Robben hints at retirement

Arjen Robben admits that he is contemplating retiring from football this summer.

The former Chelsea winger had previously confirmed his intention was to leave Bayern Munich but the Dutchman has now revealed he will hang up his boots if he can't find a perfect option for his family and his career.

Robben was sidelined with injury since November before returning to action against Hanover two weeks ago, revealing he had hoped to get back playing much sooner.

The Netherlands winger has scored 98 goals in 200 Bundesliga games for Bayern, winning seven league titles and the Champions League, but he's now contemplating calling it a day.

"I am late making my decision because of my injury. I wanted to get back on the pitch first," said Robben.

"It is not an easy decision to make. If you decide that you are going to keep playing, you have to find a place where everything is just right, not just in terms of football but also for my family."

Asked whether he might stop playing altogether, Robben said: "It is an option, but I don't know whether it will happen."

Bayern are 2/9 to defeat Eintracht Frankfurt in their final league game this weekend. They currently sit two points above Borussia Dortmund at the top of the table.

Frankfurt are 11/1 to stun the champions on Sunday with the draw priced at 11/2 for their Allianz Arena clash.

Brazilian full-back Rafinha, 33, is the third long-serving Bayern Munich player to announce his departure after Robben and veteran winger Franck Ribery.

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Magennis eyes qualifying charge

Northern Ireland matchwinner Josh Magennis is confident his side can maintain their form and challenge for a top-two finish in European Championship qualifying Group C.

Magennis netted a late clincher as the Irish edged out Belarus 2-1 in Belfast to make it two wins out of two in a group which also includes both Germany and the Netherlands.

Those two major rivals met in Amsterdam on Sunday, with Nico Shulz netting a last-minute winner for the visitors, as the Dutch failed to build on a 4-0 home win over Belarus in their opening qualifier.

And Bolton forward Magennis is relishing the remainder of the qualifying campaign, with Michael O'Neill's men facing trips to both Estonia and Belarus in early June.

He told reporters after his crucial intervention at Windsor Park: "It's a cliche and cheesy, but the main thing was the three points and we want 12 points out of the first four games and then we can head towards September, October and November.

"We have started off well and now we have to look forward to June.

"It is massive and we want to stay there (in the top two) and we truly believe we can do it.

"It's going to be tough and maybe tougher than we expected and maybe we will have to dig deep. I also say 'why not us?'. The boys know each other inside out and we just have to play to the best of our ability."

Northern Ireland are currently priced at 6/1 to finish in the top two in Group C, while they are 1/9 to miss out on a top-two spot.

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Depay to keep his place

Netherlands coach Ronald Koeman has made it clear that Memphis Depay will be in his starting line-up for Sunday's Euro 2020 qualifier against Germany.

The Lyon striker, who endured a difficult spell with Manchester United earlier in his career, scored twice on Thursday and produced a scintillating individual display as the Dutch eased to a 4-0 win against Belarus.

Depay has struggled to hold down a regular place in the Lyon team this season but has been hailed by former Everton boss Koeman.

He said of 25-year-old Depay: "A wonderful player. You saw what he is capable of, even if he is playing less at his club.

"Memphis is a very important pillar for us and he showed that. The ideal is to have a settled starting line-up to be able to work with. You see that with France, how infrequently they change their team."

Depay, who scored in the first minute against Belarus for a Netherlands side that have enjoyed a recent upturn in form after missing out on Euro 2016 and World Cup 2018, said: "It was a great start and, if you begin like that, it makes the rest of the evening easier.

"We said that to each other before we went out that we wanted to push hard for a goal in the opening 10 minutes. But you've also got to have a little luck.

"We have a good squad and a good coaching staff. We've got to ensure we stick together as a team and that everyone buys into our ambitions."

Netherlands, 3/1 to win this summer's Nations League, can be backed at 7/5 to beat Germany on Sunday.

Low impressed by Sane form

Germany head coach Joachim Low is pleased to see the improvements Leroy Sane has made and has backed the forward to be a major player for his country in the future.

