The final of the inaugural UEFA Nations League is upon us, with one nation two games away from glory. Four countries will battle it out in Portugal to become the first ever Nations League Champions. Read on to inform your UEFA Nations League predictions.
- Tournament format
- Betting insight ahead of Netherlands vs. England
- Inform your Portugal vs. Switzerland predictions
Kicking off with the group stage in September, Netherlands, Switzerland, England and hosts Portugal all won their respective groups to make it to the finals in June – with all believing they can become the first ever Nations League champions.
Of the four finalists, Switzerland had the best record from the group stage with nine points from four games, followed by Portugal with eight points and England and Netherlands both finishing with seven points. Portugal are the only finalist to not lose a game during the group stage.
Ahead of the two semi-finals being played on June 5 and 6, before the final on June 9, read on to inform your Nations League betting strategy.
Betting insight ahead of Netherlands vs. England
England come into the match as marginal favourites (around 40% chance). The Over/Under market odds marginally suggest it will be a low-scoring contest, with under 2.5 currently priced at 1.900*.
Date – Thursday June 6
Time – 18:45 UTC
Venue – Estádio D. Afonso Henriques
Netherlands vs. England predicted lineups
Netherlands predicted lineup
4-3-3 – Cillessen (GK), Dumfries, van Dijk, de Ligt, Blind, de Roon, de Jong, Wijnaldum, Babel, Depay, Promes
Stefan de Vrij could move into the team should Netherlands opt for a back three, whilst Donny van de Beek, Tonny Vilhena and Luuk de Jong will all be pushing for a starting spot.
England predicted lineup
4-3-3 – Pickford (GK), Walker, Maguire, Stones, Rose, Henderson, Rice, Alli, Sterling, Kane, Sancho
Southgate will face a formation and selection dilemma ahead of the game, with checks on players from Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspurs who would have competed in the Champions League six days prior.
Should England opt for a five at the back system, Kieron Tripper or Trent Alexander-Arnold could come into the side, whilst Ross Barkely, Eric Dier Marcus Rashford will all be pushing for starts.
Netherlands vs. England predictions
Coming into the semi-finals with identical group stage records, the Netherlands and England will both believe they can progress to the final and lift the inaugural Nations League trophy.
England’s run to the World Cup semi-final last year, combined with their impressive performances in the Nations League group stage, mean they come into the finals at 2.950* to win the tournament outright, only marginally behind favourites, hosts and reigning European Champions Portugal at 2.700*.
The three lions arrive in Portugal in great form having won their last five international matches, scoring 10 goals in their last two games against Czech Republic and Montenegro in their European Qualifying group.
Netherlands meanwhile are third favourites at 4.200*, despite knocking out reigning World Champions France on goal difference, and helping relegate four-time world champions Germany to League B.
Winning two, drawing two, and losing one in their last five fixtures heading into this semi-final, the Dutch are in fair form under Ronald Koeman.
The last time these two sides met in a competitive international fixture was way back during Euro 96, in which the English triumphed 4-1. More recently, England also beat the Netherlands in an international friendly in March last year.
Between those two games however England failed to beat the Netherlands in the next seven international friendlies, losing three and drawing four between 2001-2016.
After kicking off their group stage match with a 2-1 home loss to Spain, England showed resiliency to win the return fixture in Seville 3-2, as well as drawing away and beating Croatia at home.
Scoring six and conceding five England averaged 1.5 GPG whilst conceding 1.2 GAPG, with Marcus Rashford and Raheem Sterling jointly leading their nation’s scoring total with two goals each in the group stage. Jessie Lingard and Harry Kane both have one goal.
The Oranje performed slightly better during the group stage despite amassing the same points as the Three Lions, averaging two GPG and one GAPG. Scoring two more goals than England, Memphis Depay, Georgino Wijnaldum, and Virgil van Dijk all got two goals each with Ryan Babel and Quincy Promes contributing a goal each.
The first meeting in a knockout game for these two sides should create in intriguing matchup between two teams who will think they can eliminate the other.
It will be intriguing to see whether the Champions League Finals six days prior to this game will have any bearing on team selection and the fitness of some of both side’s key players.
