In what is perhaps the biggest match of the European qualifying round this month, the Netherlands welcome Turkey to Amsterdam for a game that could go some way to deciding which team automatically comes out of Group G with a place at the World Cup. Turkey's 4-2 win in their first meeting has set Senol Gunes' side up as the early frontrunners but draws with Latvia and Montenegro have let the chasing pack close the gap.
With Norway likely to pick up three points against Gibraltar and add to their goal difference the stakes are high ahead of Tuesday's clash at the Johan Cruyff Arena. Here is how you can watch the match and what you need to know:
- Date: Tuesday, Sep. 7 | Time: 2:45 p.m. ET
- Location: Johan Cruyff Arena -- Amsterdam, Netherlands
- TV/Live stream: ESPN+
- Odds: Netherlands -300; Draw +400; Turkey +750 (via Caesars Sportsbook)
Netherlands: The third Louis van Gaal era dawned in customary fashion with the 70 year old stating he would have appointed himself if he were in the KNVB's position and insisting that he is the man to make the immediate impact the Dutch need after exiting Euro 2020 in the first knockout round. He seems to be vindicated so far, a solid draw in Norway on his opening match followed by a dominant win over Montenegro in Eindhoven that proved to be the perfect warmup for Tuesday's match.
Van Gaal has restored the 4-3-3 that has been the template for generations of Dutch sides (though not always his own) and it certainly helped in the 4-0 victory against Montenegro with Memphis Depay getting the quick ball he needed to continue his devastating run of form early in the season.
Turkey: The supposed dark horses of Euro 2020 who fell at its first hurdle, Turkey are at risk of taking their rut from the summer into the autumn months and in the process costing themselves not just success in the European Championships but a place at the World Cup for the third time in their history. A 3-0 win in Gibraltar may have put them back on track -- it will surely have helped just to win again -- but come the end of the campaign Wednesday's 2-2 draw with Montenegro could play heavily on their minds.
Two goals ahead after 31 minutes in Istanbul, Turkey failed to take advantage of their position and ultimately found themselves having to settle for a draw when Risto Radunovic struck a brilliant free kick in the 97th minute. What could have been a commanding lead at the top of Group G looks to be ebbing away.
Though both of these sides had summers to forget, the Dutch seem to have moved on more effectively and should wrestle back control of the qualification race. PICK: Netherlands 2, Turkey 0