitments, and with the strength of the potential Dutch starting lineup, this will be an extremely difficult test for this young Three Lions team.

But this squad now has a strength in depth that have not been seen for many years, and are riding such a huge wave of momentum that it would be difficult to bet against them on this occasion, especially if the potentially electric front three of Sterling, Rashford and Sancho all click.

Prediction: England 2-0 Netherlands

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