The departure of Ronald Koeman to Barcelona has left the managerial position in Holland vacant. KNVB has not appointed a new one yet after the best candidate, Erik Ten Hag refused to leave Ajax. Thus, De Oranje are likely to be led by a caretaker in the first UEFA Nations League match group 1 against Poland this weekend. They will be hosting Kamil Glik and Co in Johan Cruyff Arena for the first time without Koeman who managed to improve their form after the failure to qualify in World Cup 2018.
Both teams’ latest news
Netherlands are still in progress of finding Koeman’s replacement. There have been a few selected figures such as Frank de Boer, Mark Van Bommel and the former Rijkaard’s assistant in Barcelona, Henk Ten Cate. KNVB is even believed to lure Louis Van Gaal to return to the post which he left after World Cup 2014. However, no official decision is made yet.
Their counterpart, Poland, apparently does not include their captain Robert Lewandowski in the current squad to give him a rest after winning Champions League last month. Jerzy Brzeczek named six debutantes in it. They are Fiorentina goalie Bartlomiej Dragowski, Cagliari defender Sebastian Walukiewicz, the three youngsters in Polish top tier league, Pawel Bochniewicz, Mikel Karbownik and Jakub Moder plus Adam Buksa from New England Revolution.
The caretaker Dwight Lodeweges might deploy the traditional 4-3-3 formation. He relies on Memphis Depay as the main scorer, who gains supports from possibly Tottenham winger Steven Bergwijn and Quincy Promes. In the midfield, Frankie de Jong will anchor De Oranje alongside Danny Van de Beek and Liverpool’s key man Georginio Wijnaldum.
Meanwhile, Jerzy Brzeczek might opt for 4-4-1-1 or 4-2-3-1 formation. The absence of Lewandowski will push him to select either Hertha Berlin’s Krystof Piatek or Napoli man, Arkadiusz Milik. Milik’s teammate in Italian side, Pietr Zielinski will be the number ten to support the frontman.
Players to watch
The key figures in Netherlands are the captain Virgil Van Dijk at the back, Frankie de Jong in the midfield and Memphis Depay upfront who has registered nineteen goals in 51 appearances. Another notable name to watch is Sevilla man, Luuk De Jong, who had a stellar season with Sevilla last season.
In Poland, Arkadiuz Milik is the best second option frontman statistically. He has netted fourteen goals in 49 caps. Some other key figures to watch are Piotr Zielinski and the former Sevilla and PSG midfielder, Grzegorz Krychowiak.
Netherland vs Poland Prediction
Van Dijk and Co might be losing Koeman but they are still the favourite. Playing at their home turf should give more advantage to pick up three points here, especially when Poland is without their main scorer on their side. A narrow win could be more reasonable for the final result.
According to the punters, Holland is the clear favourite. Their odds to win are at 1.53, whereas Brzeczek’s men are only backed to win at 6.00. The draw result is at the value of 4.00.