Netherlands vs Croatia UEFA Nations League Semifinals Preview

Quinn Allen
Quinn Allen
Sports Betting News
News - Soccer
Netherlands vs Croatia UEFA Nations League Semifinals Preview

Nearly a year later the UEFA Nations League will continue, with just four teams left. On Wednesday, the Netherlands will play host to Luka Modric and Croatia in the semifinals in Rotterdam. The kick-off is scheduled for 2:45 PM ET. The winner here faces either Spain or Italy for the chance to be crowned champions of the competition. 

Quick Take

  • The Netherlands faces Croatia in the Nations League semifinals Wednesday
  • The Dutch are a slim favorite to win this fixture
  • Find the odds and preview below

Competition History & H2H

This is the third edition of the Nations League. Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal won in the inaugural season in 2018-19, actually beating the Dutch in the final by a score of 1-0. In 2021-22, France was named champions after taking down Spain in the showpiece. As for head-to-head between the Netherlands and Croatia, these two countries have met twice, both grabbing one win apiece.

Netherlands Dominant in Nations League

There is a reason why the Dutch are a favorite at Bodog for Wednesday’s affair. Before making the quarterfinals of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, Ronald Koeman’s side ran through the Nations League group stages. Oranje finished with a 5-1-0 record in a rather difficult pod, finishing above Belgium, Poland, and Wales. They bagged 14 goals and conceded just six in the process. In fact, the Dutch’s 14 points were the most of any team in League A.

The Netherlands did show rather well in the Middle East after that as previously mentioned, eventually falling to Lionel Messi and Argentina in penalties. But, they showed guts to even get to that point, with Wout Weghorst bagging a dramatic equalizer in extra time to force spot-kicks.

When it comes to recent fixtures however, Koeman’s men were thrashed 4-0 by France in Euro qualifying in March before comfortably taking care of Gibraltar just a few days later. There are a few injury concerns ahead of Wednesday’s match for Holland, with frontman Memphis Depay unavailable as he’s still battling a calf injury. Denzel Dumfries and Nathan Ake meanwhile might sit here after both competing in the Champions League final over the weekend. Cody Gakpo should be the main man up top and will likely be deployed as a No. 9. 

Can Croatia Finally Win Hardware?

Croatia has been oh so close to winning major silverware over the last five years. They were runners-up in the 2018 World Cup in Russia after losing to France in the final and then made another impressive run in Qatar last December, despite practically no one giving them much of a chance to do so. 

Zlatko Dalic’s group finished second in their group and went on to beat Japan and Brazil before Argentina eliminated them thanks to a Messi masterclass. Croatia did beat Morocco in the third-place playoff though to take home bronze.

As for the Nations League, the Croatians were top of a very tough pod, besting Denmark and France. The side collected 13 points from six games, compiling a 4-1-1 record. While they netted just eight times, their strong backline conceded a mere six goals. The Chequered Ones got off to a respectable start in Euro qualifying in March as well, settling for a 1-1 draw with the Welsh and securing three points with a 2-0 victory over Turkey.

There are a couple of key pieces missing for Croatia on Wednesday. Center-back Josko Gvardiol, one of the best young defenders in the world from RB Leipzig, is currently injured and won’t be available to feature. Striker Marko Livaja is also hurt. Regardless, the Croatians are a strong squad who can certainly produce the goods here, despite most soccer betting sites labeling them as an underdog in Rotterdam.