James Rowe’s Netherlands v Ukraine preview: Oranje’s attacking talent could prove decisive
Our Matchday Squad journalist will be covering the Netherlands throughout Euro 2020
The Netherlands enter their first major tournament for seven years at Euro 2020 full of anticipation and they are eager to show their worth on the European stage.
Speaking after their 2-2 draw with Scotland before the tournament, manager Frank De Boer revealed that they had only trained and practised the 5-3-2 formation on three separate occasions in training as he is convinced that the Dutch national team can play the 5-3-2 formation really well and that it allows the individual qualities of players to shine such as Wout Weghorst, Memphis Depay, Denzel Dumfries, as well as the all-round midfielders that they possess.
After last weekend’s 3-0 friendly win against Georgia in which Memphis Depay played a key role and a jubilant Wout Weghorst scored his first goal for ”Oranje” Frank De Boer said that he was pleased with his wing backs and especially how the team retained possession of the ball.
I believe that the Netherlands will be fairly reserved in their first match against a Ukraine team managed by Andriy Shevchenko. They will need to watch out for a couple of good players that Ukraine have at their disposal such as Andriy Yarmolenko who will provide an attacking threat as well as Serhiy Kryvtsov who plays for Shakhtar Donetsk and can provide width.
Frenkie de Jong will be key to the rhythm of the Netherlands in this game, his movement off the ball in particular will be decisive. I also believe the physicality and nous of Wout Weghorst could prove vital in front of goal as he is a striker who wants and must score goals and he will be targeting rewards at Euro 2020. My prediction is a 2-1 win for the Netherlands.