Best Odds: 53/20
After five years of waiting, the European Championship is finally back in our lives as we gear up for the start of UEFA Euro 2020 tonight. There are 24 nations who will be battling it out for the right to be called European champions and while 23 will fall short, we’re bound to have an awful lot of fun along the way. Today, we’re going to take a look at what should prove to be a fascinating encounter between the Netherlands and Ukraine in Group C.
The Dutch haven’t been at the races for the last few major tournaments – mainly because they haven’t actually been there. Now, they’ve at the big dance, and there are still questions regarding the strength of their squad and whether the coaching team can do the business. They’ve got a favourable group when you take a look at some of the others spread across the Euros but as we all know, underestimating the underdogs is never a good tactic at the Euros.
Depay is likely to be the leading man for the favourites here with Wijnaldum serving as the most consistent midfielder through the spine. The big missing piece of the puzzle, of course, is the absence of Virgil van Dijk who will skip the Euros in favour of continuing his recovery from injury.
Ukraine tore through their qualifying group with ruthless efficiency and because of that, it feels as if there are some legitimate expectations attached to them in this tournament. They aren’t exactly fancied to go all the way but they could give out a few bloody noses, and if they aren’t able to qualify for the Round of 16, we think they’d view that as quite the disappointment considering how much progress they’ve been able to make in the last few years.
The big name stars for the Ukrainians are Zinchenko and Yarmolenko, both of whom are expected to start against the Netherlands. Elsewhere, Yaremchuk and Zubkov will be seen as hopeful contributors up top.
Factors to Consider
- Netherlands finished 2nd in their qualifying group behind Germany whereas Ukraine won theirs ahead of Portugal.
- Netherlands have won four, drawn one and lost one of their last six games.
- Ukraine have won two and drawn four of their last six games.
- Netherlands have scored 18 goals and conceded seven in their last six games.
- Ukraine have scored nine goals and conceded four in their last six games.
The Dutch are going to be feeling the pressure in this one as a bigger “named” nation within their group, but something tells us they won’t be able to live up to those expectations. We’re expecting them to take an early lead but from there, Ukraine should be able to play with very little on their shoulders and a whole lot of freedom. As such, we’re backing them to grab an equaliser and ensure it’s honours even in their opening game of the Euros.
Best Odds: 53/20
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