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Netherlands kick off their Euro 2020 campaign with a tie against Ukraine in the familiar setting of Amsterdam.
There have been question marks regarding Frank De Boer’s preparations for the tournament, while the Dutch are missing key duo Virgil van Dijk and Donny van de Beek due to injury.
However, there is a strong mix of talent and experience within the Dutch set-up, and Group C is entirely winnable to set up a favourable knockout draw and build momentum.
Date, kick-off time and venue
Netherlands v Ukraine is scheduled for an 8pm BST kick-off on Sunday, June 13, 2021.
The match will be held at the Amsterdam ArenA (Johan Cruijff ArenA).
Netherlands v Ukraine: team news
|Photo: Mr.Fixit's Tips|
Donny van de Beek will miss the tournament due to a groin injury, and Dutch coach De Boer will not be naming a replacement for the Manchester United midfielder.
Goalkeepers: Jasper Cillessen, Tim Krul, Maarten Stekelenburg
Defenders: Nathan Ake, Daley Blind, Matthijs de Ligt, Stefan de Vrij, Denzel Dumfries, Jurriem Timber, Patrick van Aanholt, Joel Veltman, Owen Wijndal
Midfielders: Frenkie de Jong, Marten de Roon, Ryan Gravenberch, Davy Klaassen, Teun Koopmeiners, Georginio Wijnaldum
Forwards: Steven Berghuis, Luuk de Jong, Memphis Depay, Cody Gakpo, Donyell Malen, Quincy Promes, Wout Weghorst
Goalkeepers: Georgiy Bushchan, Andriy Pyatov, Anatolii Trubin
Defenders: Eduard Sobol, Illia Zabarnyi, Serhiy Kryvtsov, Denys Popov, Oleksandr Tymchyk, Vitaliy Mykolenko, Oleksandr Karavaev, Mykola Matviyenko
Midfielders: Serhiy Sydorchuk, Ruslan Malinovskyi, Mykola Shaparenko, Marlos, Yevhen Makarenko, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Viktor Tsygankov, Taras Stepanenko, Andriy Yarmolenko, Oleksandr Zubkov, Heorhii Sudakov, Roman Bezus
Forwards: Roman Yaremchuk, Artem Besedin, Artem Dovbyk
Netherlands v Ukraine: Match preview
|Photo: Evening Standard|
Netherlands bounced back from a disappointing 2-2 draw with Scotland in their first warm-up friendly by comfortably dispatching Georgia 3-0 last weekend.
Memphis Depay, who bagged a brace against the Scots, continued his fine goalscoring form by converting from the penalty spot in the 10th minute. The Lyon forward scored six goals in his last six games of the season in Ligue 1, and will carry much of his country's attacking burden.
However, in Wout Weghorst, Depay appears to have a suitable strike partner. The Wolfsburg forward struck 20 times in the Bundesliga this season to help the Wolves qualify for the Champions League for the first time in five years, and the 6ft 6in striker finally opened his international account to double his side's lead against Georgia.
Nineteen-year-old Ryan Gravenberch added further gloss to the victory, with Frank de Boer surely tempted to start the teenager against Ukraine on Sunday. Should the Ajax midfielder receive enough game time throughout the tournament, he has the talent to establish himself as one of the young players of the tournament.
Ukraine, meanwhile, won both of their warm-up friendlies against Northern Ireland and Cyprus without conceding a goal.
Andriy Shevchenko's side had not kept a clean sheet in any of their six prior outings, so the former AC Milan striker will be relieved that his defence appear to be building a solid platform ahead of the tournament.
Having impressively topped their qualifying group ahead of Portugal and Serbia, anything short of progressing to the knockout stages for the first time in a European Championship would have to be considered a serious failure given that Group C is widely perceived as the weakest group at this summer's tournament.
However, Ukraine have certainly not been handed an easy start with a trip to the Netherlands, so avoiding defeat may be seen as a positive step towards their primary aim of reaching the last 16.
Netherlands vs Ukraine: Predictions
After missing out on Euro 2016 and the 2018 World Cup, the Netherlands are finally back among the big guns after losing just one of their eight qualifying matches for this tournament. However, with Frank de Boer struggling to inspire convincing performances since taking over from Ronald Koeman, expectations are still relatively low regarding this side, though the likes of Memphis Depay and Wout Weghorst will undoubtedly pose serious goalscoring threats.
They face a Ukraine side widely regarded as one of the dark horses at Euro 2020. Andriy Shevchenko’s side are a supremely organised defensive unit, while the likes of Ruslan Malinovskyi and Andriy Yarmolenko are capable of moments of magic. If Ukraine can get off the mark quickly here against the Dutch, who knows what trajectory both sides could follow throughout this tournament.
The Dutch have averaged a whopping 10 corners per game across their last six internationals and with Wout Weghorst in the squad, this could be a profitable method of attack.
Vitaliy Mykolenko was the last Ukrainian to receive a red card, being sent off for a last-man foul against Finland in World Cup qualifying back in March. By contrast, the Netherlands are yet to see red under De Boer and picked up just one yellow card across their two pre-tournament friendlies.
Scoreline prediction: Netherlands 1-1 Ukraine
Netherlands vs Ukraine: Betting tips
|Photo: Getty Images|
1pt Memphis Depay to score anytime at 9/5 (Sky Bet, Bet Victor)
1pt Memphis Depay to score two or more goals at 11/1 (Sky Bet, Bet Victor)
The 2010s were a strange decade for the Dutch national team. After finishing third at the 2014 World Cup, the Oranje failed to qualify for Euro 2016, missing out on a European Championship for the first time since 1984.
They were also absent from the 2018 World Cup, yet ended their run of bad form by reaching the final of the inaugural UEFA Nations League in 2019.
One minute they’re beating Germany 4-2 in a Euro qualifier, the next they’re losing by the same scoreline to Turkey. Frank de Boer’s side are impossible to work out.
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