Before challenging Belgium this Sunday (8:45 p.m.) at the Johan Cruyff Arena, Louis van Gaal insisted that the Netherlands would beat their Belgian neighbors to secure first place in the group in the Nations League and present themselves. at the World Cup (November 20-December 18) in vain since his arrival at the head of the selection after Euro 2021.
Before this “final” of Group 4 of League A, the Dutch have a three-point lead in the lead and have the cards in hand to participate in the semi-finals.
The Netherlands have not lost since June 2021
“We will win tomorrow. Better to go to the World Cup undefeated than to lose the last match. That’s what I told the boys”, said the former Manchester United manager. Van Gaal, 71, hasn’t lost in 14 games since taking charge of the Dutch side for a third time last year.
Belgium, who lost to the Dutch in Brussels in June (1-4), must win by three goals to snatch first place and qualify for the final phase next June. “If it happens, it will be deservedVan Gaal said. But I believe in my players and that they will win. This is how I prepare them. I don’t expect a surprise. My players are always concentrated and that’s why I always tell them the line-up two days in advance so that they can find accommodation. »
“It’s fantastic to play against the Belgians”
Dutch cap Leneur said he didn’t expect much different from Belgium. “We have analyzed them and I see a team that always plays with the same concept of play. I don’t see Belgium specifying anything different. »
That said, he was pleased that the Oranges passed a difficult test for their last international match before the World Cup in Qatar, where they are in Group A with hosts Ecuador and Senegal.
“I prefer to play against these kinds of opponents. I am happy because there are very high quality players playing for Belgiumdid he declare. I have often said that I find Kevin De Bruyne fantastic. He dictates the game and also scores goals. How are we going to deal with this? And how will my players react? It will be interesting to see. And then there is the rivalry. JI think it’s fantastic to play against the Belgians. I mentioned De Bruyne, but they have more. But so are we”.
If the Netherlands win on Sunday, it will be Van Gaal’s 37th victory in 58 games in charge and he will equal Dick Advocaat’s record as the most successful Dutch coach.