Netherlands take on the visitors Ireland in the round 9 match of group stage of UEFA Euro-2024 qualification. The match will be played on Saturday, November 18th at Johan Cruijff Arena (Amsterdam).
The Netherlands managed to improve in the fall but has not yet secured qualification for the Euros. Last year, the "Oranje" played again under the guidance of Van Gaal. Louis delivered results once again, winning the UEFA Nations League group and reaching the quarterfinals in Qatar, where they played against Argentina and eventually lost on penalties to the future champions. However, the veteran coach retired after the World Cup. His successor seemed to be an optimal choice: Koeman, who led the national team in the previous Euro. However, his second stint began horribly with a 0-4 loss to France in Paris and further setbacks in the "home" UEFA Nations League finals, losing to both Croatia and Italy. There were talks that the next failure could be decisive for the coach. However, in the fall, the Dutch defeated Greece twice and secured a 2-1 victory in Ireland. But, the French won in Amsterdam in October, and it was a meaningful result.
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Ireland last played at the level of a major tournament in 2016 when the European Championship expanded its participants from 16 to 24 teams. However, even that expansion didn't help, and in the last year's Nations League, they only managed to surpass Armenia in the group—both Scotland and Ukraine accumulated more points in the end. Yet, even in the context of 2023, Steven Kenny and his team had a weak year. They didn't pleasantly surprise anyone. Yes, 2023 started with a 3-2 victory, but it was just a friendly match against modest Latvia. In the qualification, they won against the outsider Gibraltar, 3-0 and 4-0. However, in all other matches, not only against France and the Netherlands but even against Greece, they suffered defeats. Of course, they would like to end on a positive note, or will they remember that after the trip to Amsterdam, there will be a friendly match with a much simpler opponent, New Zealand, in the New Zealand League?
Ireland had some success; they even won twice in a row in the early 2000s. But in the last three matches, the Dutch took two victories with a 1-1 draw in 2016 away. The "Oranje" is significantly stronger, and they are playing at home. We recommend betting that they will win with a handicap of "-2.0 goals."
Prediction for the match: Netherlands to win with -2.0 handicap.