Much of the focus for this first ever UEFA Nations League final between Portugal and the Netherlands will be on Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese superstar will have the chance to atone for the disappointment of the Euro 2016 final against France, when he was forced off after just 25 minutes with a knee injury. It was a hat trick from Ronaldo that propelled the Portuguese into the final.
For the Netherlands this is their first final since the 2010 World Cup when they lost to Spain in South Africa. The Dutch have lost three out of their last four major finals, with their last victory in a final coming in 1988 when they beat the Soviet Union in the final of the European Championship. They reached the Nations League final by beating England 3-1 last week.
Portugal vs Netherlands Prediction: Portugal 1-0 Holland
Our prediction for this game is that the home side will win a close match by a single goal. Home advantage will be key to the outcome of this tie, and we expect Ronaldo to play a significant role too. Backing the great man to score would be a good bet too, in our view. The Netherlands are bouncing back after a tricky period for their national side, and the team is short of key experience at this level of international football. In the end, a single goal should be enough for the Portuguese.
Our recommended tip: Portugal 1-0
Our featured tip for this game comes from Coral, who are offering odds of 6/1 on Portugal to win the game 1-0. We think that this is a good bet as it gives punters some pretty good value, in terms of the odds on offer. We also suspect that the game will be very close, with not much to choose between the teams. The Dutch do not have a very good record against Portugal, especially in Portugal, and we expect them to come up short once again on Sunday evening.
Portugal have lost only two of their last 13 matches against Portugal in all competitions, having won seven and drawn four of the matches in that run. Out of five meetings in Portugal in all competitions, the Netherlands have never won, having drawn two and lost three of those games.
The last meeting between the teams was in a friendly international in March 2018. Played on neutral ground in Geneva, the match ended in a 3-0 win for the Dutch. The goals were scored by Memphis Depay, Ryan Babel and Virgil van Dijk.
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Players to watch: Cristiano Ronaldo & Virgil van Dijk
Even at the age of 34, Cristiano Ronaldo remains one of the world’s best players. In the Nations League semi-final win over Switzerland, the veteran forward scored the 53rd hat trick of his career for club and country. Ronaldo has scored 88 goals for his country in 155 caps since his debut in 2003 – an extraordinary record. Although not the force he once was, Ronaldo is still the man that the Netherlands will need to stop if they are to be victorious.
Liverpool centre back Virgil van Dijk will be the man who will be tasked with trying to spot Ronaldo on Sunday evening. The Champions League winner will be full of confidence after helping the Reds to victory against Tottenham Hotspur in Madrid last week, and will want to end the season with some international silverware. Arguably the best centre back in the world right now, the 27-year-old was outstanding in the semi-final win over England.