July 08, 2024 9:05 PM
Alex Lawes

Netherlands vs England Preview & Prediction | UEFA EURO 2024 | Semi-Final

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On Wednesday evening, the Netherlands are looking to reach their first UEFA European Championship final since winning the tournament in 1988, whilst England are bidding to make it back-to-back finals after what has been a disappointing campaign in terms of performances – but does that matter?

KICK-OFF DATE/TIME: Wednesday 10th July, 2024 - UK – 8:00pm / US ET – 3:00pm / US PT – 12:00pm




The Netherlands started UEFA EURO 2024 with a 2-1 defeat of Poland in a game in which they found themselves a goal down relatively early on in Hamburg. A goalless draw with France followed before an entertaining but generally concerning 3-2 defeat to Austria which meant they ended up third in Group D.

Ronald Koeman’s Oranje began their knockout stage with a comfortable and emphatic, impressive 3-0 hammering of Romania at the Allianz Arena in Munich – arguably the most complete performance of any side at the tournament so far. That was followed by showing some real grit and resilience to come from behind and defeat Turkey fairly late on in the quarter-finals.


England have played five games at this tournament. They have scored five goals and won just one game inside 90 minutes. Yet the Three Lions have made it into the semi-finals of a major tournament for the third time in their last four attempts under Gareth Southgate. They had only reached the final four on four occasions ever before Southgate’s appointment in 2017.

England also won their third penalty shootout of the Southgate era in the quarter-finals having won one previous shootout in their history. The performance was better against Switzerland, largely thanks to the switch in system, but they remained fairly toothless and ineffective in attack. Performances ‘have’ to improve, surely, or it genuinely might just not matter anymore.


The Netherlands have one big decision to make up-front. Memphis Depay has enjoyed a good tournament but hasn’t been prolific with just one goal so far and when Wout Weghorst came into the action against Turkey, the game turned on its head. It would still, though, seem a big gamble for Koeman to prefer Weghorst to Depay for this semi-final.

As for midfield, Jordy Schouten and Tijjani Reijnders have provided an excellent platform for the likes of Xavi Simons and Cody Gakpo to shine so there is unlikely to be any changes there. One surprise from the quarter-final was that Steven Bergwijn kept his place ahead of Donyell Malen but after Bergwijn was ineffective once again, it would surely be time for the Borussia Dortmund attacker to play from the start.

PREDICTED XI (4-2-3-1): Verbruggen; Dumfries, De Vrij, Van Dijk, Ake; Schouten, Reijnders; Malen, Simons, Gakpo; Depay




England switched to a back three against Switzerland and looked a lot more coherent in possession than they had previously. The expectation is that Gareth Southgate sticks with that system, albeit there is an argument that the switch to a back three was only because of Marc Guehi’s suspension and to try and match up Switzerland’s system.

Ezri Konsa performed well but prior to his suspension, Guehi had arguably been England’s best player so he is expected to return. Saka thrived at right wing-back going forward so may well keep his place there, whilst Trippier will have the task of dealing with the attacking Denzel Dumfries.

Harry Kane is, somehow, a talking point. The England captain, who has two goals in this tournament and 14 goals in major tournaments for the Three Lions, is clearly not fully fit and his form has been hurt because of it. Quite frankly, though, the evidence is there that if England play well and score, it is often because of or as a result of Kane’s influence. It would be a massive shock and a massive decision for Southgate to leave him out now.

PREDICTED XI (3-4-2-1): Pickford; Walker, Stones, Guehi; Saka, Mainoo, Rice, Trippier; Foden, Bellingham; Kane




  • This is the third EURO meeting between the Netherlands and England with each team winning one of the previous two encounters. The Dutch recorded a 3-1 victory in the group stage at EURO 1988 and England won 4-1 at the same stage of the tournament on home soil in 1996. Ronald Koeman featured for the Dutch in the 1988 fixture and Gareth Southgate lined-up for England in the 1996 contest.
  • The Netherlands and England are facing each other for the first time since the UEFA Nations League semi-finals in June 2019 when the Netherlands won 3-1 after extra time. Ronald Koeman and Gareth Southgate were opposing coaches in that match.
  • The Netherlands have lost only one of their last nine international matches against England (W4 D4).
  • The Netherlands are in the EURO semi-finals for the first time in 20 years. Overall, this is their sixth appearance in the last four (1976, 1988, 1992, 2000, 2004, 2024).
  • The Netherlands have won only one of their previous five EURO semi-final ties, with their only success being a 2-1 victory against West Germany at EURO 1988, Ronaldo Koeman scored an equalising goal from the penalty spot for the Dutch in that encounter.
  • Three of the five EURO semi-finals contested by the Netherlands have required extra-time with two of those ties being settled by a penalty shoot-out (L vs Denmark 1992 and L vs Italy 2000)
  • The Netherlands have scored two or more goals in seven of their last nine EURO matches.
  • This is the first time the Netherlands have won successive EURO matches in normal time since EURO 1988.
  • The Netherlands have won nine of their last 12 international matches (D1 L2).
  • Memphis Depay, Stefan de Vrij and Wout Weghorst are all set to make their 10th EURO appearance. Only seven other players have reached the landmark for the Netherlands.
  • Xavi Simons (21y 80d) is set to be the second youngest player to make an appearance for the Netherlands in a EURO semi-final, after Arjen Robben (20y 159d vs Portugal, EURO 2004).
  • England have reached the EURO semi-finals for the fourth time (1968, 1996, 2020, 2024). This is the first time they have made it through to successive semi-finals.
  • England have won one of their previous three EURO semi-final ties. That was their 2-1 extra-time victory against Denmark at EURO 2020.
  • Gareth Southgate has now reached the semi-finals three times with England (1996 as a player; 2020 and 2024 as coach)
  • Excluding penalty shoot-outs, England have lost only one of their last 23 EURO matches (W12 D10 L1).
  • Excluding penalty shoot-outs, England are unbeaten in their last 12 EURO matches (W7 D5). This is their longest run without losing a EURO match.
  • England have lost only one of their last 19 competitive matches (W11 D7).
  • England have conceded more than one goal in only one of their last 18 EURO matches.
  • Eight of England’s last 11 EURO knockout matches have required extra-time.
  • Excluding penalty shoot-outs, Gareth Southgate has not lost any of his 12 EURO matches as coach (W7 D5). This is the longest run of successive matches without losing for a coach in EURO history.
  • Bukayo Saka is set to make his 10th EURO appearance. He would be the 10th player to do so for England and the second youngest in EURO history to reach the landmark at the age of 22 years and 309 days after Pedri (21y 223d vs Germany, EURO 2024).


In five matches at UEFA EURO 2024, the Netherlands have been involved in games that have consisted of 14 goals. Four of their matches have featured three or more goals with just two clean sheets in that time, despite having what many would perceive as the best group of defenders on paper. The game that lets that tally down was a goalless draw with a France side designed to be endured rather than enjoyed.

England, on the other hand, have been utterly tedious for the neutral and the fact they are in the semi-finals is almost just bizarre. However, as mentioned, the first-half against the Swiss showed why England may continue to favour the back three with players looking forward more often, Declan Rice being an excellent example of that.

It allowed Bukayo Saka the freedom to run at a man one-on-one with defenders being distracted, rightly so, by the presence of either Phil Foden or Kobbie Mainoo out on the right. Chances remained few and far between but the difference between their previous performances and that was encouraging in an attacking perspective. The way England play and their results so far mean a high-scoring encounter is not expected but that also means there is good value in backing it, especially considering the Netherlands’ tournament to this stage and the signs of something evolving or shifting in the English attack.


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