Southgate ready for Dutch date

03 December 2018 10:35:53 EST

England head coach Gareth Southgate is looking forward to the challenge of his side facing the Netherlands in the semi-finals of the inaugural UEFA Nations League.

The Three Lions will take on the Oranje in Guimaraes on Thursday 6th June, with the first semi-final pitting hosts Portugal against Switzerland in Porto a day earlier.

All four teams are very evenly matched. Everyone will feel they have got a good chance.

Gareth Southgate

And Southgate, who led his team to the World Cup semi-finals earlier this year, is relishing the opportunity of trying to go at least one better next summer.

He told reporters: "All four teams are very evenly matched. Everyone will feel they have got a good chance.

"I've watched Holland closely since Ronald Koeman took over. They are similar to us in that they've got a lot of exciting young players coming through.

"I think it will be a game of good technical ability, good energy and pace and a game that both sets of supporters can really look forward to.

"It is a really good test for us and we are looking forward to it."

England finished top of the Nations League group ahead of Spain and Croatia, while the Dutch impressed in topping a pool which also included the last two winners of the World Cup - France and Germany.

Portugal booked their place by seeing off Italy and Poland, while the Swiss qualified for the final stages by claiming a 5-2 win over Belgium to edge through on goal difference.

Switzerland are 6/1 to win the Nations League, with England priced at 9/4, Portugal available at 15/8 and the Netherlands 5/2.

England and Holland last met in a competitive fixture during Euro96, when the Three Lions won 4-1 at Wembley thanks to two goals apiece from Alan Shearer and Teddy Sheringham.

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