Netherlands will kick off their EURO 2020 campaign on Sunday, June 13, at Johan Cruijff Arena, where they’ll play host to Ukraine. Andriy Shevchenko’s team travel to the Netherlands as underdogs, having never before beaten the Oranje, but with the improvement they have been showing, a more you can expect them to look far more competitive than in their last two meetings.
Netherlands vs Ukraine
When: Sunday, June 13 – 21:00 CEST
Where: Johan Cruijff Arena in Amsterdam, Netherlands
Weather: Clear, 19°C
Referee: Felix Brych (GER)
We didn’t see them three years ago at the World Cup in Russia, but the Oranje are back at the big stage. The pressure is on them to perform well and get at least to the tournament’s knockout stage.
That shouldn’t be that difficult, considering the quality of the teams in Group C. The Netherlands should be able to go past Austria and North Macedonia, and with Ukraine as their most formidable opponent, it seems likely that the Oranje will be the ones to compete for the top spot in their group.
Netherlands Missing Some Key Players
Netherland’s biggest star Virgil Van Dijk won’t be playing tonight as he has yet to recover from his injury to take part in the tournament. That could potentially mean problems for the Dutch at the back.
To make things even worse for Frank de Boer’s men, Matthijs de Ligt, is also struggling with an injury. Although he’s likely to return, we probably will not see him feature tonight.
On top of that, their first-choice goalkeeper, Jasper Cillessen will also miss this game after testing positive for COVID-19.
The defence seems to be Netherland’s Achilles’ Heel, which has already cost them valuable points on several occasions. We saw them slip a couple of times in the World Cup Qualifiers and the UEFA Nations League.
Looking back, the Oranje lost to Turkey (2-4) in March and managed only a 0-0 stalemate with Bosnia in October.
Another thing that many point out as a weakness that the Dutch have is their boss Frank de Boer. He has been in charge of the Netherlands national team since 2020 when he was appointed as a replacement for Ronald Koeman.
The decision to put de Boer in charge came as a surprise, considering that he hasn’t had much success in his managerial career.
As a reminder, he spent only a couple of months as Inter Milan coach before getting sacked. Pretty much the same thing happened in Crystal Palace.
Ukraine Seem to Love Playing Big Games
Although they’re not considered Europe’s elite, Ukraine definitely have the quality to cause some big upsets. They have a lot of talent in the squad, especially in the midfield, with Atalanta’s Malinovsky as the key man.
You also can’t overlook the Ukrainian younger legs, who got called up from U21 as a part of Andriy Shevchenko’s team rebuild. Since starting fresh, the Blue and Yellow started putting up solid performances, even against some of the best national teams.
Ukraine are unbeaten in their last six, and while they haven’t beaten any high-profile sides during that stretch, Shevchenko’s men forced a 1-1 draw with France in March. In October of last year, the Ukrainians also took down Spain (1-0) and put up a decent fight against Germany (1-2).
Ukraine’s last competitive defeat came in November 2020, when they lost to Switzerland (0-3).
Netherlands vs Ukraine Betting Picks
The Netherlands are expected to win, and rightfully so. They have the talent to compete for a deep playoffs run, however, there are many flaws with this team that could make them vulnerable when faced with the resilient Ukraine.
The Duct might have bigger stars in the squad, but Ukraine mustn’t be underestimated. In fact, they definitely look capable of getting at least a draw tonight.
Prediction: Ukraine +1.00 Asian Handicap – 1.99 Pinnacle
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