Hosts Portugal face the Netherlands in the final of the inaugural UEFA Nations League, to be played at the Estadio do Dragao in Porto.
Estadio do Dragao, Porto, Portugal
Key Stat: Portugal's 3-1 semi-final win against Switzerland means they are now unbeaten in nine matches since the World Cup.
Expert Verdict: Cristiano Ronaldo was at his best as Portugal beat Switzerland, while the Netherlands had to come from behind to see off England in extra time. The Dutch were thankful to some poor English defending but otherwise deserved their win - but if they do not step it up another level, Ronaldo and the hosts will claim victory in this final.
Portugal could make changes from their semi-final win against Switzerland, after Nelson Semedo and Pepe were preferred to Joao Cancelo and Jose Fonte in defence. Fonte replaced Pepe and may start at centre-back this time out. Portugal’s line-up is a fluid one, with Bernardo Silva able to push forward to turn it in a 4-3-3, or play deeper in a 4-4-2.
Cristiano Ronaldo – The star of the semi-final as the Juventus man fired a hat-trick to lead Portugal to victory – he now has 88 international goals.
Bernardo Silva – Manchester City’s Player of the Year set up Ronaldo’s second in the win against Switzerland to continue his fine season.
Ruben Neves – In a battle of rising midfield stars against the Dutch, the Wolves man could be the difference for the hosts.
Portugal are unbeaten since the World Cup and their 3-1 semi-final win against Switzerland, courtesy of Cristiano Ronaldo’s hat-trick, ensured they got back to winning ways after four consecutive draws. Portugal previously drew 0-0 with Ukraine and 1-1 with Serbia – the latter thanks to Danilo Pereira’s goal – to start their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign.
Defenders:Joao Cancelo, Jose Fonte, Ruben Dias, Raphael Guerreiro
Midfielders:Bruno Fernandes, William Carvalho, Ruben Neves
Forwards:Bernardo Silva, Cristiano Ronaldo, Joao Felix
Donny van de Beek could start against Portugal after replacing Marten de Roon from the bench against England. Quincy Promes was another to step off the bench and make a big difference, and the winger could oust Ryan Babel or Steven Bergwijn.
Frenkie de Jong – The highly-rated central midfielder will be key to the battle in the midfield, having overcome a below-par England midfield last time out.
Virgil van Dijk – Dominant in the air and the Dutch’s best hope of stopping Cristiano Ronaldo from putting in another match-winning performance.
Memphis Depay – No goals against England, but the Lyon striker has pace to burn and can cause problems with his direct running.
The Netherlands started 2019 with a dominant 4-0 win against Belarus in Euro 2020 qualifying – Memphis Depay striking twice and Liverpool duo Georginio Wijnaldum and Virgil van Dijk also scoring. They could not follow it up as they faced Germany next, however – Matthijs de Ligt and Depay looked to have earned a point, after the Dutch came back from 2-0 down, but a late German winner sealed a 3-2 away win. Last time out, against England, De Ligt made amends for conceding a first-half penalty as the Netherlands forced extra time, where a Kyle Walker own goal and Quincy Promes’ simple finish sealed a 3-1 win.
Defenders:Denzel Dumfries, Matthijs de Ligt, Virgil van Dijk, Daley Blind
Midfielders:Donny van der Beek, Frenkie de Jong, Georginio Wijnaldum
Forwards:Steven Bergwijn, Memphis Depay, Quincy Promes
A 3-0 friendly win last year, after a dominant first-half display, was the Netherlands’ first win against Portugal since 1991 and only their second ever. Memphis Depay, Ryan Babel and Virgil van Dijk all scored. Portugal had won seven of the previous 13 matches against the Dutch, with five draws. They have not met in a competitive fixture since a 2-1 Portugal win at Euro 2012, however.
Hosts Portugal can add the UEFA Nations League title to their Euro 2016 success, with Cristiano Ronaldo in dominant form in the semi-finals.
It took two late goals to earn Portugal victory, but Ronaldo’s hat-trick ensured the hosts’ star man once again stole the headlines.
He now has 88 international goals and will be keen to keep the spotlight shining on himself with more in the final.
The key battle will be Ronaldo against Virgil van Dijk, therefore, with both backed by extreme talent in Bernardo Silva for Portugal and Matthijs de Ligt for the Dutch.
The Netherlands lacked fluency and a clinical touch against England, however – in a match which they could have won in normal time had they taken better advantage of their lacklustre opponents.
Extra-time goals ensured the Netherlands progressed, and they will take confidence from their performance the last time they met Portugal, but the hosts have improved since then.
Portugal’s defence was shoddy in that 3-0 friendly defeat last March and, though it is an aging Portuguese defence, they have been tough to beat more recently.
In nine games since the World Cup, they have not lost once and, though the Dutch are in resurgent form, Portugal can claim the inaugural UEFA Nations League trophy.
Portugal are slight favourites with the bookmakers and can be backed at 29/20 to win with Betfair.
The Dutch have been in much improved form, however, and will at least hope to score – both teams to score has been set at 5/6 with Ladbrokes.
Portugal to win and BTTS is worth 4/1 with Betfair and Paddy Power, while over 2.5 goals is priced at 11/10 with Ladbrokes and Betfair.
Cristiano Ronaldo is unsurprisingly, favourite to score at any time at 11/10 with Betfair, Paddy Power and Betway. For the Dutch, Memphis Depay is 23/10 with Paddy Power and Betfair.
Hosts Portugal are already European champions and, having improved defensively since they last faced the Netherlands and with Cristiano Ronaldo on fire, they can seal the UEFA Nations League title too.