Nations League: England to face Netherlands in semi-finals

Nations League: England to face Netherlands in semi-finals 1

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England will play the Netherlands in the Nations League semi-finals in Guimaraes, Portugal on 6 June 2019.

The hosts face Switzerland on 5 June at Porto’s Estadio do Dragao in the other semi-final, with the final on 9 June.

“It’s a very exciting game to look forward to and a second semi-final for us,” said England manager Gareth Southgate.

The winners of the Nations League will receive £6.7m in prize money, and the fourth-placed team £4m.

England reached the last four of the World Cup in Russia this summer.

They qualified for the Nations League semi-finals by finishing top of a group containing Croatia and Spain.

The game against the Dutch, managed by Ronald Koeman, at Estadio D Afonso Henriques will be the first competitive meeting between the sides since Euro ’96, when an England side containing Southgate won 4-1.

“We play a team in Holland who are at a similar stage to us – developing, lots of exciting young players in both sides – and you can see the impact Ronald has had,” said Southgate.

The Netherlands qualified for the last four thanks to a 90th-minute equaliser in their final group game in Germany.

Switzerland pipped Belgium to top spot by virtue of their superior head-to-head record, beating them 5-2 in their final game.

European champions Portugal progressed at the expense of Poland and Italy.

The Nations League, which began in September and featured 55 nations in four tiers, also provides a second opportunity to qualify for Euro 2020.

‘It’s a 50/50 call’

Simon Gleave, head of sports analysis at Gracenote

England and the Netherlands are rated almost identically by the Gracenote World Football Ranking, and England therefore have about a 50% chance of reaching the Uefa Nations League final.

Switzerland was the most favourable draw for England, and playing the Netherlands and Portugal, who benefit from home advantage, was always going to be the toughest route to winning the Nations League.

Our simulations of the remaining matches give England 22.5% chance of winning the competition, about the same as the Netherlands but behind Portugal’s 41%.

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BBC Sport – Sport

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