England will be looking to build upon their terrific Easter Weekend victory over reigning world champions Germany with a third straight international win over the Netherlands inside Wembley Stadium on Tuesday night.
The Three Lions, who roared back from two goals down to defeat Joachim Low’s side 3-2 at Berlin’s Olympiastadion on Saturday night, host their Dutch opponents in manager Roy Hodgson’s final game before announcing his squad for this summer’s 2016 UEFA European Championships.
After breezing through their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign (Group E) with ten wins from their ten group games; the Netherlands, who impressively finished third at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil under current Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal, failed to progress to this year’s finals after only finishing fourth in Group A.
Danny Blind’s side also lost in their most recent outing after suffering a 3-2 defeat to the hands of France on Friday night, with goals from Antoine Griezmann, Olivier Giroud and Blaise Matuidi giving the Euro 2016 hosts a late victory.
England head into Tuesday’s nights clash in buoyant mood after defeating the Germans on Saturday night, plus the fact that the Three Lions have won nine consecutive games at home (Wembley) – their longest streak since a run of 11 victories between 2008 and 2010.
However history doesn’t bode well for the home side against the Dutch, with Hodgson’s men having failed to win in their last six meetings with the Netherlands, drawing four.
The Oranje were also the last team to score more than two goals in a game against England at Wembley, winning 3-2 inside the national stadium thanks to goals from Arjen Robben (2) and Klaas Jan Huntelaar.
The latter forward is the Dutch’s most lethal threat for the Three Lions tonight, with the Schalke striker having scored a sensational 42 goals in 76 international caps for his country to date.
The Oranje also triumphed in their last away international, beating Chris Coleman’s Wales thanks to goals from Bas Dost and another brace from Bayern Munich star Robben.
During Tuesday night’s match; England supporters will be asked to join the travelling Dutch fans to take part in a minute’s applause after 14 minutes to remember Netherlands, FC Barcelona and Ajax legend Johan Cruyff, who sadly passed away last week following his battle with cancer.
The Three Lions players will also wear black armbands and there will be a minute’s silence to mark the recent Brussels [Belgium] terror attacks.
England national team coach Hodgson has already confirmed Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge will make his first international start in 18 months.
Fellow Reds teammate James Milner will captain the side in absence of regular skipper Wayne Rooney (Knee), with the Three Lions’ starting XI set to be shifted around following their weekend win in Berlin.
Goalkeeper Fraser Forster is certain to start after learning fellow shot stopper Jack Butland fractured his ankle against Germany, meanwhile boss Hodgson hinted Leicester City midfielder Danny Drinkwater could make his debut.
Meanwhile for the Dutch; Tottenham ‘keeper Michel Vorm and Chelsea midfielder Marco van Ginkel have been added to Blind’s squad ahead of tonight’s tie at Wembley, replacing injured duo Jasper Cillessen (Broken nose) and Davy Klaassen (Knee).
The only other absentee is midfielder Wesley Sneijder, who has been ruled out after picking up a calf injury against France last week.
Previous Meeting: England 2-3 Netherlands – February 29, 2012
Form: England – WWWLWW; Netherlands – LLWLWL
Key Men: England – Jamie Vardy; Netherlands – Klaas Jan Huntelaar
Shoot Says: England 2-1 Netherlands