Having missed the previous two major international tournaments (Euro 2016 and World Cup 2018), the Netherlands will be keen to impress. With a united squad, the Dutch will be looking to ignore the criticism that has been aimed towards head coach Frank de Boer.
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Euro 2020: Netherlands key stats
Manager: Frank de Boer
Key Player: Frenkie de Jong
FIFA World Ranking (May 2021): 16th
Recent performances: Euro 2016 – Did not qualify, 2018 World Cup – Did not qualify
Odds to win Group C: 1.320*
Odds to win Euro 2020: 13.490*
Euro 2020: Netherlands schedule
All times listed are CEST (Central European Summer Time).
June 13, 21:00: Netherlands vs. Ukraine
June 17, 21:00: Netherlands vs. Austria
June 21, 18:00: Netherlands vs. North Macedonia
Euro 2020: What are the Netherlands' strengths?
The Netherlands have a strong feeling of togetherness amongst their current crop of players. Goalkeepers aside, only one player is over the age of 30, but even so, several players are proving themselves as leaders on the field, including Juventus' 21-year-old defender Matthijs de Ligt and Lyon's Memphis Depay in the attack.
With only seven players surviving from the World Cup squad in 2014, you would think this Netherlands side lack key experience on the big stage. However, many players in the squad are in their prime and play at the top level with top European clubs.
The unity shown by this Netherlands team, where almost all players are friends off the pitch, is very different to the likes of Spain, who are missing key defender Sergio Ramos, and Germany, where there continue to be rumblings of unrest amongst the squad.The Netherlands are heavily fancied to progress from Group C - priced by Pinnacle at 1.050*. Good value could be gained from the Netherlands winning their group - they're currently priced at 1.320* to win Group C, which also contains Ukraine, Austria, and North Macedonia. Plus you can get 1.909* for the Netherlands to earn over 6.5 points in Group C.
Euro 2020: What are the Netherlands' weaknesses?
Missing from the team will be the injured captain and world-class defender Virgil van Dijk. To combat this, Frank de Boer will place Serie A winner Stefan de Vrij next to Matthijs de Ligt in the heart of the Dutch defence. Also, there are very few top-level wingers for de Boer to call upon to change a game. For wide players, he has chosen Eredivisie in-form players Steven Berghuis and Cody Gakpo to complement a forward line that includes Bundesliga sensation Wout Weghorst.
The Netherlands winning this year’s European Championship seems difficult to imagine.
On this occasion, I believe the squad choices are the right ones from de Boer, but the manager has come under heavy criticism in the past year for his squad selections. Puzzling choices permeated the first eight months of de Boer's time in charge of the Netherlands team. For example, Weghorst - despite scoring for fun in Germany - had not been selected by de Boer until his selection for the Euros. There is evidence too of a distant relationship between de Boer and his players; unrest amongst supporters for the style of play that de Boer employs; and some questionable training sessions have been witnessed by journalists since he took over almost a year ago.
Previous coach Ronald Koeman instilled confidence into this new-look Netherlands side, but De Boer threatens to undo the hard work that Koeman put in to help the country reach the first-ever Nations League final.
Many Netherlands fans feel as though they will meet their demise at the tournament as soon as they face one of the big tournament favourites. Despite dispatching England in the Nations League semi-final two years ago, the Netherlands lost in the final to Portugal, who restricted the Dutch forwards to zero shots on target in a 1-0 defeat.
Whilst the quality in the Netherlands squad has increased since 2019, there are doubts that de Boer holds the tactical knowledge to outwit potential opponents such as France, Belgium, and Italy. Furthermore, the Netherlands will hope that their World Cup qualifying 4-2 defeat to Turkey in March was a wake-up call rather than a sign of things to come when playing tough opposition.
Euro 2020: What tactics will the Netherlands use?
De Boer will need to get the best out of Barcelona's Frenkie de Jong in midfield, who loves to dictate play and play the ball between the lines.
It is likely that the Netherlands will implement a few different playing styles throughout the competition. De Boer favours the traditional Dutch 4-3-3, but mentioned to the media that his squad selection enables him to play 5-3-2. The key striker is likely to be either Luuk de Jong or Wout Weghorst, or he may opt for the pace and trickery of Memphis Depay or Donyell Malen. Either way, Memphis will be influential in the team’s attacking play and he will need fellow attackers to be on the same wavelength as him.
Euro 2020: Netherlands predicted starting line-up
Krul (Norwich); Dumfries (PSV), de Ligt (Juventus), de Vrij (Inter), Wijndal (AZ); de Jong (Barcelona), Wijnaldum (Liverpool), Klaassen (Ajax); Berghuis (Feyenoord), de Jong (Sevilla), Depay (Lyon).
Euro 2020: How far can the Netherlands go?
All in all, odds of 13.490* for the Netherlands to win Euro 2020 look very tempting should you wish to go for a reasonable outside bet. A run to the quarter-finals will be the minimum expectation from the fans, but de Boer has stated that the target for the Oranje is a place in the semi-finals.
Supporters and coaches alike have identified that winning the tournament isn't likely, but a run deep into the competition will return smiles to Dutch soccer fans' faces after a long wait without a major competition victory.
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