UEFA Nations League Final Preview4 min read
England will have the dubious honour of meeting Switzerland in a 3rd and 4th place play-off on Sunday, while Portugal will face the Netherlands in the UEFA Nations League final. Brand Ambassador Michael Owen again shared his thoughts exclusively with BetVictor on both ties in Portugal.
England v Switzerland
There has not been a third-place play-off in a Euro competition since 1980 and I am surprised it has been resurrected for the Nations League this weekend, but England and Switzerland will meet in Guimaraes on Sunday afternoon.
England were, arguably, one narrow VAR decision away from making the Final in Porto but I was disappointed with the Three Lions lack of composure on the ball and felt the Oranje were worthy winners.
Gareth Southgate is likely to shuffle his pack on Sunday, but I expect the Three Lions to end their season with a win. I wonder if the England boss is considering reverting to three at the back? I hope to see Joe Gomez get a start despite his injury-hit season for Liverpool and, going forward, I feel he will have an important role to play for both club and country.
The Swiss played their part in an entertaining game against the hosts in Porto on Wednesday when Cristiano Ronaldo was again the difference between the teams, but they lack the attacking quality of England although they will play their part in what promises to be another entertaining clash.
Tip: England to win and both teams to score 14/5
Portugal v The Netherlands
The Netherlands, worryingly, looked a threat at every set-piece against England on Thursday and I feel they will just do enough against the hosts in the final and crown a sensational season for Oranje skipper Virgil van Dijk who was named Man of the Match in the Champions League Final last weekend.
Ronald Koeman deserves plenty of credit for transforming Holland since he took over in the spring of 2018 and they showed their class and resilience to again come from behind to beat England in Guimaraes. They were, of course, given a leg-up by two defensive mistakes by England but I wasn’t overly impressed with the hosts on Wednesday when Cristiano Ronaldo’s hat-trick was the difference between the sides.
The Netherlands have beaten the last two world champions – France and Germany – as well as world cup semi-finalists England in recent months and they can end their memorable season in style.
Tip: The Netherlands to win 2/1