The Netherlands host France on Friday evening in one of the more high-profile friendlies of the international break, with the managers of both teams looking to finalise their plans ahead of this summer’s EURO 2016 tournament.
However, the backdrop to this match will be the death of Dutch footballing legend Johan Cruyff — the man who gave so much to the beautiful game. The current Netherlands team may no longer be playing the Total Football that Cruyff propagated all his life, but they will try and get a win to pay tribute to a true visionary.
The Dutch are in a rebuilding phase at the moment after a disastrous EURO 2016 qualifying campaign, and will need to be at the top of their game against a dangerous France side.
Les Bleus, on the other hand, will be quietly confident as they prepare for the summer tournament on home soil. As hosts, they did not have to play qualifying games, which is why manager Didier Deschamps will be looking closely to see how his players perform against the bigger European sides.
Probable Starting XI (4-3-3): Cillessen; Willems, Van Dijk, Bruma, Karsdorp; Sneijder, Blind, Wijnaldum; Afellay, Huntelaar, Narsingh.
Probable Starting XI (4-2-3-1): Lloris; Digne, Koscielny, Varane, Jallet; Kante, Pogba; Martial, Payet, Griezmann; Giroud.
- France have scored 10 goals in their last five international matches.
- Netherlands, on the other hand, have conceded 10 goals in their last five internationals.
- The Dutch have not kept a single clean sheet in their last five games.
- Les Bleus have been unable to win on their last two visits to the Netherlands.
- The two sides have played each other 23 times, with the Dutch edging the head-to-head record 10-9.
Netherlands 1-2 France
The Dutch have been on very poor form lately, winning just two of their last five international matches. While they will be looking to redeem some of their lost pride after failing to qualify for EURO 2016, the French have a strong enough side to see themselves through to a victory at the Amsterdam Arena.
Odds (Paddy Power)
- Netherlands: 5/2
- Draw: 9/4
- France: 23/20