The final of the inaugural UEFA Nations League is upon us, with one nation one game away from glory. Portugal and the Netherlands will battle it out to become the first ever Nations League Champions, but who will win? Read on to inform your UEFA Nations League betting.
Kicking off with the group stage in September, the Netherlands, Switzerland, England and hosts Portugal all won their respective groups to make it to the semi-finals that took place earlier this week.
Portugal defeated Switzerland 3-1 whilst Netherlands defeated England by the same scoreline in their respective semi-finals on Wednesday and Thursday - culminating in Sunday’s final between the two sides.
Betting insight ahead of Portugal vs. Netherlands
Portugal come into the match as marginal favourites (around 40% chance of winning). The Over/Under market is set around the average of 2 and 2.5 with the odds pointing towards the under at 1.909*.
Date – Sunday June 9
Time – 18:45 UTC
Venue – Estádio do Dragão
Portugal vs. Netherlands predicted lineups
Portugal predicted lineup
4-3-1-2 – Patricio (GK), Semedo, Fonte, Dias, Guerreiro, Neves, Carvalho, B.Silva, Fernandes, Felix, Ronaldo
Rotating between a 4-4-2, 4-3-3 and 4-2-3-1, Portugal manager Fernando Santos has a wealth of options at his disposal.
Experienced defender Pepe went off after 60 minutes against Switzerland and remains a doubt, whilst Guedes who came on as a substitute will also be looking to start ahead of Joao Felix.
Wolves duo Joao Moutinho, and Diogo Jota’s fine form at the end of the season will puts them in contention to start, as well as Benfica’s Rafa Silva.
Netherlands predicted lineup
4-2-3-1 – Cillessen (GK), Dumfries, van Dijk, de Ligt, Blind, de Roon, de Jong, Wijnaldum, Babel, Depay, Bergwijn
After going through the rigours of extra time, Netherlands manager Ronald Koeman could rotate his side and has plenty of options at his disposal.
Quincy Promes, Donny van der beek, Davy Propper and Kevin Strootman all featured from the bench last time out against England and will have given Koeman a decision to make.
Tonny Vilhena and Luuk de Jong are yet to see any game time and will be hoping to feature at some point also.
Portugal vs. Netherlands predictions
Portugal face the Netherlands to decide who will be the inaugural Nations League champions in Porto. Overcoming tough opponents in England and Switzerland with 3-1 victories, both teams have performed admirably to make it to the final.
During the group stage, Portugal were without their captain and talisman Cristiano Ronaldo through injury and fatigue - relying instead on Andre Silva and Bernardo Silva to get them through qualification.
Ronaldo’s return to the side could not have been more impactful, with Portugal’s leading scorer bagging a superb hattrick against Switzerland.
Meanwhile, the Netherlands knocked out reigning World Champions France on goal difference, helped relegate four-time world champions Germany in the group stage, battled through extra time to defeat England on their way to the final.
Portugal had drawn their last four competitive games in a row before defeating Switzerland on Wednesday, while the Dutch have lost one of their last five games (P5, W3, D1, L1).
The most intriguing battle on Sunday will surely be between the attacking exploits of Cristiano Ronaldo coming up against the commanding defending duo of Virgil van Dijk and Matthijs de Ligt.
Much like Ronaldo, de Ligt had a significant influence on his country’s fortunes in the semi-finals – giving away a penalty through rash defending before atoning for his error with a commanding header to draw his side level.
His centre-back partner van Dijk has had an incredible season for his club side Liverpool, culminating in winning Premier League Player of the Season and lifting Champions League trophy.
Astonishingly, according to Opta, no opposition player had completed a dribble past Virgil van Dijk in any of his last 64 appearances in all competitions for Liverpool. All eyes will be on Cristiano Ronaldo to see if he will be the man to finally break this remarkable defensive streak.
Bernardo Silva is another contender to break van Dijk’s record, with the Man City midfielder having a brilliant season of his own with 13 goals, 14 assists and a domestic treble to his name.
Portugal vs. Netherlands: Where is the value?
Home field advantage looks set to play an important role in this fixture (hence Portugal’s position as favourites to win the tournament), but Sunday’s game looks set to be a close encounter.
European International finals have a reputation for being low scoring games, especially if the last five European Championships are anything to go by. However, as this is the first ever Nations League final there are no other statistics to compare it to.
With both semi-finals averaging four goals per game, the potential for this trend to continue may look appealing to bettors, with over 2.75 goals currently priced at 2.530*.