James CookePortugal vs Netherlands, Sunday June 9th, 2:45 pm, Estadio Do Drago. The first ever final of the UEFA Nations League takes place in Porto on Sunday evening with hosts Portugal taking on the Netherlands in a highly-anticipated encounter which many believe may be too close to call.
The first ever final of the UEFA Nations League takes place in Porto on Sunday evening with hosts Portugal taking on the Netherlands in a highly-anticipated encounter which many believe may be too close to call.
Portugal are slight favourites for this clash, primarily due to holding home advantage, having come through a group including Italy and Poland, then defeating Switzerland, to reach this stage.
Fernando Santos’s side have lost just twice in their last 31 matches across all competitions – their World Cup loss to Uruguay and a 3-0 friendly reverse at home to the Netherlands in 2018.
The hosts will once more be heavily reliant on Cristiano Ronaldo who netted a hat-trick in their 3-1 victory over Switzerland, taking his international tally for goals up to 88.
The Netherlands defeated England 3-1 in the semi-final having negotiated a very tough qualification group, in which they had to defeat both France and Germany.
Portugal will be favourites to make it four European wins out of four due to possessing home advantage, although the form and quality of the two teams is similar.
The home side are favourites to win this game although it may not be comfortable – a 1-0 triumph for the European champions after extra time, with the game ending in a draw in 90 minutes, would appear a likely outcome from it.
This appears to be a highly likely outcome, primarily due to the fact that little can separate the two sides in terms of form or quality. Portugal had drawn each of their previous four matches going into Wednesday’s semi-final win over Switzerland The home side are unbeaten in nine games in all competitions and the Netherlands have just two defeats from their last 12.
Two of Portugal’s last five matches have ended goalless while of the last 12, eight have produced two goals or fewer. Due to the nature of this occasion, the game is likely to be low scoring especially with the Netherlands being fatigued from having 24 hours less rest and also having played extra-time in their win over England.
The Netherlands won 3-0 the last time the two sides met – a friendly win in March 2018. However, Portugal had previously been 10 matches unbeaten in the clash and had secured six victories in that timeframe.
Portugal have lost just twice in their last 31 matches in all competitions and just on four occasions across their last 46 outings.
Since September 2015, the Netherlands have won just 15 of their 30 matches in all competitions and have lost eight times in that run.
The Netherlands have hit 13 goals across their last five matches, a run of games which has included France, England and Germany twice.
Portugal had never won a major competition before lifting the European Championships in the summer of 2016 and now stand to win their second trophy in the space of four years.
Aspiring football journalist who realised he could put his vast knowledge towards gambling and making some money. With years spent on Football Manager, his boyhood obsession has carried over into his adult life and he's proven his mum that all that time spent playing a game wasn't to be wasted. A European football expert, James writes about anything on the continent and has began expanding his knowledge to other leagues in South America, Asia and the USA.