The Netherlands have not adapted well to the return of former manager Guus Hiddink. After Louis van Gaal performed so strongly as a second-time manager at last year’s World Cup, Dutch decision-makers perhaps selected Hiddink while wearing rose-tinted spectacles. As a result, they overlooked Ronald Koeman, who has had such a fantastic first season with Southampton.
Five games into Euro 2016 qualifying sees the Netherlands lying six points behind the Czech Republic and five points behind Iceland. A confidence-building win against the USA would leave them a stronger position to close ground on the group leaders in their next game.
While Jürgen Klinsmann’s 58.8% winning record with Germany was not deemed good enough, his 54.8% winning percentage with the USA is more than adequate. The legendary German striker took the USA to the last 16 of the 2014 World Cup and wants to continue to improve his team
A loss to the USA is easily possible for the Netherlands. Although talented in places, the quad does not have the balance needed to win Euro 2016. Wesley Sneijder, Georginio Wijnaldum, and Memphis Depay clearly have talent, but the absence of the central midfield force that is Kevin Strootman will hurt them.
Farther up the park, Robin van Persie has had a torrid season with Man Utd. He looks visibly sluggish and does not have the lightning first step that he displayed so often two seasons ago. Meanwhile, Arjen Robben finished the season injured and is unable to play.
Where the Netherlands have talented individuals, the USA are entirely dependent on their team focus. Some player names will be unfamiliar to many football fans, but there are good players on this team. Michael Bradley has 96 caps and 13 goals, while Jermaine Jones has racked up 50 caps.
Tip one: USA or draw @ 2.30 with Betfair
Tip two: Under 2.5 goals @ 1.80 with Betfair
Life will not suddenly get easier for Guus Hiddink. This could be another bump in the road for the veteran Dutch manager approaching the end of the road. USA or draw offers fantastic value at 2.30.