Netherlands vs Canada: Preview and Prediction

Netherlands and Canada will aim to fine tune their preparations ahead of the summer’s tournaments when they face off this week.

The Netherlands continue their final preparations for UEFA Euro 2024 with an international friendly against Canada on Thursday evening.

The Oranje will be seeking a morale-boosting win against the 2022 World Cup participants after ending the March international break on a low note. Ronald Koeman is gearing up to lead the Netherlands into another tournament, aiming to end their 36-year wait for a major trophy.

The Netherlands had been on a four-match winning streak around the turn of the year, scoring 12 goals against Greece, Republic of Ireland, Gibraltar, and Scotland, without conceding. However, their momentum was halted by a 2-1 defeat to Germany, highlighting the need for improvements to navigate a challenging group at Euro 2024.

The Dutch will face France, Austria, and Poland in the tournament, making the upcoming friendlies against Canada and Iceland crucial for building confidence. Koeman has already named his 26-player squad for the tournament, reducing some pressure on players striving to secure a spot in the starting lineup.

The Netherlands and Canada have not faced each other in three decades, with their last meeting in 1994 resulting in a 3-0 victory for the Dutch in Toronto. Since then, Canada have evolved significantly, having played in the 2022 World Cup. Despite six wins in 12 matches since then, Canada has struggled to achieve notable victories and suffered a penalty shootout loss to the USA in the Gold Cup quarter-finals.

Former Leeds United head coach Jesse Marsch now leads Canada, aiming to rebuild his reputation while maintaining Canada’s competitiveness on the international stage. This friendly against the Netherlands marks a rare encounter with European opposition for Canada, having last faced Croatia and Belgium during the World Cup. The Hard Tackle delves into the potential elevens and tactics for this clash.

Team News & Tactics


Ronald Koeman is expected to rotate the 11 players who started in the defeat against Germany. A major priority is the need to find a solution at left wing-back. Nathan Ake, Daley Blind, and Jeremie Frimpong are all potential options.

In midfield and attack, Teun Koopmeiners and Cody Gakpo may return to the lineup. However, Frenkie de Jong will remain absent due to an ankle injury. The clash provides Koeman with enough opportunity to experiment against a side that can be dangerous on their day.

Netherlands are expected to line up in a 3-4-1-2 formation with Bart Verbruggen in goal. He should be protected by the back three of Nathan Ake, skipper Virgil van Dijk, and Matthijs de Ligt.

Jeremie Frimpong could get the nod on the right flank, with Daley Blind operating on the other wing. Joey Veerman scored against Germany and should retain his spot while Tijjani Reijnders should return to the playing XI. Atalanta playmaker Teun Koopmeiners should don the number 10 role, with Liverpool’s Cody Gakpo and free-agent Memphis Depay leading the attack.

Probable Lineup (3-4-1-2): Verbruggen; Ake, Van Dijk, De Ligt; Frimpong, Veerman, Reijnders, Blind; Koopmeiners; Gakpo, Depay

Netherlands vs Canada: Preview and Prediction.


The North Americans have a promising team and will hope to make an impact this summer when they take part in the Copa America. With World Champions Argentina waiting, Jesse Marsch will hope his side can go into the tournament high on confidence.

With Joel Waterman unavailable, Marsch must make a decision regarding the centre-back position if he opts to stick with a five-man defense. Options include Derek Cornelius and 18-year-old Fulham defender Luc De Fougerolles. The experienced Richie Laryea could also be drafted back into the side to provide stability and leadership at the back.

Following the 2-0 win over Trinidad and Tobago in the CONCACAF Nations League playoff, Canada will hope to leave a lasting impression against the Dutchmen. Marsch is expected to line up with a five man backline, with Maxime Crépeau in goal.

He should be protected by the back three of Richie Laryea, Kamal Miller and Alistair Johnston. Tajon Buchanan and Alphonso Davies should act as the wing-backs, aiding Canada to shift to a 3-4-1-2 when needed.

Stephen Eustáquio and Ismaël Koné should hold the fort in central midfield, freeing up Jonathan David to act as the playmaker. Cyle Larin scored last time around and Ugbo should partner him in the front two.

Probable Lineup (5-2-1-2): Crepeau; Buchanan, Laryea, Miller, Johnston, Davies; Eustaquio, Kone; David; Larin, Ugbo

Netherlands vs Canada: Preview and Prediction.

Key Stats

  • Netherlands and Canada have only faced off once before, all the way back in 1994 where the Oranje won 3-0.
  • Canada will score against the Netherlands for the first time should they find the back of the net on Thursday.
  • The Oranje have managed to keep four clean sheets in their last five international games across all fronts.
  • Canada last kept a clean sheet at the international level in July 2023 against Guatemala.

Player to Watch

Cody Gakpo

Embed from Getty Images

The Liverpool star haf mixed fortunes in the 2023/24 campaign but ended the season on a strong note. He will be keen to impress new manager Arne Slot and enjoy a fine outing at the Euros.

Gakpo was the nation’s standout player at the FIFFA World Cup and will hope to continue his fine showing at a second consecutive tournament. Possessing pace and guile, the attacker often veers left and can run into space. Also a decent header, his ability to carry the ball forward could trouble Canada, especially if they defend deep.


Netherlands 3-2 Canada

The Dutch will aim to get back to winning ways following the loss to Germany. Canada are likely to put up a good fight and have players who can hurt a rather slow Oranje defence. However, the home side have the upper hand when it comes to quality and this strength in depth should see them home on the night.

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