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UEFA Nations League semi-final preview: Netherlands v England

Team news, expert insight, form guides and what the coaches are saying ahead of Thursday's semi-final.

UEFA Nations League semi-final preview: Netherlands v England
UEFA Nations League semi-final preview: Netherlands v England ©Getty Images
  • Netherlands meet England in second semi-final
  • First competitive game since EURO '96
  • England have won last five and are seven unbeaten
  • Winners will face hosts Portugal in Sunday's final
  • All you need to know about the finals


Possible line-ups

Netherlands: Cillessen; Dumfries, De Ligt, Van Dijk, Blind; De Roon, F. de Jong, Wijnaldum; Promes, Depay, Babel
Out: none

Harry Kane may start on the bench for England
Harry Kane may start on the bench for England©Getty Images

England: Pickford; Walker, Stones, Maguire, Chilwell; Delph, Rice, Barkley; Sancho, Rashford, Sterling
Out: none
Doubtful: Henderson (unspecified)

Jordan Henderson is following an individual programme due to his exertions in the UEFA Champions League final on Saturday and missed England training on Wednesday. "We have to check on Jordan tomorrow," said manager Gareth Southgate at his pre-match press conference.

Reporters' views

Derek Brookman, Netherlands (@UEFAcomDerekB)
Success in the UEFA Nations League would be the icing on the cake for the reinvigorated Oranje. With two UEFA Champions League winners and plenty of Ajax's mesmerising 2018/19 team in their ranks, this is a side full of confidence. If they play the way they did when defeating reigning world champions France in the League Phase, they need fear no one.

Watch all England's Nations League goals

Simon Hart, England (@UEFAcomSimonH)
If last summer brought the sense of a fresh chapter for the England national team with their expectation-defying Russian adventure, the intervening season has deepened the conviction that Southgate’s young and enthusiastic squad are on to something good. After qualifying for Portugal ahead of Spain and Croatia, the aim now is to collect a first piece of silverware since 1966.

What the coaches say

Ronald Koeman, Netherlands
It's going to be a fantastic match. England, like the Netherlands, are undergoing great development. They also give young players a chance and they also have lots of individual talent. I expect this is going to be 50-50 and that everything will depend on how the teams play and on players' individual quality. This is an excellent opportunity to win a title. It's about time for the Netherlands.

All the Netherlands' Nations League goals

Gareth Southgate, England
You want to be involved in matches that really matter and this competition has become a competition that really matters. We've had a brilliant experience of getting to the semi-finals of a World Cup, so we want to keep being involved in these big matches. What we have to do is go from being a team that has got to two semi-finals to a team that converts that into wins.

Form guide

Netherlands: LWDWDWLWDD

Did you know?

Ten members of the two teams' squads weren't even alive the last time these sides met in a competitive fixture, England recording a famous win in the EURO '96 group stage. Remarkably, this will be their first knockout tie.