Netherlands vs. England: Where is the value?
England have seven players who could all feature in that final; Harry Kane, Danny Rose, Delle AllI, Eric Dier, Joe Gomez, Trent Alexander-Arnold, and Jordan Henderson.
The Dutch duo of Virgil van Dijk and Georgino Wijnaldum are the only players affected by the final, but to lose one or both through fatigue or injury would be a massive blow to Holland’s chances of making the Nations League final.
England have a wealth of attacking options (should they remain fit) and bettors can find value in the Totals market with England over 1.5 goals in 90 minutes currently priced at 2.350*.
Inform your Portugal vs. Switzerland predictions
Portugal come into the match as favourites (around 61% chance). The Over/Under market odds marginally suggest it will be a low-scoring contest, with under 2.5 currently priced at 1.854*.
Date – Wednesday June 5
Time – 18:45 UTC
Venue – Estádio do Dragao
Portugal vs. Switzerland predicted lineups
Portugal predicted lineup
4-2-3-1 – Patricio (GK), Cancelo, Pepe, Dias, Guerreiro, Pereira, Carvalho, B.Silva, Fernandes, Guedes, Ronaldo
Rotating between a 4-4-2, 4-3-3 and 4-2-3-1, Portugal manager Fernando Santos has a wealth of options at his disposal, with his side being the only team unaffected by players playing in the Champions League Final.
Wolves trio Ruben Neves, Joao Moutinho, and Diogo Jota’s fine form at the end of the season will put them in contention to start as well as Benfica’s Rafa Silva and Joao Felix.
Switzerland predicted line-up
3-5-2 – Sommer (GK), Elvedi, Akanji, Rodriguez, Mbabu, Zakira, Xhaka, Freuler, Shaqiri, Embolo, Seferovic
Xherdan Shaqiri may be the only player affected by the Champions League final, but is likely to start from the bench for Liverpool, which theoretically should make him available for selection. The Swiss could opt for Albein Ajeti to partner Embolo up top with Fabian Schar and Stefan Zuber also pushing for a start in defence.
Portugal vs. Switzerland predictions
In what, in theory, could be a more clear-cut contest, favourites Portugal take on outsiders Switzerland in the first Nations League semi-final.
It’s the outsiders who come into the game in better form, winning three, losing one, and drawing one of their last five games, including an impressive 5-2 victory against Belgium.
Portugal meanwhile have drawn their last four competitive games in a row, with their last win coming five games ago in a friendly against Scotland.
Both sides have had 2-0 victories over the other in their last two competitive fixtures, which came during World Cup qualification in 2016 and 2017.
During the group stage, Portugal were without their captain and talisman Cristiano Ronaldo through injury and fatigue – relying instead on Andre Silva and Barnardo Silva to get them through qualification.
Andre Silva, who may not even start for the hosts, bagged three goals, Bernardo Silva scored one and the last of their five goals in the group stage was courtesy of Poland centre back Kamel Glik’s own goal.
Despite Portugal averaging the lowest GPG at 1.25, they do boast the best defensive record of the four teams left, averaging 0.8 GAPG after conceding just three goals in qualification.
Switzerland on the other hand were in lethal form during the group stage, scoring almost as many as the other three teams combined with 14 goals – 3.5 GPG.
Haris Seferovic finished joint second top scorer in the Nations League group stage with five goals – the only player to score more than one goal for Switzerland, with nine of his teammates all registering a single goal.
Defensively, the Swiss let in five goals in the group stages, to average 1.3 GAPG.
Home field advantage looks set to play an important role in this fixture, hence Portugal’s position as favourites to win the tournament.
The 6-0 and 5-2 demolitions of Iceland and Belgium by the Swiss will give Portugal cause for concern, but playing on home soil and the return of five-time Balon D’or winner Cristiano Ronaldo should galvanise the Portuguese to reach the final against one of England or the Netherlands.
Portugal vs. Switzerland: Where is the value?
If Switzerland have what it takes to overcome the favourites on home soil, then their current position as 6.250* outsiders will almost certainly change.
Given their record in the group stage, combined with Portugal’s attacking potential at home, bettors could opt to go with over 2.75 goals at 2.320*.