The famous orange shirts of the Netherlands will make their long-awaited return to a major international tournament on June 13th, as they play host to a rising Ukraine side in Group C action.
One potential advantage for the Dutch this year is the ability to play their group stage matches at home. I mention it being a ‘potential’ advantage, as lately there has been some discontent within both players and supporters about the recent form and tactics of the Dutch national side under new manager Frank de Boer. The sideline boss has struggled in recent stints, and his inability to shift tactics has many worried as this talented group prepares for Euro 2020.
They won’t have an easy entry to the tournament either, as a young and creative Ukraine side awaits. Coached by soccer legend Andriy Shevchenko, the Ukrainians are undoubtedly a team to watch this summer. They boast high amounts of skill throughout their lineup, and will really try to have a go at any opposition. This is a flexible side, comfortable in multiple styles of matches, and the Ukrainians won’t be fearful of the Dutch come Sunday.
This is certainly one of the must-see matches of the opening round of fixtures, as both Netherlands and Ukraine have the talent to put on quite the offensive display. With goals in the offing, there are some intriguing betting opportunities to be had. For more insight and a match breakdown, continue reading on beneath the posted odds for further analysis and our official prediction.
Netherlands vs. Ukraine Betting Odds:
Netherlands -1 (+120)
Ukraine +1 (-140)
Over 2.5 (+120)
Under 2.5 (-140)
*Betting odds provided by BetOnline.ag
Netherlands vs. Ukraine Pick:
One of the main storylines surrounding this match will be what formation the Dutch line-up in. It’ll likely be Frank de Boer’s preferred 4-3-3 style, opposed to the 5-3-2 many players are more familiar with. Without Virgil van Dijk at the back, the shift makes sense, and frankly the Dutch possess more than enough talent and skill to thrive in any set-up.
They’ll be formidable at the back, even without Liverpool’s van Dijk. A centre-back tandem of Matthijs de Ligt and Stefan de Vrij will be able to stifle most attacking threats, while creative and reliable wing-backs and midfielders have this seeming like one of the Netherlands’ top sides in years.
Memphis Depay will lead the line, fresh off a dominant season in Ligue 1. While most remember Depay for flaming out at Manchester United, he’s turned into a prolific finisher and distributor. The entire Dutch attack will flow through him, and he’s certainly one to watch at this tournament. Against a suspect Ukrainian back-line, there could be chances for Depay to make an early mark.
Shifting over to the Ukrainians, it will be interesting to see how they line-up vs. the Dutch. Throughout qualifying, they had a pattern of going with a 5-3-2 against top teams, and pushing the pace with a 4-3-3 against lesser ones. They have the skill and ability to shine in both formats, and ultimately it might just come down to match fitness.
Ukraine will be propelled forward by Man City’s Oleksandr Zinchenko, and Atalanta’s midfield maestro Ruslan Malinovskyi. That tandem provides stability from the back, but also offers up excellent dribbling pace and vision. The Ukrainians are a dangerous side on the counter, or with numbers, and that duo will provide excellent service up top to their finisher in Roman Yaremchuk. This is a loaded offense and one that could give any side trouble, including the Dutch.
Ukraine arguably enter in more impressive form than the Netherlands, and given the latter’s insistence on constant lineup tinkering, it could take some more time for the Oranje to find their footing. Though Ukraine is on the road to start, I think they’ll keep things close in what promises to be a real back-and-forth affair. Look for both teams to find the net, and at a juicy plus-money price, with all of the finishing talent on display, the Over 2.5 goals seems to be a wise wager for Sunday afternoon.