The richly-talented 23-year-old Manchester City ace was a surprise omission from the Germany squad for the World Cup finals last summer, having been a key figure in the success of the Citizens last season.

However, Sane was back in favour for the Nations League programme, while he has scored in each of his last two international appearances – against Russia and the Netherlands.

And Low, who is busy rebuilding his squad after a disastrous showing at the World Cup, is happy to see Sane having taken on board criticism which had come his way.

He told the official DFB website: "His development has been good in both the national team and (for) Manchester City.

"He has put in some great performances, but what is more important to me is that he has taken a big step forward. He has really mastered his jobs on the pitch.

"He has incredible skills and has brought them to the pitch in the last six months. Leroy still has huge potential and can become an extremely important player for the Germany national team."

Germany can now be backed at 8/1 to win the 2020 European Championships, with the Dutch 12/1 and World Cup winners France 4/1.

Die Mannschaft and the Netherlands have been drawn in the same qualifying group and face each other in Amsterdam on Sunday.

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Southgate ready for Dutch date

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.

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 7/4, Portugal available at 2/1 and the Netherlands 3/1.

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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Rapid progress surprises Koeman

Netherlands coach Ronald Koeman said he was surprised by how far his side had come in a short space of time following their 2-0 Nations League victory against France.

The Dutch failed to qualify for Euro 2016 and the 2018 World Cup but have been revitalised by former Everton and Southampton boss Koeman.

They stunned the 2018 World Cup winners and will advance to next June's Nations League finals if they draw in Gelsenkirchen against Germany on Monday.

Koeman's team are 14/5 to draw with Germany, who have been relegated as a result of the Netherlands' victory against Les Bleus, and 3/1 to beat the 2014 World Cup winners, who were knocked out at the group stage in Russia this summer.

"We have shown we have broken the slump but I did not expect that we would be so much better through 90 minutes," said Koeman after the win in Rotterdam.

"I also did not expect that this team would be as far in their reading of a match. We have shown on such a night that we have made enormous steps. From the beginning to the end we played really well."

Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum opened the scoring just before half time and Memphis Depay added a late penalty to put the seal on the Netherlands' triumph.

Koeman's team beat Germany 3-0 last month in the Nations League and are 10/1 to win the competition outright, while England can be backed at 7/1 and Spain at 10/1.

Koeman cools Van Dijk concerns

Netherlands head coach Ronald Koeman expects central defender Virgil van Dijk to be okay to feature for Liverpool at Huddersfield Town this weekend.

Van Dijk played and scored in a 3-0 Nations League win for the Oranje over Germany on Saturday, but will be absent when the Dutch take on Belgium on Tuesday evening, as he is dealing with a rib problem.

However, Koeman is confident that Van Dijk will be clear to return to action in the Premier League on Saturday, the former Celtic and Southampton defender having managed his injury for a number of weeks.

Koeman told De Telegraaf: "Virgil has played with two broken ribs in the last few weeks. He wanted to play against Germany and you have to give (his) club something back now.

"He's back in Liverpool, but he is ready to play for next week. He's taken a rest and spoken to his manager.

"The medical staff of the Dutch national team spoke to the medical staff of Liverpool and made the decision that he was playing only the Germany game and then after that back to Liverpool.

"He is ready to play next weekend."

Van Dijk cost the Reds a world record fee for a defender when he joined from the Saints in December 2017, with the deal worth in the region of £75million.

He has since scored once in 32 appearances in all competitions for the Merseysiders, helping Liverpool reach the final of the Champions League last season.

This season the Reds are available at 9/4 to win the Premier League title, while they are 8/1 to go all the way and triumph in the Champions League.

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Low looking for strong response

Germany head coach Joachim Low has challenged his struggling team to play with confidence when they face World Cup 2018 winners France in the Nations League.

Die Mannschaft held Les Bleus to a goalless draw in their opening Nations League game, but slumped to a 3-0 defeat when they headed to the Netherlands last Saturday, leaving Low with much to ponder.

