Romania did indeed fail to stamp their mark when attempting to qualify for the upcoming World Cup, but they have managed to turn in some decent performances in recent times. The hosts come into this match unbeaten in three; Cosmin Contra’s men should be feeling confident after their 2-0 win against Turkey just a few days ago. Similarly, Netherlands, who also failed to make the grade in terms of qualifying for Russia, come into this match in good form. A 1-0 win away to Scotland last time out added to their winning run, and the visitors ought to fancy their chances once more.
The interesting thing about these two teams, particularly since neither managed to qualify for Russia, is the fact that they’ve both been defending quite well of late. They’ve conceded just three goals between them in their last six combined. At an average of just 0.5 per game (combined), that’s not bad going at all. Romania have also managed to keep three clean sheets in their last five at home. At the prices, the bet that makes plenty of sense, is ‘Under 2.5 Goals’.
Against half-decent opposition, the main problem for Netherlands during qualifying was scoring goals on the road. Just one goal in three away matches (against France, Bulgaria and Sweden) is a poor return. With this in mind, the Romanians don’t have too much to fear here. Add into the mix that both Janssen and Dost, Holland’s two preferred centre-forwards, are out and Romania might just fancy themselves defensively.
Though there are reasons to believe that Romania can fare well from a defensive point of view, they might struggle to impose themselves going forward. Against better opposition, even at home, the Romanians have tended to come up short offensively. No goals when hosting both Denmark and Poland in qualifying doesn’t exactly bode well, nor does the fact that they managed just one against both Armenia and Montenegro. Against a Holland side who look to dictate, a lack of forward opportunities could become apparent for the hosts.
In a match where a massive amount of goals doesn’t appear all that likely, ‘Under 2.5 Goals’ is the way to go.