Euro 2020: Netherlands set for Czech Republic test in the Round of 16

This will be the first meeting between the Netherlands and the Czech Republic since 2015, the Dutch were beaten 3-2 back then.

The Dutch squad training ahead of their crucial rund-16 clash against Czech Republic, Image credit: Twitter/OnsOranje

The Netherlands outfit are arguably exceeding expectations under Frank de Boer. They prepare for their battle in the round-16 stage of Euro 2020 as they take on the Czech Republic at the Puskas Arena on Sunday. It will be the first time the Dutch travel out of their home city of Amsterdam, having played all of their three group games at the Amsterdam Arena.

NETHERLANDS IN FORM

Frank de Boer’s men won Group C quite convincingly. Emerging as one of the best performing teams in the competition with three wins in three games. They are, in fact, the current top-scorers of UEFA Euro 2020 with eight goals, with the Oranje hoping to further improve their tally on Sunday.

Georginio Wijnaldum has been a key in Netherlands’ creative play. He will once again play a vital role in linking up alongside the likes of Frankie de Jong and the two wingbacks in Denzel Dumfries and Patrick van Aanholt.

Memphis Depay, likes to operate from the middle, the wingbacks are critical in making those overlapping runs out wide. It stretches the opposition defence, allowing Wijnaldum, Depay more space in the final third.

CZECH LOOKING TO UPSET NETHERLANDS

The Czech Republic, in contrast, qualified for the knockout stages as one of the four best third-placed teams in the group stages. They started the tournament with a win over Scotland before holding Croatia to a draw. However, a final day defeat to England, coupled with Croatia’s 3-1 victory over Scotland, tipped the table in favor of Croatia.

For the Czechs’, there is only one player, and that is Patrik Schick. The Bayer Leverkusen forward has been a revelation in UEFA Euro 2020, netting three goals in three matches, becoming one of the top scorers in the competition. One of his goals against Scotland will even go down as the best goal in the tournament.

They stumbled to a 1-0 defeat in their last group game against England. However, coach Jaroslav Silhavy has no reason to tinker with the squad as they are defensively quite resilient.

Tomas Kalas and Ondrej Celustka are two hard-working centre-backs who know how to defend deep in their lines. The focus will mainly be on the fullbacks in Vladimir Coufal and Jan Boril as they look to deal with the high pressing Dutch fullbacks.

Fortunately for Silhavy, he has some talented wide players at his disposal. Lukas Masopust and Jakub Jankto are full running, along with the top-scorer Patrik Schick.

PREDICTED STARTING XI:

Czech Republic Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Vaclik; Coufal, Celustka, Kalas, Boril; Kral, Soucek; Masopust, Darida, Jankto; Schick

Netherlands predicted XI (3-4-1-2): Stekelenburg; de Vrij, Blind, de Ligt; Dumfries, de Roon, de Jong, van Aanholt; Wijnaldum; Weghorst, Depay




WRITTEN BY
Sportslumo Desk

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