The Oranje are looking to bounce back under a new coach but Adam Bate thinks it's time this Belgian side came of age and showed they can mix it with the best
Bert van Marwijk changed little after reaching the World Cup in 2010 and what some perceived as stability turned out to be stagnation. Van Gaal must get Oranje moving forward again.
With rumours of dressing room strife that will be a tough ask and the Dutch can expect no favours from their neighbours and rivals Belgium on Wednesday night – a team with World Cup ambitions of their own.
Belgium have long been touted as Europe’s next big thing, and with players such as Eden Hazard at their disposal it is easy to see why.
The problem – and it’s a familiar one in international football – has been accommodating the talent to make a successful team, with Jan Vertonghen or Thomas Vermaelen being forced to full-back.
A plethora of centre-backs but no striker does not make a team and Belgium cannot simply wait for Romelu Lukaku to develop – they must find a more immediate solution.
Belgium remain 53/20 (3.65) underdogs with Panbet and the Netherlands are the 11/10 (2.10) favourites. The draw is available at 49/20 (3.45).
But the pick of the bets here is to back Belgium to get some kind of a result in this one.
Key figures such as Robin van Persie and Rafael van der Vaart are linking up with the Dutch squad but are, by the coach’s own admission, far from 100 per cent.
Van Gaal is a tactician who places huge responsibility on his players and it would be something of a surprise if the Dutch are fluent from the outset.
Belgium will be absolutely desperate not to get beaten in Brussels and the term ‘friendly’ hardly does this one justice.
Expect the Red Devils to get a positive result and tip them in the double-chance market at 19/25 (1.76) with Panbet.
For the value bet, expect those aforementioned top-class Belgian centre-backs, led by Vincent Kompany, to produce a battling performance here. Backing under 2.5 goals looks tempting at even money (2.0) with Panbet.
|Belgium double chance at 19/25 (1.76) with Panbet
||Under 2.5 goals at even money (2.00) with Panbet
Adam Bate is a professional freelance journalist who specialises in football and betting. He is editor of GhostGoal which can be found here - you can also follow Adam on
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