Netherlands vs Russia by 20legend
The Netherlands impressed very much in their first game as they beat their main rival Germany (3-2). Netherlands thereby confirmed their position as a real opponent for Spain in order to win the championship. They completely outplayed Germany in the 1st half as they lead 2-0 at half –time. Germany came back into the game after getting a penalty in the very start of the 2nd half, which Rudy scored and brought a new hope to the fans and his teammates. Germany’s captain, Lewis Holtby, was a constant threat towards his opponent’s defense, and he was the one who equalized for Germany after a very good individual performance before he scored from just outside the box.
Russia mostly defended their way through their opener against big favorites Spain through 80 minutes. Spain had most of the ball possession as usual, but they scored in a “unusual” way, as Real Madrid's talent Alvaro Morata gave Spain the 1-0 victory after heading in the only goal of the game after a set-piece (freekick). Spain produced many chances, but their lack of precision almost made them lose two points against a defensive Russian side. Russia could have scored a goal after a nice attempt from Cheryshev on a volley, but he just missed the target and put it wide.
Russia gets two major players back into their squad ahead of this game as both Alan Dzagoev and Fedor Smolov joins in after being in Libon for Russias first-team and played against Portugal. Fedor Smolov came in as a substitute in the 68th minute, while Alan Dzagoev remained on the bench through the whole game in Lisbon. They joined the training session yesterday, so they will both be fully ready for this important match. Fedor Smolov was Russia’s top scorer during the qualification with 7 goals, while Alan Dzagoev did not play in the qualification at all. His skills are though unquestionable as he will be a huge creative force in this squad. Russia also lost their defender Ivan Knyazev ahead of the game against Spain, and he has been replaced by Aleksei Nikitin.
The Jong Orange is the favorites here after they beat one of the favorites Germany in their first game. However, this would be a very tough game. Russia must win in order to have a teorethical chance of proceed from this group. They have also got two high-caliber players into the squad since the match against Spain, and they will definitely raise the level of this team. Russia also held Spain at a 0-0 draw almost the whole game and forced Spain to score at a set-piece in order get the victory from the Russians. However, Netherlands have more quality players in their attacking force, and they got more players two rely on than the russians do. Ola John, Wjinaldum, De Jong, Maher are good examples here, but they are not so strong in the defensive part as they are in the offensive part.
These two teams have only met once and that was in a friendly game which ended 3-0 in Netherlands favour back in 2007. Netherlands seals their place in the Semi-finals if they win today, so the motivation should be huge. They also know their own strengths as they beat Germany in the first game. Russia has also have to win against both Netherlands and Spain in the two reaming games in this group if they want to hope for a proceeding, which seems like an impossible task to solve.
Even if Netherlands is a bit unstable defensively, they should be able to forget the game against Germany, and be a lot sharper against the Russians. They know that their offensive players create chances, so the defense’s task will be to mark Smolov and Dzagoev through the game. They must deny the russian duo that kind of space that Lewis Holtby got in the second half against Germany. If they are able to cope with these two players, I think that Netherlands will win here. It could be a close match, but Netherlands got more strings to play on, while Russia must hope that Smolov and Dzagoev could deliver here. The Jong Orange co
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|Netherlands||Ladbrokes||1.73||10||5-1 WON (+7.3 units)|
* Odds as of post published time and are subject to change.