In search of a reaction that allows him to avoid a new embarrassment, the selection of the Netherlands faces this Saturday, October 7, Belarus. The game is the ninth (penultimate) round of European qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Scheduled to start at 15:45 (BST), it will be held at the Borisov Arena in Borisov, Belarus.
The recent performance of Belarus
The owners of the house have no chance of reaching a place in the World Cup. With five points (one win, two draws and five defeats) they are the sixth (bottom) in the group A standings. The only viable improvement in the qualifying round is to pass the flashlight into the hands of Luxembourg, who also has five points, but takes advantage of the goal difference.
Luxembourg has a negative balance of ten while the Belarussians have a deficit of 12. In addition to the Dutch, the Belarus team will face on Tuesday, October 10, France. The expectation of winning is small. In that way, the hope of overcoming rivals would be through goal deficit, with losses due to low difference and hope that Luxembourg lose by bigger margin to Sweden (on Saturday) and Bulgaria (Tuesday).
The current form of the Netherlands
The situation of the Dutch is not the most exciting, but there are still chances both to win the first place of the key and to survive in the fight for a place in the World Cup through the recap.
In the first case, there is a need to win the two remaining games and still have to win against France. In addition to Belarus, the Netherlands will have Sweden ahead in the final round. With 13 points (four wins, a draw three losses), they can reach 19. Thus, they would need that France, who has 17 points, get only a draw in the two remaining games. The French play Bulgaria away from home in the ninth round and then receive the Belarusians eliminated. Therefore, it is a possibility with a rather remote chance of being consolidated.
Two Dutch victories married to two French draws would promote a draw between the selections in the score. In that case, the decision would be in the goal balance. At the moment, he is in favor of France: 10 to 5.
So, in practice, the real hope of the Netherlands’ selection is even to win second place and advance to the playoffs. For this, it depends only on its results. In that duel, the enemy is Sweden, which has 16 points (five wins, one draw and two losses).
The Swedes enter the field on Saturday with wide favor against Luxembourg. If they do, the Netherlands would have to beat them on the final day to match the number of points, if they beat the Belarusians. The setting would go to the goal balance. Sweden also has a good advantage at the moment: 11 to 5.
History of the matches Belarus vs Netherlands
There has never been a draw in encounters involving Belarusians and Dutch. In seven matches between them, the Netherlands have won five times, including the 4-1 draw in the first round of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. The successes of Belarus were two.