After a crushing defeat in Paris on Thursday, the Netherlands face Group A rivals in a must win game at the Amsterdam Arena on Sunday, with the pressure on Dick Advocaat’s men to deliver when it matters the most. With Bulgaria having defeated Sweden, the Dutch now find themselves three points behind the Scandinavians in the table.
World Cup 2018 Qualifying – Amsterdam Arena, Amsterdam-Zuidoost – Sunday 3rd September – 17:00 UK Time
Best Odd of: 3/10 at Ladbrokes
Best Odd of: 5 at Betfred
Best Odd of: 10 at Coral
Having won just three of their seven qualifying matches to date, Holland are a shadow of their former selves, with the men in orange on the brink of missing out on yet another major competition. Having already been defeated by Bulgaria back in March, Advocaat and his players will have to produce a much-improved performance if they are to claim all three points on Sunday evening.
Netherlands Team News & Form
Having failed to qualify for Euro 2016 last summer, the Dutch are in danger of missing out once again, with their latest defeat meaning that they are now three points behind the playoff position in Group A. Two defeats to France and one against Bulgaria now mean that Holland will perhaps need to win their final three group encounters, starting on Sunday. Having been recalled to the squad, Robin van Persie could start against Bulgaria, with Tottenham’s Vincent Janssen again failing to impress in the attacking role. Timothy Fosu-Mensah made his debut for the Dutch in Paris and should keep his place in defence after an accomplished display. Arjen Robben is still the biggest attacking threat for the home side, despite now being at the age of 33.
Bulgaria Team News & Form
An impressive victory over Sweden has also given Bulgaria hope of reaching the finals next year, and having already beaten Sunday’s opponents once during qualifying, Petar Hubchev’s men will be confident of causing another upset. Despite not having some of the star names as in the past, Bulgaria have a team capable of competing with the Dutch, with the likes of Ivelin Popov, Georgi Milanov and Bozhidar Kraev among the most talented within the squad at present. Bulgaria have in fact won four of their seven qualifying matches to date, however three defeats have effected their chances of reaching the finals.
Head to Head
The two teams actually have a very similar record when looking at the head to head record between the two teams, with Bulgaria having won the last two meetings in 2012 and back in March of this year. Holland’s last victory dates back to 2007, when they defeated Bulgaria 2-0 in Euro 2008 qualifying.
Betting Odds and Predictions
Given their recent troubles, odds on a Dutch victory are actually quite appealing, with William Hill offering the men in orange odds of 2/7 to claim three points, with the visitors being backed at outside odds of 9/1 with the same bookmaker. However, given the fact that the Netherlands have already conceded 10 goals during qualifying, backing both teams to score could well be worth considering, with Ladbrokes offering odds of 19/20 for this market.
Top Betting Tip
Our top betting tip for this match is to back Bayern Munich winger Arjen Robben to score at any point during the 90 minutes, which can be found at best odds of 20/21 at Ladbrokes.