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UEFA Nations League: Netherlands vs England - Combined XI

Sachin Bhat
06 Jun 2019, 12:30 IST

England vs the Netherlands: A combined XI
England vs the Netherlands: A combined XI

European rivals England and the Netherlands will resume their hostility again after almost a year on since their friendly match in Amsterdam. But this time, the circumstances are starkly different as the sides meet in the semi-finals of the inaugural edition of the UEFA Nations League in Portugal tonight.

This is set to be the first competitive meeting between the teams since 1996, and it couldn't have come any sooner. Both England and the Netherlands boast a talented group of young players, many of whom took the 2018-19 season by storm for their respective clubs. Not only that, some senior members in both camps too had a fine campaign to look back on, ensuring that each come into this game at the top of their game.

This makes the duel really intriguing and worth looking forward to. But ahead of the highly anticipated kick-off, let's look at how the Three Lions and the Oranje would stack up in a stellar combined XI:

Formation used: 4-2-3-1

Goalkeeper: Jordan Pickford (England)

Will the real Pickford please stand up?
Will the real Pickford please stand up?

Normally, choosing a goalkeeper in a situation like this involving a pair of top-billing sides presents a harrowing predicament, owing to their stellar status and recent good individual performances. But in this case, it’s quite the opposite.

To choose between an underused Jasper Cillessen and an underwhelming Jordan Pickford is to be left in a quandary, for neither did enough in 2018-19 season to merit a place here. However, the Everton shotstopper gets the nod, owing to having played more games. He was brilliant at the World Cup last year for the Three Lions, but didn’t really replicate the same form for the Toffees last season.

Nevertheless, he remains manager Gareth Southgate’s No.1 choice in goal, but a failure to see him reconjure his best may posit his spot in the starting XI in danger.

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