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Wednesday, 16 January, 2019

Holland have no choice but to attack France

Dutch have mountain to climb

Holland striker Bas Dost (left)
1 of 1

France v Holland
Sky Sports Football, 7.45pm Thursday
Uruguay v Argentina
Midnight Thursday

Holland missed the party by failing to qualify for Euro 2016 and are in danger of having another summer off next year when the World Cup takes place in Russia.

A 2-0 defeat in Bulgaria in March cost manager Danny Blind his job and the Oranje desperately need a positive result in Paris on Thursday to give themselves a chance of qualifying from Group A.

Veteran Dick Advocaat has taken the helm for the third time but he has enough attacking talent at his disposal to trouble France, who have conceded in eight of their last 13 home matches.

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Chile v Paraguay

Bas Dost has started from where he left off for Sporting Lisbon with three goals in his first four goals of the Portuguese campaign having scored 34 goals in 31 appearances last term.

He must be confident that he can perform on the international stage and even if he doesn't get the opportunity, Tottenham's Vincent Janssen has found the net in each of his last three appearances.

Dost tends to perform much better in his national shirt than he does for Spurs, and Holland have found the net in eight of their last nine away matches - the exception was the calamitous night in Sofia.

Sweden are expected to beat Bulgaria so the Dutch cannot afford to sit back, while Les Bleus have such a wealth of ability in the final third that they can threaten anyone.

The Swedes lead the group, so Didier Deschamps' team cannot afford to take things easy and, bearing in mind the context of the game, it is somewhat surprising to see both teams to score available at odds-against.

The pick of the South American qualifiers takes place in Montevideo where neither Uruguay or Argentina can afford to slip up if they are to avoid a World Cup playoff.

New Zealand are likely to await the team who finish fifth in the Conmebol standings and neither of these two teams would be too concerned about the prospect of facing the All Whites.

But both will be keen to avoid the headache and Argentina are fancied to overtake their neighbours with a win in Jorge Sampaoli's first match in charge.

The visitors have lost their last four away qualifiers but Uruguay have been struggling, losing 3-1 in Chile, 4-1 at home to Brazil and 2-1 to Peru.

Luis Suarez has made a surprise return to the squad after a knee injury but he looks unlikely to start. This looks a good chance for Argentina to get back on track.

Both teams to score in France v Holland
2pts 11-10 Betfair, Paddy Power
1pt 5-4 general

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Veteran Dick Advocaat has taken the helm for the third time but he has enough attacking talent at his disposal to trouble France
E.W. Terms
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