Euro 2020: Group C: Netherlands vs Ukraine

Group C favourites, Netherlands and Ukraine collide in a blockbuster opening clash at Johan Cruyff Arena, Amsterdam. 

Depending on the result of Austria’s clash against North Macedonia, whoever wins this match could go top of Group C.

 

Team News

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Jasper Cillessen is ruled out for Netherlands after being axed following a bout of Coronavirus with AZ Alkmaar’s Marco Bizot called up in his place, although Norwich’s Tim Krul is set to start in goal as their now first-choice goalkeeper.

Manchester United’s Donny van de Beek also is absent after withdrawing with a groin injury.

Ukraine have no fresh injury concerns to report with a full squad available for selection.

 

Stat Attack

  • This is the Netherlands’ first meeting against Ukraine at a major tournament.
  • Ukraine have lost both previous meetings with the Netherlands in friendlies, losing 4-1 on aggregate after 3-0 defeat in May 2008 then a 1-1 draw in August 2010.
  • Memphis Depay has scored five goals in his last three appearances for the Netherlands in all competitions.
  • Ukraine have scored first in four of six matches in 2021 across all competitions (W2, D4).
  • Both Netherlands and Ukraine lost their last matches refereed by Felix Brych without scoring in September 2020 and October 2017 respectively.

 

Prediction

Having seen the Netherlands face Scotland in a pre-tournament friendly a few weeks ago, Frank De Boer’s Oranje do seem to enjoy playing a possession based game on the front foot but they did struggle to take their chances well, which will definitely need correcting if they’re to defeat a tough Ukrainian team.

Speaking of Ukraine, they enter this match without defeat in 2021 and certainly know how to force their way to 1-1 draws, having done so on four consecutive occasions this year so cannot be discounted the longer it stays goalless or even 1-0 down to the Netherlands.

I therefore can see a difficult encounter brewing here between two quality teams but Ukraine have kept clean sheets in their two warm-up games, so this should be a close result but am going for a score draw.

Prediction: Netherlands 1-1 Ukraine

Result: Netherlands 3-2 Ukraine

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