Build up to the match
The Netherlands have failed to qualify for Euro 2016 and it appears their chances of reaching the final stages of the 2018 World Cup in Russia are hanging by a thread, with Sweden the final gigantic obstacle. Indeed, the Oranje are three points away from a potential play-off spot, which Sweden currently occupies. And there are 12 goals separating the two sides in terms of difference. It will all come to a head on Tuesday evening, and the stakes couldn’t be any higher.
Kickoff: Tuesday, 10th October 2017, 8:45PM local time
Venue: Amsterdam ArenA, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Bayern Munich veteran and Holland captain Arjen Robben is available for selection and could prove to be the talisman the home side need to win against stubborn Sweden. Goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen will surely provide a steady hand on goal, while utility man Daley Blind and strong centre-back Virgil van Dijk will ensure things are tight and secure at the back.
Trusty defender and team captain Andreas Granqvist will most likely play alongside Manchester United defender Victor Lindelof to give the team a solid defensive back line, while RB Leipzig playmaker Emil Forsberg will be looking to pull the strings and create chances from midfield. Strikers Marcus Berg and Ola Toivonen could be given their usual role up front although Sweden may give a chance to young sharpshooter John Guidetti.
The Dutchmen have been flying in their recent games against Bulgaria and Belarus but will be facing stiffer competition in Sweden. The two sides ended up sharing the spoils the last time they met but the Oranje will be keen on their chances this time round, especially in front of their home fans.
Sweden have played above expectations in Group A of the European qualifiers, with their 2-1 victory against France a few months ago still fresh in the memories. If they can repeat their heroics back then come Tuesday against Netherlands, then they have this game in the bag.
The Netherlands don’t just need a win. They need to win by at least a seven-goal margin if they are to secure that potential play-off spot. Expect Oranje to go on an all-out attack, only for them to succumb to a counter late in the game against a dogged Sweden defence.
Netherlands 2-1 Sweden