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Dead Dutch Dreams?


The Netherlands are going to play Austria in their second Euro 2020 group stage fixture on 17th June. Both sides would be confident enough to go for a win as they had a decent start to the tournament.



The Netherlands won their first fixture against Ukraine in an intense 3-2 win. Although they completely dominated the football in the first half of the game and hardly made any mistakes, they couldn’t score a single goal in the first 45 minutes. They must have had 80% of the possession and still couldn’t create anything out of the ordinary.

This could be a problem for the Dutchmen in the tournament as not all teams are going to let them dominate the game which means they’ll have to make the most of every chance they get, something that we didn’t see last night. The two goals they conceded later were also because of the players taking it too easy which helped the opposing players create space in vulnerable areas.


Austria National Football Team
Image Courtesy: Twitter/OFB


Austria would surely be proud of their victory especially considering how they didn’t win a single game and ended last in the group stage of Euro 2016. A win has surely given them an injection of confidence and it was seen in the faces of the players as they were walking off the pitch. Austria started off strong against North Macedonia but the opposition did give them a hard time for the majority of the time.

The Austrian defence has a tendency to panic when the opposition attacks in numbers and hence they make mistakes that could be easily avoided. The Netherlands is a team that does attack in numbers as they play the ball amongst themselves at the edge of the box. If Austria starts panicking as they did against North Macedonia or as Turkey did against Italy in the opening game of Euro 2020, they are going to have a tough 90 minutes.



Matthijs de Ligt has a groin injury and missed the last game for the Netherlands although it doesn’t look that serious so we think he might play this game. All other players in the squad are available to play for Frank de Boer. They play with 5 defenders but their full-backs are seen playing as their wingers for the majority of the game.



Netherlands Probable Starting Lineup (5-3-2) : Stekelenburg, Timber, De Vrij, Blind, Dumfries, De Roon, Van Aanholt, Wijnaldum, De Jong, Weghorst and Depay

Austria doesn’t have any injuries or suspensions they need to worry about. Austria plays in a really flexible 4-4-2 formation especially to use Alaba as both an attacking and a defensive threat. It even allows its attacking midfielders to play many roles at the same time.



Austria Probable Starting Lineup (4-4-2): Bachmann, Dragovic, Hinteregger, Friedl, Alaba, Schlager, Baumgartner, Lainer, Sabitzer, Kalajdzic and Arnautovic




Georginio Wijnaldum is one of the best central midfielders in the world, especially when he plays for the Netherlands. His chemistry is so good with his teammates that we are convinced he has telepathic powers. He is at the centre of the link-up play, his defensive ability and judgment don’t let the opposing attacker cross the halfway line.


Netherlands National Football team
Image Courtesy: Twitter/ Gini Wijnaldum


He also is good at analyzing and making the right choices in an instant, as any captain should be. His teammates look up to him which also helps the players believe in their own ability. It was a delight to watch this man in action against Ukraine and we believe he is going to show his quality in a similar fashion against Austria as well.



Although many believe Alaba is the most important player in the Austrian camp, we feel what Sabitzer brings to the game often goes unnoticed. Almost all the chances that are created by Austria has direct involvement of Marcel Sabitzer.



Austria was seen playing long balls for their attackers to chase and it was genuinely working as well. Sabitzer was the player providing those inviting balls from far upfield. Sabitzer also presses in the opponent’s half which slows the momentum of the other team making things easier for Alaba and Company to deal with the ball.



This game is set to be a closely contested one. It all depends upon the kind of mentality both sides are bringing on the pitch. Whoever wins out of Netherlands or Austria will most likely top the group which is important to get a favourable draw in the next round.

A draw would do wonders for the other teams in the group as their chances of qualifying will increase. Netherlands are going to start off strong, as they did against Ukraine, but Austria are going to cause trouble for their defence and the game would end without a winner. The fate of this group will then be decided on matchday 3. FootTheBall predicts a 2-2 draw.

Karthik Mudaliar
A Manchester City fan, who idolizes Guardiola. Never blue unlike the team he supports, you will always find him smiling. He spends his free time playing Fifa and watching anime on most days.

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