Thursday, July 25, 2024

Prediction: Netherlands vs Austria

Verdict: Draw

Best odds: 41/20

Bookmaker: ZetBet

Needing only a point to secure their spot in the Euro 2024 knockout stage, the Netherlands face Austria in their final Group D game on Tuesday in Berlin.

The Oranje have accumulated four points after drawing with France, while Ralf Rangnick’s team triumphed over Poland but must avoid defeat to maintain a strong chance of advancing to the last 16.

Netherlands

Seeking a place in the knockout stage for the eighth time in their past nine European Championship appearances, the Netherlands edged closer to this goal by securing a 0-0 draw against tournament favorites France on Friday night.

Although neither team managed to score in Leipzig, Xavi Simons nearly broke the deadlock in the 69th minute, skillfully driving the ball into the bottom corner after France’s goalkeeper Mike Maignan blocked an attempt from Memphis Depay. However, following a detailed VAR review, the goal was disallowed for offside, as Dutch defender Denzel Dumfries was found to be interfering with Maignan’s dive. This decision left coach Ronald Koeman frustrated, but the result still put his team on the brink of advancing to the last 16.

Previously, the Oranje secured a 2-1 victory over Poland in their opening match, and avoiding a loss to Austria will now confirm their place in the top two of Group D. They can even clinch first place with a win, provided France does not win against Poland. Should the Netherlands draw and France win, they would still finish second in the group. Even in defeat, accumulating four points would likely suffice to progress as one of the best third-placed teams.

Since the 2014 World Cup, the Netherlands have remained unbeaten in group stage matches at major tournaments, with nine wins out of 11 and scoring in all except Friday’s goalless match against France. This streak includes a 2-0 victory over Austria at Euro 2020, where goals from Memphis Depay and Denzel Dumfries at the Johan Cruijff Arena secured their win. Repeating such a performance would ensure the Dutch advance to the next round with ease.

Team News

Ronald Koeman is expected to have a full squad available for the Netherlands’ crucial final group match, with Ajax forward Brian Brobbey back on the bench against France after recovering from a hamstring injury.

The only adjustment Koeman made for the France game was substituting PSV’s Jeremie Frimpong in place of Joey Veerman, but with their last-16 spot almost secured, more changes are likely to be considered.

Joey Veerman and his PSV teammate Jerdy Schouten are each one yellow card away from suspension, a factor that might influence team selection, potentially providing opportunities for Ryan Gravenberch or Georginio Wijnaldum.

In attack, Wout Weghorst will be hoping to replace Memphis Depay, which would require altering the team’s attacking approach somewhat.

Austria

Austria are aiming to break a seven-match losing streak against the Netherlands, their longest ongoing sequence against any opponent. Their last win over the Oranje dates back to May 1990, and ending this drought may be crucial on Tuesday to secure a spot in the last 16.

Victory for Austria would see them emerge as surprising winners of Group D if France fail to win their match. If Austria draw and France lose, Austria will finish third based on head-to-head records. Nevertheless, a single point is likely to be enough for Austria to advance as one of the best third-placed teams, marking their second consecutive progression to the European Championship knockout stages. This would be a significant achievement, considering they did not advance past the group stage in their first two appearances (2008 as hosts, and 2016).

In their second Euro 2024 match, Austria rebounded from an opening loss to France by defeating Poland 3-1 on Friday. Recalled players Gernot Trauner and Christoph Baumgartner were instrumental, with Trauner opening the scoring and Baumgartner adding a second. Marko Arnautovic sealed the victory from the penalty spot with 12 minutes left.

Austria, who will once again play at Berlin’s Olympiastadion, could achieve consecutive wins at a major tournament for the first time since 1982.

Team News

Rangnick adjusted Austria’s starting XI ahead of their victory over Poland, and further changes might be expected on Tuesday against the Netherlands.

In the game against France, Max Wober and Kevin Danso were the central defensive duo. However, Gernot Trauner and Philipp Lienhart took their places in the following match. Trauner, who scored the opening goal against Poland, was later substituted due to a muscular issue, casting doubt on his availability for the Netherlands game.

Baumgartner, who earned the Man of the Match accolade, is likely to retain his spot in the lineup. In the forward line, all-time top scorer Arnautovic is in competition with Michael Gregoritsch for the starting striker position.

Conclusion

Austria’s need for victory is greater, so they may need to force the issue with their familiar high-intensity style.

Without a clinical finisher, the Netherlands may not fully capitalise on any gaps at the back, but a draw might well send both teams through to the last 16.

Verdict: Draw

Best odds: 41/20

Bookmaker: ZetBet

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Veselin Trajkovic


Vesko is a football writer that likes to observe the game for what it is, focusing on teams, players and their roles, formations, tactics, rather than stats. He follows the English Premier League closely, Liverpool FC in particular. His articles have been published on seven different football blogs.

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