Group 1 of the Nations League is drawing to a potentially thrilling climax, with the Netherlands’ fixture against France in Amsterdam set to have a critical impact on the pool.
With two wins and a draw from their three fixtures, Didier Deschamps’ world champions stand well placed to qualify, yet the Netherlands know that if they can win on Friday and then repeat that feat in Germany on Tuesday, they will top the group and move into the playoffs.
Equally, though, a draw or an away win would send Les Bleus through in first place and leave Oranje vulnerable to relegation.
This will be the 28th meeting between the two nations, with France boasting 13 wins to the Netherlands’ 10.
|Game||Netherlands vs France|
|Date||Friday, November 16|
|Time||7:45pm GMT / 2:45pm ET|
TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch
In the United States (US), the game can be watched live and on-demand with fuboTV (7-day free trial) .
New users can sign up for a free seven-day trial of the live sports streaming service, which can be accessed via iOS, Android, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Apple TV as well as on a web browser.
|US TV channel||Online stream|
|Univision Deportes||fubo TV (7-day free trial)|
In the United Kingdom (UK), the game can be watched live on Sky Sports Premier League and streamed on Sky Go.
|UK TV channel||Online stream|
|Sky Sports Premier League||Sky Go|
Squads & Team News
|Goalkeepers||Bizot, Cillessen, Zoet|
|Defenders||Van Aanholt, Ake, Blind, Van Dijk, Dumfries, De Ligt, Tete, De Vrij|
|Midfielders||Van de Beek, De Jong, De Roon, Rosario, Strootman, Vilhena, Wijnaldum|
|Forwards||Babel, Bergwijn, Depay, Dilrosun, De Jong, Promes|
Ronald Koeman has the luxury of having a strong squad to select from, though Davy Propper misses out because of ankle ligament damage.
Justin Kluivert will play with the Under-21s, while Arnaut Groeneveld is carrying a problem and has not been called.
Netherlands starting XI: Cillessen, Dumfries, De Ligt, Van Dijk, Blind, De Roon, F. de Jong, Wijnaldum, Bergwijn, Memphis, Babel.
|Goalkeepers||Lloris, Mandanda, Areola|
|Defenders||Pavard, Kimpembe, Varane, Sakho, Digne, Rami, Sidibe, Mendy|
|Midfielders||Sissoko, Ndombele, Kante, Matuidi, Nzonzi|
|Forwards||Griezmann, Giroud, Mbappe, Dembele, Fekir, Thauvin, Plea|
Defensive problems trouble head coach Didier Deschamps, who is without Lucas Hernandez, Benjamin Mendy and Samuel Umtiti due to injuries. Lucas Digne will likely play in lieu of the former, while Presnel Kimpembe is the man set to replace the latter.
Elsewhere, Manchester United duo Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial have both withdrawn due to injuries, while Alexandre Lacazette has done likewise. Midfielder Corentin Tolisso is a long-term absentee, meanwhile.
Alassane Plea and Ferland Mendy are aiming for their first caps off the bench.
France starting XI: Lloris; Pavard, Varane, Kimpembe, Digne, Kante, Nzonzi, Mbappe, Matuidi, Griezmann, Giroud.
Betting & Match Odds
France are priced at 11/8 favourites by Bet365. The draw is available at 13/5 while the Netherlands are a 21/10 shot.
France may not have been universally popular World Cup winners in the summer due to Didier Deschamps’ pragmatic approach, but there could be little doubt that they were highly effective as a unit.
Since overcoming Croatia 4-2 in an exciting final, Les Bleus have continued to be a side that has continued its steady, if somewhat unspectacular progress. Goalkeeper Alphonse Areola had to be on his mettle to secure a 0-0 draw in Germany, while back at home, both the 2006 world champions and the Netherlands threatened to take points away from Paris.
With a number of injuries to front line players, Les Bleus will be somewhat stretched for this encounter, yet will remain confident of continuing a run that has seen them go 15 matches undefeated, winning 11 of those.
For the Dutch, meanwhile, the Nations League has brought a welcome return to form. Absent from the World Cup after elimination in the group stage by France and Sweden, they have responded by showing they deserve their place in the top bracket.
Ronald Koeman’s side pushed France hard in Paris before falling 2-1 in September but then flexed their muscles against Germany in Amsterdam with a thumping 3-0 win. Star men Virgil van Dijk and Memphis Depay struck before a stoppage-time goal from Georginio Wijnaldum gave them extra insurance should positions have to be decided on a head-to-head basis.
“Well I'm not going to glide across the dancefloor, but of course I'm proud. This is a great result,” Koeman said, reacting to that result.
“We were waiting a long time for this, but I'm not the kind of guy who pretends that we've become world champions.
“I'm proud because finally we got the result we needed and we can say: ‘Yes, there is development in the team.’ That's what we needed. You could also feel that in the stadium, in the atmosphere.
“But if I tell the players that everything was great, it's not good. We need to grow with each other.”
The Netherlands followed that victory up with an impressive away draw in Belgium, and if they were to achieve a positive result against France it would be absolute confirmation of their return to prominence.