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Netherlands vs Italy betting tips: Nations League third place play-off preview, predictions, team news and odds

Netherlands vs Italy: Head to head statistics

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Netherlands vs Italy match preview

After both were beaten in this week’s semi-finals, these two must go again in the match absolutely no one wants to be involved in.

Netherlands are hosting this summer’s UEFA Nations League Finals, but were unable to make home advantage count against Croatia in Rotterdam.

Oranje did take the lead at De Kuip on Wednesday, when Donyell Malen fired home on the half-hour mark.

But Croatia completely turned the tie around, leading 2-1 as the clock ticked beyond 90 minutes.

Into the sixth minute of stoppage time, Holland had sent everybody forward, and the ball broke to Noa Lang who lashed home an equaliser, sparking wild celebrations.

Despite this huge setback, Croatia responded by completely dominating extra time, scoring twice, dumping out Ronald Koeman’s team 4-2.

24 hours later, Italy took on fierce rivals Spain in Enschede, making an horrendous start; Leonardo Bonucci gifting la Roja an opener with less than three minutes played.

However, Gli Azzurri were on terms not long after, with Ciro Immobile emphatically firing home a penalty.

Spain then bossed the second half without creating very much until, in the 89th minute, Joselu won it for la Roja, played onside by Francesco Acerbi.

So, just as was the case less than two years ago, Roberto Mancini’s men are ousted at the semi-final stage of the Nations League, beaten 2-1 by Spain, everyone expirencing a sense of déjà vu.

Back in October 2021, Italy bounced back to beat Belgium in the third-place play-off in Turin, so will they pick up bronze medals again, or will this damp squib go the way of hosts Netherlands at De Grolsch Veste?

Netherlands team news

With crucial Euro qualifiers against France, Greece and Republic of Ireland to come later this year, Ronald Koeman is likely to rotate heavily.

Justin Bijlow got the nod in goal for the semi-final, but Mark Flekken, who’s just joined Brentford, could be given an opportunity here.

At centre-back, Lutsharel Geertruida was surprisingly given the nod as Virgil van Dijk’s partner against Croatia, so the 22 year old could keep his place, possibly with Sven Botman making his senior debut alongside.

Another Feyenoord title winner Mats Wieffer also got the nod on Wednesday, so will be hoping for another chance to impress.

Xavi Simons, who made his international debut at the World Cup, is looking for his first Holland goal.

Predicted XI (4-3-3): Flekken; Timber, Geertruida, Botman, Malacia; Wieffer, Veerman, Koopmeiners; Bergwijn, Gakpo, Simmons.

Italy team news

Two years ago, Roberto Mancini made five changes for the third-place play-off, with more expected this time round.

Goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma hasn’t sat out a competitive international since November 2019, with that streak set to continue here.

Mateo Retegui, who scored in his first two Italy appearances back in March, could return up front in place of Ciro Immobile.

At the back, Alessandro Buongiorno will be hoping for his senior international debut.

Predicted XI (5-3-2): Donnarumma; Di Lorenzo, Tolói, Acerbi, Buongiorno, Dimarco; Frattesi, Verratti, Zaniolo; Gnonto, Retegui.

UEFA Nations League Finals semi-final results & fixtures

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Ben Gray

Arsenal fan – follow them over land and sea (and Leicester); sofa Celtic supporter; a bit of a football '"encyclopedia".

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