27 JUNE 2021 | EUROPEAN FOOTBALL
Netherlands v Czech Republic
In the second day of round of 16 match ups is group C winners the Netherlands against the Czech Republic. The Dutch have progressed through to knockout stages with a perfect 9 points out of 9 in the group stage. A 3-2 win over Ukraine, then followed up by wins against Austria and North Macedonia, with the scores being 2-0 and 3-0 respectively.
Players like Georginio Wijnaldum and Frenkie de Jong will be crucial for them in the heart of midfield, while Matthijs de Ligt will look to keep the solidity at the back, with Memphis Depay aiming to show his attacking quality that we have only seen in glimpses thus far. And with Denzel Dumfries making an excellent account of himself on the right flank, they have the quality to trouble defences.
This will be the first time since the World cup in 2014 that the Dutch will be represented in the knockout stages of a major tournament. After not qualifying for the Euros last time out and missing out on the World cup in 2018. Like Italy, they will be looking to make a statement by getting to the latter stages of the tournament.
The Czech Republic have had a rather good showing in the Euros so far, they got out of their group by finishing as one of the best third placed teams. Finishing behind both England and Croatia. They started out by beating a determined Scotland side 2-0, which included an amazing goal from near the halfway line, a 1-1 draw against Croatia, then suffering a 1-0 defeat to England.
While not boasting some of the exceptional talent that the Netherlands have, there are a couple of players who can be difference makers. Patrik Schick and Jakub Jankto are two such players who could play a part, Schick has scored all 3 goals for the Czech’s and will certainly being looking to add to that tally against the Netherlands. Jankto can be another player that could drive things forward for them, the Sampdoria man has potential to make something happen.
Their squad of players will have enough belief they can take on the Netherlands and win. Just as we seen with Italy’s win over Austria. The Czech’s will fight for that place in the quarter final. Denmark will be the team that is waiting in the quarter final for one of these two. This game has the potential to go into extra time, with both sides being solid at the back only conceding two goals each in their group games.