Over 2.5 Goals Looks the Value Punt in England v NetherlandsPublished March 28, 2016
England will be in buoyant mood following their 3-2 win in Berlin, where a team lacking in international experience turned in arguably the best performance of Roy Hodgson’s reign in rallying from 2-0 down.
It will be important for Hodgson to temper expectation among his squad, with certain sections of the media sure to hype up the significance of what was, after all, only a friendly victory over the Germans.
There are still places up for grabs in Hodgson’s 23-man squad for France, so changes in this friendly match are highly likely. The likes of Daniel Sturridge and Theo Walcott, both once seemingly bankers for Hodgson’s squad , are now almost certainly behind Harry Kane and, following his 20-minutes in Berlin, Jamie Vardy. Both should feature here.
The Netherlands, World Cup semi-finalists less than two years go, have a team lacking in international experience themselves and are in a state of transition following their disastrous Euro 2016 qualifying campaign. Coach Danny Blind has a slightly longer term focus than his English counterpart, in looking to ensure that the Dutch are ready for the World Cup 2018 qualifiers.
They mounted a valiant comeback in retrieving a two-goal deficit at home to France on Friday, only for the French to then score late on for what was in truth a thoroughly deserved 3-2 victory. Defensively they look very suspect, which will be especially encouraging for England’s forwards after the way they got at Germany.
Based on their respective results over the past 18-months, the current self-belief in the England camp and the apparent lack of confidence among the Dutch, there are plenty of reasons to back a home win here.
However, this is a friendly and it would be a surprise were Hodgson not to rotate his squad. Not only will he want to give opportunities to fringe players, but it’s difficult to believe that the likes of the Tottenham Hotspur quartet that all played 90-minutes in Berlin will all do so again at Wembley.
The Dutch defence looks suspect enough to suggest that the value here could be in over 2.5 goals.