Netherlands vs Scotland: Preview and Prediction

The Netherlands and Scotland will look to build momentum ahead of UEFA Euro 2024 when they clash in Amsterdam on Friday.

The first international break of 2024 is here, with national teams preparing themselves for the upcoming UEFA Euro 2024 and Copa America. Two teams participating in the former will lock horns at the Johan Cruijff ArenA, with the Netherlands and Scotland facing each other on Friday evening.

The Netherlands qualified for UEFA Euro 2024 by finishing second in Group B of the qualification tournament behind France. Ronald Koeman has been in charge of the Oranje since the 2022 FIFA World Cup ended but has already suffered as many defeats as in his previous stint as the team’s head coach. He has overseen six wins and four defeats in ten outings thus far.

As for Scotland, they had a similar campaign as the home side, finishing four points behind Spain in Group A. But that was enough to help the Tartan Army qualify for UEFA Euro 2024. But the visitors head into the latest round of international fixtures on the back of a five-game unbeaten run (D2 L3).

The Netherlands and Scotland played out a 2-2 draw the last time they locked horns, with Memphis Depay scoring a brace. The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at the encounter ahead of the latest meeting between the two sides.

Team News & Tactics


Ronald Koeman has new injury concerns hampering his preparations ahead of his side’s latest fixture. Against Scotland on Friday, the Netherlands’ head coach will have had to see one player pull out of the squad, while others were already unavailable due to fitness issues.

Brian Brobbey has withdrawn his name from the squad after picking up a hamstring injury. In addition, the home side’s group is missing regular faces and up-and-coming figures like Frenkie de Jong, Steven Berghuis, Sven Botman, Micky van de Ven, and Joshua Zirkzee.

Bart Verbruggen should get the nod over Mark Flekken between the sticks, with the Netherlands lining up in a 3-4-2-1 formation in front of him against Scotland. The central defensive unit will likely feature Stefan de Vrij, Nathan Ake and captain Virgil van Dijk.

Denzel Dumfries and Quilindschy Hartman should be the two wing-backs, with the pair flanking the Atalanta duo of Teun Koopmeiners and Marten De Roon. Xavi Simons and Donyell Malen might get the nod over Cody Gakpo and Memphis Depay as Koeman tries out a few combinations. Finally, Wout Weghorst will likely lead the line for the home side.

Probable Lineup (3-4-2-1): Verbruggen; de Vrij, van Dijk, Ake; Dumfries, Koopmeiners, De Roon, Hartman; Simons, Malen; Weghorst


Like his counterpart in the Dutch dugout, Steve Clarke has seen players withdrawing from the group ahead of the trip to the Johan Cruijff ArenA. In addition, other regular squad members are missing in the latest round of international fixtures.

Scott McKenna and Grant Hanley have pulled out from the group and will not feature in either match this month. In addition, the Scottish squad is missing regular faces like Aaron Hickey, Callum McGregor, and Kevin Nisbet.

Scotland will line up in a 3-4-1-2 formation against the Netherlands, with Zander Clark likely taking his spot between the sticks. The central defensive unit should consist of Liam Cooper, John Souttar, and Kieran Tierney. Meanwhile, Nathan Patterson and Andrew Robertson should start as the wing-backs.

As for the midfield unit, John McGinn should accompany the in-form Scott McTominay in the middle of the park. The duo will look to keep things tight and initiate quick transitions. Lyndon Dykes and Che Adams will likely start as the two strikers, with Lewis Ferguson playing behind the duo.

Probable Lineup (3-4-1-2): Clark; Cooper, Souttar, Tierney; Patterson, McTominay, McGinn, Robertson; Ferguson; Adams, Dykes

Key Stats

  • Friday’s game will be Scotland’s first away match against the Netherlands since a 3-0 loss in March 2009. They are without a win in their last seven in the country (D3 L4) since a 2-1 victory back in May 1959.
  • The Netherlands have won their last three matches without conceding a single goal. They have not won four successive games without conceding since between March and June 2013.
  • Scotland are without a win in their last five matches (D2 L3), shipping as many goals in those five games (14) as they did in their previous 18 matches combined. They have not gone six games successive games without a win since doing so between October 2007 and September 2008.
  • Netherlands have only lost one of their last 17 home games in all competitions (W13 D3), a 2-1 defeat to France last October. Their most recent seven home defeats all came at the Johan Cruijff ArenA, where this match will be played.
  • Cody Gakpo has scored three goals in his last four appearances for the Netherlands. Since his debut in June 2021, only Memphis Depay (17) has more goals for the Oranje than Gakpo (9).

Player to Watch

Xavi Simons

Embed from Getty Images

Cody Gakpo and Memphis Depay are usually the players in the spotlight when the Netherlands are in action. But we have picked the in-form Xavi Simons for this section due to his tremendous performances throughout the 2023/24 campaign.

The 20-year-old has taken to the Bundesliga like a fish to water, amassing nine goals and 13 assists in 36 appearances across all competitions. He will now want to establish a foothold in his national team as we approach UEFA Euro 2024, with competition for places heating up.


Netherlands 2-1 Scotland

Friday’s match features teams that have been on the opposite end of the spectrum on form. But with rotations and experiments on the cards in the latest international break, Scotland can end the recent winless run. But the hosts will fancy their chances on Friday, especially in the home comforts of the Johan Cruijff ArenA.

Scotland have won just two of their last 17 friendly matches (D4 L11), both 1-0 away victories against Hungary (March 2018) and Luxembourg (June 2021). That poor record should extend on Friday, with the Netherlands eking out a narrow 2-1 win in Amsterdam this week.

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