Netherlands v Italy. With the Netherlands in critical danger of missing out on a second successive major tournament at the 2018 World Cup next summer, Danny Blind was sacked following a 2-0 defeat to Bulgaria that leaves them four points of the top of their qualifying group. Given the quality that France have, and their consistency in winning four of their five games, it seems likely that Oranje are fighting with Sweden for second place in Group A, which could lead to a play-off.
Italy, in contrast, are level with Spain in Group G and are only off top courtesy of an inferior goal difference. Given their quality, no side will want to play them in a play-off, and they have won four matches – their only draw with the leaders. A 2-0 win over Albania on Friday means that Tuesday’s visitors to Amsterdam for the friendly are in fine form.
The Dutch will be without veteran winger Arjen Robben. The Bayern Munich player had an agreement to return to Germany after the Bulgaria match. Given his injury record in recent campaigns, it is not surprising to see him used sparingly. Matthijs de Ligt, who was a debutant in the defeat, is unlikely to make another appearance against the Azzurri. The 17-year-old Ajax player had a debut to forget, making a mistake that led to the opening Bulgarian goal.
Italy have a much stronger squad to choose from, with Andrea Belotti of Torino having a particularly strong season. The 23-year-old has managed 24 goals in his breakthrough season, leading to his name being linked with some of the continent’s biggest clubs. He will be up against a Netherlands side that have yet to keep a clean sheet in World Cup qualification – conceding six times in five matches.
As the odds show, Holland’s poor form – a problem that has been evident since Louis van Gaal left after the 2014 World Cup – means that they are underdogs at the Amsterdam ArenA, at 2.55 for a win. Italy are offered at 2.50 with Tipbet, and despite it being a friendly are likely to name a strong line-up given the strength of their squad. A draw is 2.95, while both teams can be backed to score at 1.85.
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Odds 27.03.2017 – 12:00 PM (no guarantee for the accuracy of the statistics and odds, odds subject to change, livestreaming depends on the TV rights of the countries, there is no guarantee to activate streams in some countries)