The Netherlands is seeking a confidence booster ahead of its UEFA European Championship Group A home game against Latvia and one think that it will get that fillip with a victory over a Mexico team that will line up below full strength.
Mexico was just a handful of minutes from eliminating the Netherlands from the FIFA World Cup in the round of 16 but it let slip a 0-1 lead, allowing Wesley Sneijder to level in the 88th minute and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar to strike home the winning penalty kick in the fourth minute of stoppage time.
The strength of Mexico’s side in recent years has been its defence and, interestingly, none of its three centre backs that started versus the Netherlands in the FIFA World Cup has been included in its squad for Wednesday’s friendly.
Mexico is set to field a relatively inexperienced defence against the Netherlands in Amsterdam and, given the arsenal of attacking weapons that the Dutch possess, that looks like a recipe for disaster or, at the very least, an away defeat.
The Netherlands does not lose many matches on Dutch soil and it is desperate to get a win under its belt before tackling Latvia in what is a must-win UEFA European Championship Group A game. Such is the importance of the Latvia match that Netherlands coach Guus Hiddink has said that he will resign if his team does not pick up three points.
Huntelaar, Arjen Robben and Robin van Persie are just three of the Netherlands strikers at the beck and call of Hiddink and the defenders on Mexico’s rosters are not only light on for caps but also mostly based in the North American nation – Porto star Diego Reyes is the only one on the books of a European side and he has made just 15 Mexico appearances.
Betting on friendly games does not have the same appeal as betting on competitive matches but the Netherlands is fairly priced at odds of -120 with William Hill to beat Mexico in the circumstances. For while Mexico will be experimenting, the Netherlands will be eager to improve its team morale.
Norway against Estonia in Oslo is far from the sexiest friendly on this week’s coupon and one thinks that it will be a fairly low-scoring affair, hence one’s interest in backing under two and a half goals at the surprisingly decent odds of -115 with BetVictor and Unibet.
The first meeting between Norway and Estonia resulted in a 7-0 win for the Scandinavian side but that was 19 years ago when it was a force with which to be reckoned. These days Norway is only making headlines on the international scene because of Martin Odegaard, who became the youngest player to feature in a UEFA European Championship game when he played versus Bulgaria at the age of 15 years and 300 days.
Recent collateral form lines featuring England suggest that there is little to choose between Norway and Estonia and that, while the Scandinavian team merits favouritism in Oslo, a comprehensive home victory is unlikely. Norway is not free scoring, Estonia gives away little and, after all, it is a friendly and many of them lack intensity.
Finally, Brazil is on a mission to restore its reputation after crashing 1-7 to Germany in the most remarkable FIFA World Cup semi-final ever. Turkey in Istanbul is Brazil’s latest assignment and, having beaten Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador and Japan without conceding a single goal since its FIFA World Cup nightmare ended, it is justifiably odds on at -137 with Paddy Power to get the better of a Turkey side without any household names.
Netherlands to beat Mexico
12th November 19.30 GMT
Where to Bet: William Hill
Brazil to beat Turkey
12th November 18.30 GMT
Where to Bet: Paddy Power
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