THE international friendlies continue in midweek and analyst Ross Casey (@RossCasey24) offers his thoughts on the clash between Portugal and Netherlands on Monday night.
Portugal v Netherlands | Monday 26th March 2018, 19:30
European champions Portugal take on Holland in Geneva on Monday night to fight it out for a further chance to move up the FIFA rankings.
Portugal of course were surprise winners of Euro 2016 with Swansea City substitute striker Eder scoring the winning goal – but it won't be a huge surprise if they pull off another victory here.
The Portuguese have now lost just one of their last 13 matches, with a huge amount of confidence coming from their run.
Granted the standard of opposition in those matches have been far from stellar, but you can only beat what is in front of you and their last win came from an astounding last minute turnaround against Egypt where they were down 1-0 in 91st minute and still managed to win thanks to the brilliance of Cristiano Ronaldo.
Portugal have now recorded clean sheets in 14 of their last 21 fixtures and returned a hugely impressive W23-D11-L4 in competitive clashes heading from Euro 2012 to the World Cup of 2014. The Iberians have cleared a minus one handicap in nine of their last 11 fixtures.
Holland came into the match against England having won five matches in a row but they took absolutely no confidence into the match here after what was a dismal performance in their World Cup 2018 campaign.
They were poor in defence and at no point did they truly look like netting against a English side that actually looked like they enjoy defending.
The betting angle
The Dutch are one of the major casualties of the qualifying stages and will not be at a World Cup for the first time since 2002.
Despite the fact they had won five matches in a row heading into the match against England, they were actually very poor to watch as an attacking unit and with Portual being impressive in defence, and holding the golden ticket that is Cristiano Ronaldo, I wiil take Portugal to win this one at 6/5.
Portugal v Netherlands – Portugal to win (6/5 William Hill)