The Dutch have shown great resilience in the past 5 years as their young crop of players have propelled the nation’s chances of winning the European Championship this year. While there are question marks regarding the Netherlands head coach Frank De Boer’s expertise to carry the team towards glory, they have an excellent squad with a lot of promise.
THE FULL SQUAD:
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, Donny van de Beek, Georginio Wijnaldum.
Forwards: Steven Berghuis, Luuk de Jong, Memphis Depay, Cody Gakpo, Donyell Malen, Quincy Promes, Wout Weghorst.
GROUP STAGE FIXTURES:
- vs. Ukraine in Amsterdam, June 13
- vs. Austria in Amsterdam, June 17
- vs. North Macedonia in Amsterdam, June 21
Matthijs De Ligt- While the Dutch have incredible players like Memphis Depay and Frenkie de Jong, all eyes will be on Matthijs de Ligt, who will have lead the backline for his national team at the tournament. With Virgil Van Dijk out for the tournament due to injury, De Ligt will be the main man at the back for the Netherlands. The Dutch have shown their attacking might previously, and with Frenkie de Jong and Gini Wijnaldum in the midfield, there is a lot of pressure on the defence and De Ligt will have to show the mentality of a player beyond his age if the Dutch aim to win the competition this year.
The Netherlands, unlike a lot of the teams at the Euros, will play all three of their group stage games on their home ground. That is a huge factor given that fans are allowed inside the stadium again, and the Dutch will use this to their advantage. However, even without fans, the Netherlands are heavy favourties to top the group as their squad is far more effective and efficient when compared to the others. While both Austria and Ukraine have their strengths, they do not have a well-rounded starting XI like the Dutch.
Players like Memphis Depay, Luke de Jong, and Steven Berghuis will relish the chance of running riot against North Macedonia, the fourth team in the group. Moreover, Frenkie De Jong, Donny Van de Beek, and Gini Wijnaldum have enough experience to manage the more tricker fixtures against Austria and Ukraine.
However, the pressure will begin from the knockout stages as all the attention will shift to their backline, and it will be interesting if the Dutch can hold out against teams like France, England, Germany, and Belgium. Stefan De Vrij has shown his calibre for the national side previously while Matthijs de Ligt’s experience and success with Juventus could motivate him to lead the backline against stronger oppositions.
The Netherlands have only won the competition once before in 1988, and there is a very good chance that 2021 could be the second time they lift the EURO 2020 trophy.
Predicted lineup for 1st game against Ukraine:
Tim Krul; Owen Wijndal, Matthijs de Ligt, Stefan de Vrij, Denzel Dumfries; Frenkie de Jong, Davy Klassen, Georginio Wijnaldum; Memphis Depay, Steven Berghuis, Luke de Jong.