Netherlands (-700) vs. Latvia (+1200) (Draw +600)
On Wednesday, Netherlands lost to Mexico in a friendly (3-2). The Orange will be hoping they got all the poor defending out of their system heading into an important Euro 2016 qualifier with Latvia in Amsterdam on Sunday, November 16. Kick-off will be at 12:00 p.m. Eastern.
Netherlands and Latvia have only faced each other once, with the Orange triumphing 3-0 in 2004. Though their play has been suspect of late, the Dutch are heavy favorites at home against overmatched Latvia, sitting at -700 in the moneyline; the draw is at +600 and a Latvian victory would pay handsomely at +1200.
After losing to Mexico midweek, Dutch coach Guus Hiddink said his team had chances to win but simply didn’t convert. Failing to convert has been a theme for Dutch football of late, as the team has only taken three of a possible nine points in Euro 2016 qualifying. The Orange have already lost to the two teams above them in the standings (Czech Republic and Iceland) and have only managed a win over Kazakhstan. Currently, Netherlands are third in Group A and would not go through if qualifying ended today.
Hiddink knows it’s win-or-else on Sunday. “If we lose to Latvia then I’ll take the logical step. I haven’t discussed it with the players but to me a draw too would not be acceptable,” the 67-year-old coach told to reporters after the friendly against Mexico.
On the other side, Latvia is in fourth place in Group A with two points (0W, 2D, 1L). They managed draws against the two teams below them in the standings – Kazakhstand and Turkey – and lost 3-0 to Iceland. Though the Latvians realize they are overmatched, they are not going to stand in awe of Netherlands’ superstars come Sunday.
“Robben, van Persie, Sneijder, many others – they are world-class players, at another level. But we cannot give up,” said FK Ventspils defender Kaspars Dubra. “It is humans who play football not surnames. Yes, there is a significant gap in class but we have to take to the pitch and fight from the first minute until the last one.”
Look for Netherlands to get back on form Sunday and win by two.
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