Wales will step up their preparation for Euro 2016 by taking on the Netherlands who surprisingly failed to qualify for next summer’s finals just a over a year after finishing third at the World Cup.
Since Louis van Gaal stepped down to take charge at Manchester United, poor results under Guus Hiddink means new manager Danny Blind has remarkably seen his country’s fortunes plummet as they came fourth – five points behind third placed Turkey – in their qualifying group.
The story couldn’t be any more different for Wales, who by qualifying for the European Championship have reached a major tournament for the first time since 1958.
Chris Coleman’s men came second in their group, just two points behind Belgium, who are now sit top of the FIFA World Rankings.
With the Dragons preparing for tournament football, the Netherlands are starting their rebuilding process in what would seem like role reversal given the historical achievements of both nations.
Euro 2016 will be the first time a Welsh side has ever qualified for a European Championship, while the Netherlands won the tournament in 1988 – a far cry from their current situation which has seen them win just five of their 14 matches since their 3-0 victory over Brazil in the World Cup third–place play-off.
This will be the eighth time the two nations have faced off, with the Netherlands winning all seven of the previous encounters and in some fashion, scoring 21 and conceding just three.
However, on this occasion, it is the hosts who head into the match as slight favourites.
It’s very much a depleted squad for Wales, with Gareth Bale, Aaron Ramsey, Hal Robson-Kanu, Sam Vokes and David Cotterill all unavailable for selection against the three-time World Cup finalists.
As for the Netherlands, Robin van Persie has been dropped by Blind, but Manchester United’s Memphis Depay has been added after initially missing out.
Bayern Munich winger Arjen Robben is also available again after being recalled following his return from injury.
Group Position: Wales – 2nd (21 points); Netherlands – 4th (13 points)
Last Meeting: Netherlands 2-0 Wales (Friendly – June 4, 2014)
Key Men: Wales – Jonny Williams; Netherlands – Arjen Robben
Form: Wales – WWWDLW; Netherlands – LWLLWL
Shoot Says: Wales 2-2 Netherlands