Netherlands vs Croatia: Hosts look worth taking on
Bundesliga predictions, football

Netherlands vs Croatia: Hosts look worth taking on

Kick-off: 1945, 14/06/23

Stadium: De Kuip

TV: Viaplay Sports

Netherlands reached the inaugural Nations League final in 2019 and will hope home advantage helps them get there again on Wednesday night.

The Dutch are hosting this year’s finals and head into the first semi-final as favourites in Rotterdam but they are up against Croatia.

The World Cup semi-finalists love defying the odds and a win for the underdogs at 13/5 is our opening Netherlands vs Croatia prediction.

Defence a worry for Koeman

Much has changed for the Netherlands since the World Cup in Qatar, where they reached the quarter-finals before losing on penalties to eventual winners Argentina.

In truth, the Dutch were second best for much of that game but substitute Wout Weghorst inspired a late comeback, only for the shoot-out to end in defeat.

That brought an end to Louis van Gaal’s reign and he has been replaced by Ronald Koeman, but his second spell in charge of the national team began with a 4-0 defeat against France in Euro 2024 qualifying.

Koeman was fuming with that display, saying: “We should have been much more aggressive and should have made fewer mistakes. There was nothing very positive. We showed major shortcomings in all areas of the game.”

That was followed by a 3-0 win against 10-man Gibraltar and Koeman would surely have liked more time with his squad to make a significant impact in time for this tournament.

There is plenty of talent in the Dutch team but they were far from convincing in qualifying for the Nations League semi-finals despite remaining unbeaten.

They had to come from 2-0 down to draw at home with Poland and both victories over Wales were thanks to injury-time winners.

Memphis Depay is ruled out through injury while Nathan Ake and Denzel Dumfries will be assessed after the Champions League final, so the Dutch could be missing key players, especially in defence.

Looking at the Netherlands vs Croatia odds, we like 13/5 for both teams to score in the second half.

Croatia can claim another scalp

Croatia will pay no notice to the betting for the first semi-final having caused plenty of upsets in the last year.

They took four points off defending champions France in the group stage of the Nations League, including a 1-0 away win to knock the holders out.

Croatia also qualified from their World Cup group at Belgium’s expense and left Neymar in tears with their victory over Brazil on penalties in the quarter-finals.

They lost to Argentina in the semis but recovered to claim third place and will have breathed a sigh of relief when midfielder Luka Modric opted to play on rather than retire from international football.

With the Real Madrid man pulling the strings, even at the age of 37, Croatia will be competitive, while defender Josko Gvardiol is highly rated and has been linked with a big-money move to Manchester City, Liverpool or Chelsea this summer.

There are plenty of reasons to think they can make it to the final and a 2-1 win for the Blazers at 23/2 completes our Netherlands vs Croatia betting tips.

Additional stats

Last result:

NETHERLANDS 3-0 Gibraltar – Memphis Depay, Nathan Ake (2)

Turkey 0-2 CROATIA – Mateo Kovacic (2)

Head-to-head: Croatia 0-3 Netherlands, Netherlands 1-2 Croatia

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