O’Neill’s Republic of Ireland can down Dutch in entertaining Euro 2016 warm-up friendly
Lee Gormley | May 26, 2016
Republic of Ireland v Netherlands
- International friendly
- Friday, May 28th
- Kick-off: 19:45 BST
- The Aviva Stadium, Dublin
- Live on Premier Sports
Irish tackle Dutch in Euro 2016 warm-up
Martin O’Neill’s Republic of Ireland begin their Euro 2016 preparations on Friday night as they welcome the Netherlands to Dublin for an international friendly encounter at the Aviva Stadium, a fixture which the hosts have lost just once in their previous four meetings.
The Dutch haplessly failed to secure a place in France for this upcoming summer after a disastrous qualifying campaign, in which former coach Guus Hiddink was relieved of duties for underwhelming results, with Danny Blind now the man in the Holland hotseat.
Ireland booked their place in the finals via the play-offs, having overcome Bosnia and Herzegovina to deservedly reach their second successive European Championship, and they are 12/5 with Coral to overcome their Dutch opponents on home soil.
Although, Blind is in the process of rebuilding the Clockwork Orange outfit and his men are 6/4 favourites to prevail on their travels, with the Dutch having won the previous clash back in 2006, while a sharing of the spoils is 11/5 to occur.
Goal feast on the cards in Dublin
With Euro 2016 just around the corner, O’Neill will hope to see his Boys in Green find their feet before departing for France, while places are still up for grabs as he prepares to name his final squad to take for the finals.
The Emerald Isle come up against a Dutch set-up struggling defensively, with their last clean sheet in the last nine outings coming against minnows Latvia, though in attack they still possess enough firepower to cause a threat in the Irish capital, having scored at least twice in each of their last five fixtures.
Despite a drop in form in recent months, the Irish will see their latest clash with the Oranje as a great test ahead of a seemingly strong Group E in France, which features Belgium, Italy and Sweden.
Ireland have netted in nine consecutive matches, while the Dutch have struck in 11 of their last 13 outings and, as this friendly liaison will likely see many players aiming to cement squad positions, a goal-feast could be on the cards. Therefore, odds of 10/3 can be had on there being 3.5 goals scored in Dublin.
Memphis and Wijnaldum among Dutch threats
The last time Ireland beat the Netherlands skipper Robbie Keane struck the winner in a narrow 1-0 result at the Amsterdam ArenA, and the LA Galaxy frontman is 15/8 to get on the scoresheet again 12 years after that last friendly goal.
Southampton forward Shane Long could be set to lead Ireland frontline in the summer and he is 6/1 to net the game’s final goal in Dublin, while the country’s recently awarded Player of the Year Jonathan Walters is 11/2 to open proceedings on home turf.
Players such as Kevin Doyle (3/1 anytime), Daryl Murphy (15/8), Harry Arter (4/1) and Jonathan Hayes (4/1) will be out to prove themselves in Dublin too, if given the opportunity, while 13/2 can be had on there being no goalscorer.
For the Dutch, Wolfsburg frontman Bas Dost will likely lead the line and is 6/4 to find the target anytime, with fellow attacker and Manchester United winger Memphis Depay is 15/8 to put an underwhelming campaign behind him by dispatching.
Recently relegated Newcastle United midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum could be on the move this summer but he is 7/2 to strike, while experienced playmaker Wesley Sneijder and Roma star Kevin Strootman can provide a central threat for the away side in this potentially exciting friendly match-up.