FOOTBALL journalist Adam Goodwin (@AGJournalism) runs the rule over Saturday night's Nations League clash between Netherlands and Germany.
Netherlands v Germany | Saturday 13th October 2018, 19:45 | Sky Sports
In arguably the Nations League ‘Group of Death’, the Netherlands take on Germany in Amsterdam on Saturday night, in what promises to be a superb showdown.
After spectacularly failing to qualify for the World Cup in Russia, Holland replaced Dick Advocaat with former Southampton and Everton manager Ronald Koeman. They’ve started reasonably well since Koeman took over, smashing European champions Portugal 3-0 and drawing 1-1 with Italy, but did suffer defeat to France in their opening Nations League game.
Koeman has a squad full of young, exciting talent at his disposal and, if they can be coached correctly, this group of players has the potential to do great things.
With the likes of Virgil Van Dijk, Nathan Ake and Matthijs de Ligt at centre-back, and Georginio Wijnaldum and Kevin Strootman behind the likes of Quincy Promes and Memphis Depay, there is definitely reason to get excited about this current crop of Dutch footballers.
Both teams have scored in all of Holland’s last four games, but they have played against the likes of France and Italy, along with Slovakia and Peru who can be dangerous in attack. Koeman likes to set his teams up to be solid at the back and I don’t think Germany will find it easy to break down this Dutch defence.
Germany still seem to be in a bit of a lull after their early World Cup exit to South Korea, as they played out a disappointing 0-0 draw with France and scraped past Peru in a recent friendly.
German legend Michael Ballack has recently come out and said that he’s surprised that manager Joachim Low kept his job, so whether the German players have a similar outlook is yet to be seen.
It looks like World Cup outcast Leroy Sane is set to start on the wing, with pacy frontman Timo Werner playing down the middle. If Holland are to play three at the back, then these two could cause the Holland wing-backs some problems and it’s set to be an exciting encounter at the Johan Cruijff Arena.
The betting angle
Cuneyt Cakir will be in charge of this one and he’s one card happy ref. He issued 142 cards in 31 games last season, which is around 4.5 a game. He’s also dealt out 21 cards in seven games this season, so he’s not scared of showing someone a yellow card.
As I mentioned earlier, I think the quick wingers from both sides will cause the full-backs from both sides problems. So I like the look of both sides to receive 20+ match booking points at 15/8 with Sky Bet.
I’d also have a look to see who’s playing full-back and have a small flutter on them to get carded.
Netherlands v Germany – Both sides to receive 20+ bookings points (15/8 SkyBet)