Netherlands and Portugal meet in the second round of Group C fixtures at Euro 2022 this week.
Both teams drew their opening game, with Netherlands rescuing a point from a goal down and multiple first half injuries against Sweden in a tough first test, and Portugal coming back from two behind in dramatic fashion against Switzerland.
Netherlands are heavy favourites but are under pressure to take maximum points at the risk of being vulnerable against Switzerland on matchday three. Portugal don’t really have anything to lose because just being at the tournament was unexpected only few months ago.
When is kick-off? Wednesday 13 July, 20:00 (BST)
Where is the match being played? Leigh Sports Village, Leigh
TV channel/live stream? BBC Two (UK)
What time does coverage start? 19:30 (BST)
Sari van Veenendaal has been forced to pull out of the Dutch squad because of her injury against Sweden – she has been replaced by Jacintha Weimar, with Vivianne Miedema now assuming the captaincy for the rest of the tournament.
Aniek Nouwen is out of this game because of a problem she also suffered against Sweden but could yet return to action later in the tournament. Jackie Groenen is positive for Covid-19, which will prompt a slight reshuffle in midfield and attack to re-balance the team.
Portugal will take confidence from the way they fought back against Switzerland and were the better team in the second half, arguably deserving to win the game in the end.
Coach Francisco Neto has no injury concerns and could bring Kika Nazareth into the starting XI after she began on the bench against Switzerland following recovery from tonsillitis. Telma Encarnacao also impressed off the bench in that one to stake her claim for a starting place.
Netherlands (4-3-3): Van Domselaar; Wilms, Van de Gragt, Janssen, Olislagers; Van de Donk, Roord, Spitse; Beerensteyn, Miedema, Martens
Portugal (4-3-3): Pereira; Amado, Gomes, C. Costa, Marchao; Do. Silva, T. Pinto, Norton; J. Silva, Nazareth, Di. Silva
With Netherlands under instruction from coach Mark Parsons to play ‘braver’ and with more attacking intent, it is possible to see them racking up a few goals against a Portugal side that started woefully slowly in the first five minutes of their opener.
The Portuguese have attacking talent and will pose a threat of their own, but it won’t be enough.
Prediction: Netherlands 3-0 Portugal
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