Football Tips

EURO 2022 Tips: Dutch can withstand Bleu machine

Netherlands forward Vivianne Miedema
The return of Vivianne Miedema after COVID-19 is a massive boost for the Dutch

"Much is made of the way France started the group stage, but they have only shone intermittently since that incredible first half against Italy. The Dutch have the experience and quality to make this game competitive."

Lay France at 1.794/5

The last quarter-final at EURO 2022 takes place on Saturday, and Kevin Hatchard believes the Netherlands can at least force France into extra time.

France v Netherlands
Saturday 23 July, 20:00
Live on BBC One

France have kept the demons at bay

So far, harmony reigns in the French camp, with taciturn coach Corinne Diacre not yet at the heart of any bust-ups or frosty incidents. Diacre's spats with legendary performers Amandine Henry and Eugenie Le Sommer cost those incredibly talented players their places in this French squad, and ramped up the pressure on the coach.

If France fall at this hurdle, having gone out in the quarter-finals of the World Cup on home soil, fingers will mainly point in one direction.

France set the tone early on by racing into a 5-0 half-time lead in their group-stage opener against Italy, but they have had spells in all three matches where they have switched off. They lost the second half against Italy, conceded a last-gasp equaliser against Iceland and allowed Belgium back into a game they were completely dominating.

Add in a tournament-ending injury to star striker Marie-Antoinette Katoto, and there are certainly concerns for fans of Les Bleues.

However, there are also positives. France have played some thrilling attacking football. Winger Delphine Cascarino and left-back Sakine Kharchaoui are a lovely blend down the left, Grace Geyoro scored a hat-trick from midfield against Italy, and right-winger Kadidiatou Diani is an unpredictable joy.

The talent and technique is there, but can France put together a performance that lasts for an entire 90 minutes?

The good news is, aside from Katoto, France have no injury or suspension concerns.

Champions are yet to hit top gear

It's been a confusing campaign from the Netherlands so far. The 2017 champions came through their group unbeaten, only finishing behind Sweden on goal difference in Group C, and yet they have been underwhelming.

Losing star forward Vivianne Miedema to COVID-19 didn't help, but the Arsenal player is at least back for this one. However, as one talent returns, another has been forced to the sidelines; PSG winger Lieke Martens is out with a foot injury, so promising livewire Esmee Brugts might be given a platform to shine upon.

The biggest loss for the Dutch from 2017 has been coach Sarina Wiegman, who is now spearheading England's charge. Replacement Mark Parsons (who, ironically, is English) doesn't seem to have captured the hearts and minds of the squad in quite the same way,

Influential midfielder Jill Roord has suggested the former Portland Thorns boss is too verbose, and too interested in the feelings of his charges rather than how they play.

As is with the French, it's not an entirely negative picture; 22-year-old goalkeeper Daphne van Domselaar has coped really well with being thrust into the limelight, Lyon midfielder Danielle van de Donk scored a stunning winner against Portugal, and the team overall has bashed in eight goals across three games.

France too short to clinch semi spot

I can't get behind the idea of France being 1.794/5 to win this quarter-final inside 90 minutes. They had one amazing half against an Italy side that defended appallingly and subsequently failed to qualify, and they were underwhelming in spells against Belgium and Iceland.

They don't have the brilliance of Katoto to call upon, and they'll face a player desperate to make up for lost time in Miedema.

I'll happily lay France here at 1.794/5, as this is the first true test for Diacre's side. Neither team has consistently convinced, but Miedema's return evens things up, and so on price I'll get the Dutch win and the draw on our side.

If you want to use the Sportsbook's Bet Builder, you could back Netherlands/Draw and Over 1.5 Goals at 2.568/5. Neither team has yet managed a clean sheet at EURO 2022.

Miedema is the chief threat

Vivianne Miedema is one of the world's best attacking players, and even though she plays a little deeper these days, she is a creator and a goal threat.

Due to France being odds-on favourites, Miedema is a generous 2.8815/8 in the To Score market and an attractive 2.255/4 to score or assist. In the WSL last season, Miedema scored 14 goals and set up eight more.

According to fbRef, she averaged a staggering 5.82 shots per 90 in the English top flight last term, and 4.68 Shot Creating Actions per 90. Those are seriously good numbers.

On the French side of things, Clara Mateo has looked really bright in attacking midfield positions, and is 3.259/4 to score or assist. Karchaoui is a constant threat down the left, and she is a hefty 8.515/2 to produce an assist.

Recommended bets

New Customers can get £50 in free bets!

Available to new customers only. Place a £10 bet on the Betfair Sportsbook and you will receive £50 in free bets to use on Bet Builders and Accas! Opt-in here and T&cs apply.

Prices quoted in copy are correct at time of publication but liable to change.