The Netherlands are back to major competition after missing the last two, and their Euro 2020 campaign starts off with a game in Amsterdam against an unpredictable Ukraine side in Group C. Ahead of their opening game, the Dutch have suffered a major blow with Donny van de Beek ruled out of Euro 2020 with a groin injury. He joins Virgil van Dijk out of the competition, but the Dutch will still be hoping to have an impact after missing Euro 2016 and World Cup 2018. Even without some of their stars, Netherlands remain rich with talent and experience, and topping their group should be a priority. The fact that they will be playing this game at the Amsterdam Arena comes as a big favor for the Dutch. Frank de Boer will be hoping to silence the voices questioning his tactics, especially after his charges twice came from down to draw with Scotland in the first warm up game. However, after the 3-0 win over Georgia in the final friendly before this competition, the confidence level in the team should be up. That was a third win and third clean sheet in four matches, while they have scored at least two in each of the last five matches. Lyon forward Memphis Depay has matured well since the move from Manchester United and after scoring 20 league goals, will want to make it count at the Euros. He’s been linked with a Barcelona move and after scoring five goals in the last three matches, he heads to the tournament on a very strong profile.
Ukraine are eight places below Netherlands in the world rankings and they do not boast of as many star players as the Dutch. Oleksandr Zinchenko of Manchester City and Andriy Yarmolenko of West Ham United will the shining lights for Ukraine who are unbeaten in the last six matches but four of them have ended in draws. In their last 14 matches they have four wins, two of which came in the warm up matches before this competition. They beat Northern Ireland 1-0 before seeing off Cyprus 4-0. It is away from home that Ukraine really suffer; they haven’t won any of their last seven away matches and in the last six, they have suffered five losses. Meanwhile, they have conceded two or more goals in six of the seven away matches.
Netherlands have one loss in their last 10 matches and won five. For all the criticism over Frank de Boer’s tactics, the team is unbeaten in the last four matches and has scored two or more in the last five matches. Playing in Amsterdam is key for the Dutch and the side they are facing is a poor traveler so back Netherlands to win here.