EURO 2020 will be Netherlands’ first major tournament since the 2014 World Cup. Their golden generation consisting of Robben, Sneijder and Van Persie have retired without an International trophy to their name. Netherlands’ EURO 2020 squad does not have players of the same calibre but they do possess a few young, hungry talents. In this article, we will look at Netherlands’ playing 11 and tactics vs Ukraine.
Ukraine is managed by the legendary Andriy Shevchenko, who lit up big games with memorable goals during his playing career. He does not have any player of his potential to choose from, although it does possess some serious talent in midfield.
Shevchenko favours the 4-3-3 formation with Stepanenko as the defensive midfielder. He will be partnered by Zinchenko and Malinovskyi who are both creative and energetic players. In attack, they will heavily depend upon Yaremchuk, who is coming off a good season for Gent.
Dutch playing XI
Goalkeeper : Maarten Stekelenburg
Jasper Cillessen was left out of the Dutch squad after testing positive for COVID-19. His absence will be felt as the reserves are not quite up to his level. The experienced Stekelenburg will start in his absence but he has not played a lot of games in the past four seasons. Frank de Boer confirmed that Tim Krul will not be first choice despite solid performances for club and country in recent years.
Defenders : Denzel Dumfries, Stefan de Vrij, Matthijs de Ligt. Daley Blind, Owen Wijndal
The biggest setback for the Netherlands was the news of Van Dijk ruled out of the tournament. However, they have an embarrassment of riches in that position, with de Ligt, de Vrij and Blind likely to start in a three-man defense. De Ligt was rock solid for Juventus and has improved a few aspects of his game during his time in Turin.
De Vrij won the Serie A title with Inter Milan and is an assured presence at the back. Blind contributes a lot of experience and composure to the backline. Wing-backs are arguably the weakness of this side as Dumfries and Wijndal are solid but are not game-changers.
Midfielders : Frenkie de Jong, Marten de Roon, Georginio Wijnaldum
De Jong has been excellent for Barcelona in 20/21, despite playing a variety of roles. He is the lynchpin of this side and if freed from defensive duties, he can lit up the tournament with his passing. Atalanta’s Marten de Roon is likely to make the Netherlands’ playing 11 amid competition from Klaasen.
Ryan Gravenberch is also an option but he is too young to start in a big tournament. De Roon has a very good defensive game and hence edges out Klaasen for the defensive midfield position. Wijnaldum usually scores more goals for his country than the club as he is given the license to attack in a Dutch shirt.
Forwards : Wout Weghorst and Memphis Depay
Memphis Depay will be the first name in Netherlands’ playing 11. He has been outstanding for Lyon over the past two seasons and is in good form for the national team also. More than just a goalscorer, Depay offers creativity and combination play along with his instincts in front of the goal.
The Dutch fans are eager to see Wout Weghorst, as he has been very consistent for Wolfsburg. Weghorst has scored 15+ goals in the Bundesliga for the past three seasons and can comprehend Depay in attack effectively.