Slovakia were in England’s group and finished second with 18 points, but that was not enough to earn themselves a spot in the playoffs.
The Netherlands had a very turbulent couple of years which eventually led to them missing out altogether on the World Cup.
Danny Blind was dismissed and replaced by Dick Advocaat midway through the campaign and, as a result, the Dutch failed to qualify even for the playoffs, finishing with 19 points but a worse goal difference than Sweden.
Ronald Koeman now has the reins and needs to rebuild this great footballing nation into a force that drove them to the 2010 World Cup final.
Midfielders that miss out are former Manchester City player Vladimir Weiss and Filip Kiss, while forward Marek Bakos has been left home.Ronald Koeman has called upon both youth, mainly coming from the Dutch Eredisivie, coupled with experience in some areas of the field.
A few bigger name players have not been called up included goalkeeper Michel Vorm who is injured, defenders Jeffrey Bruma and Bruno Martins Indi, midfielder Davy Klaassen, whom he signed at Everton last summer for £25 million, and forwards Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben, the latter of which has retired from international football.Regardless of that, they have been in very impressive form especially on their turf and are tipped for victory in this tie at odds of (3.45) with BetKing.
Surely they aren’t this bad? Koeman needs his players to prove that they are still a good side that just went through a chaotic qualification.
It will hurt the World Cup that the Orange army won’t be there and Koeman needs to make sure that this does not happen again.Slovakia will lose their impressive defensive record but they will still remain unbeaten in home friendlies since 2011.
For the Netherlands, a draw would represent progress and help to build some squad unity that they have lacked so much over the last couple of years.