Northern Ireland vs Netherlands: Match preview, predicted XI, match odds, and more | 2020 Euro Qualifiers
Northern Ireland's return to the Euros after their maiden appearance at the quadrennial tournament in 2016 looks in jeopardy going into the last two matchdays of the Euro 2020 qualifying campaign.
Four out of four wins saw Northern Ireland lead a qualifying group containing continent bigwigs Germany and the Netherlands. But successive defeats in their last two qualifying games mean that they are no longer in control of their own destiny as they strive to seal a top-two berth in the group.
Anything but a win over the visiting Oranje would knock the Northern Irish out of contention, unless Germany fall to an unlikely defeat against Belarus. The goal-shy Northern Ireland would have to get their scoring boots on against the free-scoring Dutch, who have won their last three games on the road, plundering 10 goals in the process.
Dutch coach Ronald Koeman may have to rejig his attack as Memphis Depay, who has scored 10 goals in his last 13 games, is a doubtful starter owing to a hamstring injury. But Northern Ireland would need to keep an eye out for Georginio Wijnaldum, who has scored four goals in the Netherlands' last three away games.
On the other hand, Northern Irish coach Michael O' Neil does not have any injury worries, and is expected to field the same side which lost to Netherlands in Rotterdam last month.
Northern Ireland: Northern Ireland trail group leaders Germany (15) and Netherlands (15) by three points. Anything less than a win against the Dutch would likely end their qualification hopes unless Belarus beat Germany.
Northern Ireland would be out of contention if they draw with Netherlands and Germany beat Belarus, or if they lose to Netherlands and Germany draw with Belarus.
Netherlands: A point against Northern Ireland would seal Netherlands' return to the Euros for the first time since 2012, and for a 10th campaign overall.
Venue and kickoff information
Venue: Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Date: 16 November 2019.
Kickoff: 20:45 CET.
Head to head
In seven previous meetings between the two teams, Northern Ireland have one win, two draws and four losses against the Netherlands.
Northern Ireland's sole win against their matchday-9 visitors came in a 2-1 win in 1965, during a 1966 FIFA World Cup qualifier.
Northern Ireland have lost their last three games in all competitions against the Netherlands: 0-1 in the 1978 FIFA World Cup qualifier, 0-6 in a friendly in 2012, and 1-3 in the ongoing Euro 2020 qualifiers.
Form guide (last 5 games in Euro 2020 qualifiers, most recent game first)
Northern Ireland: L (away) - L (home) - W (away) - W (away) - W (home).
Netherlands: W (away) - W (home) - W (away) - W (away) - L (home).
Did you know?
Northern Ireland have won six of their last eight home games but have lost their last one at home (0-2 against Germany).
Netherlands have won their last three games on the road (1-2 against Belarus, 0-4 against Estonia, 2-4 against Germany).
Northern Ireland win: 7.
Netherlands win: 1.44
Team news and predicted XI
Northern Ireland: Peacock-Farrell; McLaughlin, Cathcart, J Evans, Dallas; McNair, Davis, Saville; C Evans, McGinn, Lafferty
Netherlands: Cillessen; Veltman, Van Dijk, De Ligt, Blind; Van de Beek, Wijnaldum, F de Jong; Babel, L de Jong, Promes.
Doubtful: Memphis Depay (hamstring).
Out: Bergwijn (hamstring), Malen (ankle), Pröpper (knock) - all for Netherlands.