European Championship Semi-Final: Netherlands vs. England

A high-stakes showdown in the Euro 2024 semi-final sees the Netherlands and England face off on Wednesday at 20:00 CET. Both teams have navigated a challenging path to reach this stage, aiming for a spot in Sunday’s final against the new tournament favorites, Spain.

Match Preview

England have become a regular fixture at the sharp end of both Euros and World Cups under Gareth Southgate, though they are still in search of silverware. The Three Lions reached their fourth European Championship semi-final by overcoming Switzerland in a dramatic quarter-final. Despite trailing to a late Breel Embolo goal, Bukayo Saka equalized to force extra time, and England prevailed in the penalty shootout. Southgate’s side has not been entirely convincing, with a sluggish group stage and a narrow escape against Slovakia, but their resilience has brought them to the brink of a second consecutive final.

The Netherlands, guided by Ronald Koeman, also had a dramatic quarter-final. They came from behind to defeat Turkey 2-1, with Stefan de Vrij and an own goal by Mert Muldur securing their place in the final four. Seeking their first European title since 1988, the Dutch emerged from a challenging group that included Poland, France, and Austria. Despite some vulnerability, they have demonstrated determination and grit.

England Team News

The return of Luke Shaw, the only specialist left-back in Southgate’s squad, is a significant boost, although he might not start. Kieran Trippier and Bukayo Saka are likely to continue on the flanks. In central defense, Marc Guehi is back from suspension and competes with Ezri Konsa for a starting spot. Harry Kane, after a scare with cramps in the previous match, is fit and poised to lead the attack, aiming to add to his impressive knockout phase goal tally. England’s probable lineup: Pickford; Walker, Stones, Guehi; Saka, Mainoo, Rice, Trippier; Bellingham, Foden; Kane.

Netherlands Team News

Ronald Koeman faces a crucial decision in attack. Wout Weghorst’s impactful performance against Turkey might earn him a starting spot alongside Memphis Depay, though an impact role from the bench seems more probable. Cody Gakpo and Depay have been instrumental, directly involved in the majority of the Netherlands’ goals. Donyell Malen could replace Steven Bergwijn, who has struggled in recent games. The Netherlands’ probable lineup: Verbruggen; Dumfries, De Vrij, Van Dijk, Ake; Schouten, Reijnders; Malen, Simons, Gakpo; Depay.

England Form

England’s journey has been marked by moments of brilliance and lapses in performance. They have drawn two of their group stage matches and required a last-minute equalizer against Switzerland to reach the semi-finals. The Three Lions’ knockout phase record is impressive, with Harry Kane leading the attack and setting records. However, they will need to improve their consistency to overcome the Netherlands.

Netherlands Form

The Netherlands have shown both vulnerability and resilience. After a shaky group stage, they have picked up form in the knockout rounds. They defeated Turkey in a dramatic comeback and have key players like Cody Gakpo and Memphis Depay in fine form. The Dutch are looking to add a second European title to their history, having previously lifted the Henri Delaunay trophy in Germany 36 years ago.

What Do the Stats Say?

  • England have only won one of the last nine meetings against the Netherlands in all competitions.
  • The last major-tournament meeting between these two nations was in the 2019 UEFA Nations League semi-final, where the Netherlands won 3-1 after extra time.
  • England have reached the semi-finals of a major tournament for the third time in four attempts, but only by narrow margins and dramatic comebacks.

Our Verdict

Based on current form and historical encounters, the Netherlands might have a slight edge. England’s journey has been marked by inconsistencies, and the Dutch attackers are starting to click. If England do not elevate their game, they might be headed for another nerve-wracking extra time. The bookmakers’ odds reflect a tight contest, with the Netherlands having a slight advantage. However, in knockout football, anything can happen, and both teams have the potential to reach the final.

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