Netherlands vs Italy Odds: Pair Clash in Nations League Third-Place Play-off

Written by: Greg Lea
Published June 16, 2023
5 min read
  • The Netherlands and Italy will go head-to-head in the Nations League third place play-off
  • The Dutch are playing at home but that did not stop them losing to Croatia in the semis
  • Italy, the reigning European champions, were beaten by Spain in their last-four clash

Netherlands vs Italy Odds

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Netherlands vs Italy Pick

The Dutch are the favorites and we fancy their chances of getting the job done.

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Netherlands vs Italy Prediction

Netherlands Keen to Salvage Pride After Defeat in the Semi-finals

The Netherlands were twice in a favorable position against Croatia in their Nations League semi-final on Wednesday. First, Donyell Malen gave them the lead in the 34th minute and they remained ahead when the referee blew the whistle for half-time.

Croatia scored the next two goals of the game, but the Netherlands wrestled back momentum in dramatic fashion. With virtually the last kick of the match, Noa Lang notched an equalizer in the sixth minute of second-half stoppage time to send the contest to extra time.

At that point, Ronald Koeman’s side were in the ascendancy. Croatia had been dealt a major psychological blow with the concession of that late goal, just at the time when their players and fans no doubt began to feel they were in the final.

Yet the Netherlands were unable to capitalize. Croatia, as unruffled as ever, composed themselves in extra time, then struck twice to secure a 4-2 win. The greatest overachievers in European soccer had done it again, leaving the Dutch to contemplate a disappointing defeat at De Kuip.

Sunday’s showdown with Italy does not offer them redemption, but a victory here would certainly be preferable to another defeat. Ronald Koeman has now lost two of his three competitive games since succeeding Louis van Gaal, including a 4-0 thrashing by France. 

A third loss to another European power would lead to questions being asked of the man who left the national team for Barcelona in 2020. 

There were some positives to take from the defeat by Croatia: the Dutch showed spirit to force a late leveler and they played some good soccer at times. Still, conceding four goals in any game is cause for concern.

Italy Edged Out by Spain and Are Now Looking To Bounce Back

After their remarkable failure to qualify for World Cup 2022, Italy were hoping to get back on track by lifting the Nations League trophy this month. Of course, this tournament ranks much lower down the list of national teams’ priorities, but it still would have been a boost.

Unfortunately for Roberto Mancini, he and his squad will be heading home empty-handed. Italy were beaten 2-1 by Spain in the second semi-final. Their opponents opened the scoring in the third minute after some poor play by the Azzurri, before Ciro Immobile restored parity from the penalty spot.

The game looked to be heading for extra time when Joselu struck in the 88th minute to send Spain through to the final. Italy players appealed in vain for offside, but the replays showed that the goal was legal. There was insufficient time for the Azzurri to hit back.

Italy created a fair few chances against Spain and Mancini will conclude that a similar showing could have produced a win on another day. His team had to give up the ball for long periods, but they remained resolute and patient for the most part. However, the manager felt his team dropped off too easily after half-time.

“We did fade but we had issues in terms of winning the ball back. We were constantly under pressure in the second half,” he admitted. “We could have tried a higher block and been a bit more attacking in the second half. We dropped off a bit too much."

It is increasingly clear that Italy will struggle to replicate their achievement of two years ago by winning Euro 2024 next summer. This is a team in transition and a lack of truly top-level talent means they are not among the leading contenders with the best online sportsbooks.

Netherlands Could Edge This With Home Crowd in Their Corner

It will be interesting to see how both teams approach this match. At the third-place play-off at World Cup 2022, both Croatia and Morocco were desperate to end their campaigns on a high after both punched above their weight.

Yet there is a chance that this bronze-medal match is primarily seen as an inconvenience. That might not be the case for Koeman or Mancini, who will be seeking morale-boosting wins and a return to winning ways after disappointment in midweek. But whichever way you look at it, this game is in effect meaningless and it comes at the end of an incredibly long, grueling campaign.

With home advantage behind them, the Netherlands could edge this one. They did not defend too smartly against Croatia, but their attacking unit is exciting even without the injured Memphis Depay.

Of the two managers, Mancini is the likelier to experiment by naming a younger starting XI with fringe members of the squad given an opportunity. That could result in Italy being a little disjointed on the day.

There is unlikely to be too much between them, but back the Netherlands to triumph over Italy in the Nations League third-place play-off. 

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How to Watch Netherlands vs Italy

  • Teams: Netherlands vs Italy
  • Location: De Grolsch Veste, Enschede, Netherlands
  • Date and Time: Jun. 18, 2023, 9 a.m. ET 
  • How to Watch: Fox, fuboTV
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Greg Lea

Soccer Betting Analyst

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Greg Lea is a freelance soccer journalist from London. He is the former editor of The Set Pieces, and has contributed to the Guardian, FourFourTwo, and ESPN. A Crystal Palace fan, he is a long-time subscriber to the belief that it's the taking part that counts.
Nationality: American
Education: Bachelor of Arts in Politics
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