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Netherlands vs Croatia Predictions

Published on 6:45pm GMT 14 June 2023

  • 18:45
  • Expired
  • Stadion Feijenoord
  • Viaplay Sports 1

Croatia Draw No Bet

Reason for tip

Croatia have won eight of their last 12 internationals played on foreign soil and their impressive tournament in Qatar should see them hurt the Dutch. Croatia have made the semis at the last two World Cups thanks to an excellent defensive set up and an experienced midfield which can control the game. Back them to dominate a Dutch side who are in transition. 

7/4odds when tipped
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Croatia 2-1

Reason for tip

Croatia won their final four games in the Nations League group stage, with three of those coming by a single goal. Their big games tend to be tight and they excelled on their travels in that group, winning at Denmark, France and Austria. They can dent the hosts in front of their home support, but the Netherlands have scored in their last nine Nations League games.

12/1odds when tipped
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Netherlands vs Croatia Predictions

  • Croatia have won eight of their last 12 internationals played on foreign soil
  • The Dutch struggled in Ronald Koeman’s first game back, losing 4-0 to France
  • Croatia have overachieved at the last two World Cups and have proven themselves as tournament contenders

Dutch hope for glory on home soil

Bookmakers might once again be underestimating Croatia by making them the outsiders to win the Nations League finals and Zlatko Dalic’s men shouldn’t be overlooked against the Netherlands.

The Dutch won the right to host the third edition of the Nations League finals and are favourites to win not only the first semi-final at Feyenoord’s De Kuip but the whole competition.

But recent tournament pedigree, the absence of a key player and a change in the dugout are all good reasons to swerve the Oranje and take a look at Croatia instead.

Croatia can overachieve again

The Croats have punched well above their weight at the last two World Cups, finishing third in Qatar and reaching the final in Russia four years previous.

In between they were unfortunate to lose a barmy eight-goal last-16 showdown with Spain at Euro 2020, a tournament the Dutch failed to even qualify for.

The Netherlands did make last winter’s World Cup, going out in a bad-tempered quarter-final against Argentina on penalties in what was Louis van Gaal’s final game in charge.

Van Gaal had agreed to step aside to facilitate Ronald Koeman’s return, the 60-year-old having had a 20-game spell in charge between 2018 and 2020 before leaving to take charge of Barcelona.

Teething issues for Koeman

The Dutch did relatively well under Koeman previously, reaching the final of the 2019 Nations League, where they lost to host nation Portugal.

Koeman is eager to make amends for narrowly missing out on what would have been only the Netherlands’ second international honour but his return hasn’t gone entirely smoothly with his first game back being a 4-0 loss to France in March.

The Netherlands are a team in transition, one that’s moving away from the conservative style of play employed by van Gaal to a slightly more expansive game preferred by Koeman.

The talent is there to make the switch work eventually but the Dutch don’t make great appeal at this juncture, particularly with topscorer Memphis Depay missing the finals through injury, and a more consistent Croatia may spoil their plans.

Back Croatia’s experience to edge it

Dalic’s system has proven very successful and is based around his midfield metronome Luka Modric, who is likely to call time on his international career after these finals.

Modric is ably supported in midfield by the likes of Mateo Kovacic and Marcelo Brozovic and Croatia should control the flow of the game against the Dutch.

Modric signing off by leading Croatia to their first-ever trophy would be a fitting way to draw the curtain on the nation’s golden generation and recent wins away in Turkey, France and Denmark suggest they won’t be affected by a raucous De Kuip.

But with six of Croatia’s last eight knockout ties going to extra-time, it’s worth keeping the draw on side for what promises to be a tight semi-final.

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