VALETTA, MALTA - FEBRUARY 17: Lieke Martens of Holland Women celebrates 0-1 with Jackie Groenen of Holland Women, Esmee Brugts of Holland Women, Fenna Kalma of Holland Women, Victoria Pelova of Holland Women, Damaris Egurrola of Holland Women during the International Friendly Women match between Holland Women v Austria Women at the Tony Bezzina Stadium on February 17, 2023 in Valetta Malta (Photo by Rico Brouwer/Soccrates/Getty Images)

FIFA Women's World Cup 70 Day Countdown: Day 11 - Netherlands Snapshot

As we enter day 11 of Edge of the Crowd’s electrifying 70-day countdown to the highly anticipated 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, we’re diving headfirst into a whirlwind tour of the fierce and fabulous teams gracing this year’s tournament.

Join us on this journey as we dish out the inside scoop on each squad's strengths, weaknesses, players to keep an eye on and what a pass mark might be for each nation.

Next up, is 2019 World Cup runners-up, the Netherlands.

FIFA Women's World Cup appearances: 2 (2015, 2019)

Best performance at a FIFA Women's World Cup: Runners-Up (2019)

Players to watch

Lieke Martens has been in tremendous form as of late, including scoring in three of the Netherlands' last four matches. The winger made the move to Paris St Germain in 2022, but at Barcelona in the two years before, she played 68 matches for 43 goals.

No stranger to scoring in big games, Martens has scored three World Cup goals in two tournaments already - including a brace against Japan in 2019 that secured victory for the Netherlands to get her side into the quarter-finals.

Similarly to Martens, Lineth Beerensteyn has scored four times from the Netherlands' last five matches - including a brace in a 4-0 victory against Austria. Since making her senior debut in 2016, the 26-year-old forward has played 90 games for her country, with stints at Bayern Munich and now Juventus helping her to be ready and perform in her second World Cup.

One of the youngest players in the national squad, the recently-former PSV forward Esmee Brugts is one that's gearing up for her first World Cup. A stalwart of Dutch youth teams, Brugts has 15 caps for the senior team and her ability to step up and deliver for her team has already been on show. Even though she's played more of a wing/dfence role under Andries Jonker, the teenager scored the go-ahead goal in the 93rd minute of a 1-0 victory over Iceland in 2022, of which qualified the Netherlands to the World Cup.

2023 form

The Netherlands has had some good results since the start of the year. Despite a record of two wins and two loss in 2023 so far, Jonker's side has played brilliant football, undone only by a couple of lapses, such as surrendering a 1-0 lead late against Austria, where the Netherlands gave up two goals in five minutes (86th and 91st minutes).

Otherwise, the Netherlands enjoyed a 4-0 victory against Austria in the second match between the two teams four days later. A 1-0 defeat to Germany followed, before a come-from-behind 4-1 win against Poland.

Strengths and Weaknesses

Strengths: The team is undergoing a semi-recent managerial change where Jonker took over in August last year. However, he understands the importance of playing youngsters, hanging onto the head coaching position of the Dutch youth team for seven years in the 1990s. His management style plays to a free-flowing game of football, and if he can get the youngsters to contribute, it'll not only set up the team come this World Cup, but in the future as well.

Going in his favour too, in his nine matches in charge of the senior team since replacing Mark Parsons, Jonker has a win percentage of 66 per cent - currently among one of the best winning percentages of his managerial career. Two of the three losses were one-goal margins (including the 2-1 loss against Austria), and the other a 2-0 defeat to Norway that included an own goal. If he can continue the winning form from the past 10 months especially, it could be good signs for the Netherlands.

Weaknesses: The Netherlands will enter this World Cup without its premier striker in Vivianne Miedema. The 26-year-old, since making her senior team debut in 2013, has scored 95 goals in 115 matches. However, the Arsenal forward went down with an ACL tear in a UEFA Women's Champion's League match in December, and will miss this year's tournament. While the Dutch have goalscoring capabilities across the park, Miedema's ability to score - and set up - goals make her an asset that the team will miss come July.

Pass mark

The Netherlands will want to go one better than the 2019 World Cup where the team was runners-up to the USA. However, with everything going on in the lead-up to this year's event, a pass mark for the Netherlands will be to at least reach the semi-finals.

To get the full experience of Edge of the Crowd's 70 Day Countdown to the FIFA Women's World Cup this July, don't forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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