The Netherlands played no part in last summer’s European Championships following a disastrous qualifying campaign and they will certainly be determined not to repeat that failure by making it through to Russia 2018. They have enjoyed a decent enough start to their qualifying campaign with seven points from their opening four games but a battle looks set to ensue for second place with Sweden sitting level with the Dutch on seven points, therefore this weekend’s clash in Bulgaria is a must-win for Danny Blind’s men.
Bulgaria sit a single point behind the Netherlands as we head into this weekend’s round of fixtures, the hosts bouncing back from defeats to France and Sweden by winning against Belarus, however they will be in for a tough time against a Dutch side which is certainly a step-up in quality. Indeed whilst Blind’s men have been far from their best in recent years, there can be no doubt that they are superior in quality to Bulgaria.
That said, the Dutch are far from solid at the back and have yet to manage a clean sheet in their qualifiers, therefore a home goal wouldn’t be a massive shock by any means. Indeed the pressure will undoubtedly be on the Netherlands and we expect to see an on-form Bas Dost add to the Dutch tally this weekend.
Dost has failed to find the back of the net in any of his nine Netherlands appearances but he has been enjoying some great form at Sporting CP with no less than 26 goals this season. This clash with Bulgaria will present him with a great opportunity to get his goal-scoring exploits underway on the international circuit.