The Netherlands are favourites to top Euro 2020 tournament Group C at this summer’s event. But the Dutch team have a difficult match to start the group stage with an improving Ukraine arriving at the Johan Cruyff Arena on Sunday night. The Netherlands will have their home support behind them for the game. It could make the difference between the sides on matchday 1 of the group.

On paper, Group C is wide open. Sure, the Dutch are favourites to top the group, but Frank de Boer’s side are not as impressive as they were under coach Ronald Koeman. The Netherlands are 16th in the world going into the Euro 2020 tournament. The team have been up and down under De Boer; however, the side have improved more recently.

The Netherlands are on a four-match unbeaten streak. However, that unbeaten run should be taken with a grain of salt. The Dutch’s wins came versus Latvia, Gibraltar, and Georgia. Scotland claimed a 2-2 draw versus the Netherlands in a friendly on June 2. De Boer’s team have shown themselves to have flat-track bully tendencies.

Ukraine are on a six-match unbeaten run. They drew four straight fixtures against France, Finland, Kazakhstan, and Bahrain. The team’s pre-Euro 2020 tournament friendlies finished in wins. However, the competition wasn’t very high. They defeated Northern Ireland 1-0 and Cyprus 4-0. This may be the most difficult group stage match for both sides.

Netherlands vs Ukraine Betting Odds

 

After a dark period for Ukrainian football, it looks like the national team are past their problems. The national side and domestic clubs have changed the way players are developed and an influx of talented players have emerged. Manager Andriy Shevchenko has some technically gifted players in the squad. Shevchenko has been in charge of the national team for five years and heads into his first major tournament as Ukraine’s manager.

Ukraine are at odds of 11/2 to win at full-time versus the Netherlands. The two teams have played just twice previously in 2008 and 2010. The Netherlands have posted a record of 1W-1D-0L versus the Ukrainian team. The Dutch are at odds of 4/6 to win against Ukraine and start the tournament off well.

Group C is a wide-open group with four teams that will all fancy their chances. Even North Macedonia will believe they can get enough points to win Group C – or progress as one of the four best third-place teams. The Netherlands are finally back at a major international tournament following back-to-back qualification failures. They missed the Euro 2016 tournament and 2018 World Cup.

De Boer has not had a successful managerial career. He took over for the far more successful Koeman, who left for Barcelona last summer, giving De Boer the chance to move into manager’s job. After leaving Ajax – where De Boer couldn’t fail – he posted a mere 36% winning percentage at Inter Milan and a 20%-win percentage at Crystal Palace. There, he was sacked after five games. De Boer’s most success coaching stint at club level post-Ajax came at Major League Soccer team Atlanta United. However, he mutually parted ways with the club following a disappointing 55 matches in charge.

Netherlands vs Ukraine Team News

The Netherlands’ hopes of winning the tournament may all fall on the shoulders of winger/striker Memphis Depay. Depay is out of contract with Lyon and has been non-committal on joining another club. The player was expected to join Barcelona on a free transfer, but Juventus are now in the mix. An excellent Euro 2020 tournament could lead to a bidding war for Depay.

The biggest problem for the Netherlands going into the tournament is the loss of Virgil van Dijk. The defender is still recovering from a serious knee injury suffered last October. The knee injury could be worse than has been led on. Why? Liverpool signed Ibrahima Konate from RB Leipzig this summer and are linked to more centre-backs.

West Ham forward Andriy Yarmolenko will be counted on by Ukraine to get goals this summer – or to at least create them. Yarmolenko has scored 38 goals for the national team. In the pre-tournament friendlies, however, the forward’s lack of a right foot proved costly in the final third.

Atalanta’s Ruslan Malinovskyi could be Ukraine’s best-kept secret. He tallied eight goals for the Serie A team in the league last season. Malinovskyi topped the assists charts in Serie A with 12 helping the club obtain Champions League qualification. Group C may be the most wide-open at the Euro 2020 tournament.

Netherlands vs Ukraine Prediction

Both teams to score: YES @ 6/5 - BET NOW

 

Four of the last six matches played by Ukraine finished with both teams scoring goals. They won their two pre-tournament friendlies to nil. Against stronger opponents they are likely to concede goals. Two of the Netherlands’ last five matches finished with both teams scoring. The Netherlands may not be as good as they appear on paper.

Memphis Depay to score anytime @ 15/8 - BET NOW

 

Depay is coming off of a brilliant individual season. He scored 22 goals and tallied 12 assists in 40 matches in all competitions. Playing in a weak/wide-open group at the Euro 2020 tournament could give Depay the chance to tally a number of goals. Depay averaged a goal every 142 minutes in all competitions in 2020-21. Depay has scored 26 goals in 64 national team matches.

Over 2.5 goals scored @ 13/10 - BET NOW

 

Four of the Netherlands’ last five matches in all competitions finished with over 2.5 goals scored. That includes each of their last three international games. They blasted Gibraltar 7-0, drew 2-2 with Scotland, and won 3-0 versus Georgia. Ukraine are coming off of a 4-0 win versus Cyprus.

The Netherlands should edge Ukraine in an attacking game. Ukraine could surprise the Dutch with a strong start, but, on paper, the Dutch have more talent which should see them win. In addition, the Dutch are playing at home which should spur them on to claim a narrow win.