Two countries who have shown immense potential in this Euro will go shoulder to shoulder as Netherlands and Czech Republic face each other in the UEFA Euro 2020 round of sixteen tomorrow.
The Netherlands recorded 100% win during the group stage, coming on top in all three games at Amsterdam’s Johan Cruijff Arena and claiming the overall top scorer in Group C with eight goals. They were able to survive their difficult opening encounter against the Ukrainians, which almost dent their confidence and 100% victory record in their group stage games. Their hard-fought victory proved to be enough to boost their confidence for the remaining games against Austria and North Macedonia, scoring five goals and keeping clean sheets against both of them.
Meanwhile, their round of 16 opponent Czech Republic, were lucky enough to qualify as one of the four best third-placed team, finishing in Group D behind (group leaders) England and the eventual second-placed team Croatia with four points as well. They couldn’t have been more lucky, considering their unimpressive outings in their last two group games, playing out a draw against the Croatians (thanks to Patrik Schick scoring all three of their goals) but losing their final game against England put them off the top spot.
Going into this cracking round-of-16 encounter, the Czechs’ underwhelming performances could be exposed by the mighty De Boer’s side, who are currently in top form. Going by their past records, the Czechs have had a relatively good record against the Netherlands, with the Czechs coming on top in five (5) matches, drew three (3) and lost three (3) in their last eleven (11) meetings.
Their clash on Sunday at Budapest’s Puskás Aréna will be the teams’ third meeting in a EURO tournament, with two of them coming during the group stage. The current Netherlands coach Frank de Boer was on the score sheet in their last Euro meeting, scoring Netherlands’ only goal from the penalty spot in the group stage of UEFA EURO 2000 in Amsterdam.
One of the players to be watched in this encounter would be the Czechs’ forward Patrik Schick, being the team’s top and only scorer in this tournament. With West Ham United’s duo Tomas Soucek and Vladimir Coufal are unarguably their top players in this tournament to be watched.
While the Netherlands could boost of having dangerous forwards like Donyell Malen, Wout Weghorst, and Memphis Depay. The Netherlands’ most reliable and consistent captain Georginio Wijnaldum will also be a huge threat in the game, considering his goal scoring form. He’s currently the team’s highest goal scorer in this tournament, scoring three goals, which in turn has made him to surpass Netherlands’ legend Marco Van Basten in the country’s all time goal scorer, amassing 25 international goals.
Czechs’ consistent left back Jan Boril will miss the round-of-16 game, as he’s been suspended. And Netherlands will as well be without Sevilla’s forward Luuk de Jong, after he had picked up a knee injury during training.
Netherlands: Stekelenburg; De Vrij, Blind, De Ligt; Dumfries, gravenberch, De Jong, Van Aanholt; Wijnaldum; Depay, Weghorst.
Czech Republic: Vaclik; Coufal, Celustka, Kalas, Kaderabek ;Soucek, Holes; Masopust, Dariba, Jankto; Schick.
Netherlands vs Czech Republic – 2:0