Netherlands – Ivory Coast (International Friendly)
The Netherlands national team and the Ivory Coast national team will face each other this Sunday at De Kuip, in Rotterdam, in a friendly match. The Netherlands played their first match with Dick Advocaat at the wheel and got a positive result, wining 1-2 in Morocco, and are now preparing for their last friendly match before starting the qualification matches for the 2018 World Cup. Ivory Coast, on their turn, will play their last friendly match before starting their campaign through the CAN 2019 qualifiers, arriving here after a draw against Benin national team.
Netherlands have been too much bellow expectations in the recent years, starting to disappoint their own people when they failed to qualify for Euro 2016. After being defeated against Bulgaria, in the 5th round of Group A, and losing at home against Italy in a friendly match, both in March, the Clockwork Orange hired Dick Advocaat as head coach and that hiring has already given fruits, with the team getting a win against Morocco this Wednesday.
This good start under the orders of Dick Advocaat brings motivation to the players, and another win here would be very important so the Netherlands could enter with the right foot in the qualification rounds for the 2018 World Cup. With Cillessen as a goal-keeper, Barcelona, Daley Blind and Stefan de Vrij, Manchester United and Lazio defenders, Sneijder, Wijnaldum and Strootman, Galatasaray, Liverpool and AS Roma midfielders, and Arjen Robben and Memphis Depay, Bayern Munich and Lyon forwards, it is just a matter of time before Dick Advocaat rise the Netherlands potential to their fullest.
In their last 5 games, Netherlands has a record of 2 victories, 1 draw and 2 defeats. This sequence of results started with a 1-1 draw against Belgium, friendly. This result was followed by a 1-3 against Luxembourg, a 2-0 defeat against Bulgaria, a 1-2 defeat against Italy, friendly, and in their last clash, a 1-2 victory against Morocco.
Probable Lineup: Cillessen – Janmaat, Ligt, Vrij and Blind – Strootman, Wijnaldum and Sneijder – Robben, Dost and Depay.
Ivory Coast, on their turn, have already played 4 friendly matches since 2017’s beginning, and have also participated in CAN 2017 where they were unable of going further than the stage groups, having not won any Group C match, where Togo, Democratic Republic of Congo and Marocco were all included. After they were eliminated from CAN 2017, Ivory Coast played two friendly matches, won against Russia in March, and have drawn against Benin, this Wednesday.
The Elefants are in good form in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers and are leading Group C with 4 points. They will also enter in the CAN 2019 qualifiers where they are inserted in Group H with Guinea, Ruanda and Central African Republic. There are a few players in this national team that play for some good teams in Europe, such as Serge Aurier, PSG, Eric Bailly, Manchester United, Solomon Kalou, Hertha Berlin, and Wilfried Zaha, Crystal Palace.
In their last 5 games, Ivory Coast has a record of 1 victory, 3 draws and 1 defeat. This sequence of results started with a 0-0 draw against Togo. This result was followed by a 2-2 draw against Democratic Republic of Congo, a 1-0 defeat against Morocco, a 0-2 victory against Russia, and in their last clash, a 1-1 draw against Benin.
Probable Lineup: Mandé – Aurier, Bailly, Koné and Kanon – Dié, Kessié and Doukouré – Sio, Kodja and Zaha.
The Netherlands won their only direct clash ever played.
Netherlands arrive here with a young and talented squad, especially motivated by the change of the head coach and consequent good result in Dick Advocaat’s first match. Besides that, the Clockwork Orange will have the home factor and their fans support, what is almost like playing with 12 players.