However, he is not about to be bowed and has vowed to send his players out in a positive frame of mind at the Stade de France on Tuesday evening.

He told reporters: "We have nothing to lose against the world champions. We are here to take the three points and we want to play boldly against the world champions."

Meanwhile, Low accepts that he has a lot of areas to try and improve on, with Germany having won just three of their last 12 internationals.

He added: "We have learned a few things from the match against the Netherlands. We want to make up for the things we messed up on,” the German coach said at a press conference.

"Of course this defeat was painful for all of us – me, the staff, the players and especially the supporters. At the same time, it's not really surprising. After the World Cup, we started a process in which we knew there would be defeats.

"It's normal for me to be criticised, but I can handle criticism very well. Criticism from the outside does not bother me.

"It is important that I motivate my players against France. I can easily forget the criticism and remain 100 per cent focused."

Germany are 14/5 to secure a draw against France, who are 17/20 to win the game and 8/1 to do so by a 2-0 scoreline.

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Koeman keeps feet on ground

Netherlands manager Ronald Koeman has refused to get carried away by a 3-0 victory over Germany insisting his team are far from the finished article.

Germany's troubles after a poor World Cup 2018 continued in Amsterdam with Virgil van Dijk, Memphis Depay and Georginio Wijnaldum on the scoresheet in Holland's biggest ever win over their close rivals.

It was a morale boosting win after they missed out on qualifying for Russia this summer but Koeman was cautious after the third win in his seven games in charge of the national side.

The former Everton boss said after the game: "We were waiting a long time for this, but I'm not the kind of guy who pretends that we've become world champions.

"I'm proud because finally we got the result we needed and we can say 'yes, there is development in the team'. That's what we needed. You could also feel that in the stadium, in the atmosphere.

"But if I tell the players that everything was great, it's not good. We need to grow with each other."

The Netherlands lost to France in their opening Nations League game last month and they end the group stages of the competition next month.

However they play Belgium in a friendly on Tuesday to try and build on the Germany result against a side who reached the semi-finals in Russia.

Netherlands are 5/1 to win the game with Belgium 4/7 and the draw 11/4.

The Netherlands are 9/2 to top Group 1 in the Nations League.

Koeman's side go into Tuesday's game without Liverpool defender Van Dijk who misses out with a rib injury sustained when playing for the Reds in the Premier League last month.

His Liverpool teammate Mohamed Salah is another to miss his country's second match in this international break, returning to his club after a muscle injury suffered in Egypt's win over Swaziland on Friday.

Liverpool are 9/4 to win the Premier League this season.

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Belief the key for Koeman

Ronald Koeman admits his Netherlands side need to believe they are ready to beat Germany in Saturday's Nations League clash.

The pair meet in League A Group 1 and both have something to prove, with Die Mannschaft falling at the first hurdle in their defence this summer in Russia.

However, the Oranje have failed to make the last two major tournaments and Koeman has put his faith in youth as he aims to rebuild his country's reputation.

After taking over in February, the former captain lost his first game in charge to England 1-0 but then oversaw a run of four unbeaten before losing 2-1 to France last month.

Despite the result, there were plenty of positives to take from that defeat in Paris and Koeman is keen to kick on against Germany, who play Les Bleus on Tuesday having drawn their September meeting 0-0.

The 55-year-old says his young squad set themselves a benchmark with their performance in Paris.

After a tough few years for Dutch football, Koeman has now challenged his players to believe that they can get a result against Joachim Low's men.

"I expect us to reach the levels of against France and continue that longer," he said. "If that works, I think we're going to win.

"Do my players realise that we can beat Germany? That is very important.

"The feeling that you can achieve something and that you actually get it done. I have a very good feeling about that."

The Netherlands are 12/5 to win on Saturday, with the draw 11/4 and Germany 23/20.

Koeman's side can be backed at 14/1 to top their Nations League pool, with the Germans 13/8 and Didier Deschamps' world champions 8/15.

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