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EURO 2020 inside track: Netherlands

UEFA.com's Netherlands reporter Derek Brookman guages the brilliance of the Oranje.

Meet the teams: Netherlands
Meet the teams: Netherlands

Group C fixtures

13/06: Netherlands vs Ukraine (Amsterdam)
17/06: Netherlands vs Austria (Amsterdam)
21/06: North Macedonia vs Netherlands (Amsterdam)

Team profile

Every Netherlands goal on the road to EURO 2020
Every Netherlands goal on the road to EURO 2020

Coach: Frank de Boer
Captain: Georginio Wijnaldum
Nickname: Oranje (Orange)
How they qualified: Group C runners-up (W6 D1 L1 F24 A7)
EURO best: winners (1988)

Where they could play their knockout games

Round of 16: Glasgow, Budapest, London or Bucharest
Quarter-final: Saint Petersburg, Munich, Rome or Baku
Semi-final: London
Final: London

Final squad

Goalkeepers: Marco Bizot (AZ), Tim Krul (Norwich), Maarten Stekelenburg (Ajax)

Defenders: Nathan Aké (Manchester City), Daley Blind (Ajax), Matthijs de Ligt (Juventus), Stefan de Vrij (Inter Milan), Denzel Dumfries (PSV), Patrick van Aanholt (Crystal Palace), Joël Veltman (Brighton), Owen Wijndal (AZ)

Midfielders: Frenkie de Jong (Barcelona), Marten de Roon (Atalanta), Ryan Gravenberch (Ajax), Davy Klaassen (Ajax), Teun Koopmeiners (AZ), Quincy Promes (Spartak Moskva), Jurriën Timber (Ajax), Georginio Wijnaldum (Liverpool)

Forwards: Steven Berghuis (Feyenoord), Luuk de Jong (Sevilla), Memphis Depay (Lyon), Cody Gakpo (PSV), Donyell Malen (PSV Eindhoven), Wout Weghorst (Wolfsburg)

EURO 1988 final highlights: Netherlands 2-0 USSR
EURO 1988 final highlights: Netherlands 2-0 USSR

UEFA.com Italy team reporter: Derek Brookman

I'm clearly hoping the Oranje have a more successful EURO campaign than the last one I attended. At EURO 2012, the Dutch lost all three group matches – to Denmark, Germany and Portugal – with more or less the same players who had reached the FIFA World Cup final only two years earlier. Still, at least I got to spend two weeks in Kharkiv: a truly wonderful city, and none of us will ever forget the Misto nightclub!

How they play

This Dutch outfit are renowned for their possession-based, attack-oriented 4-3-3 set-up. The ball is almost always worked forward carefully, rather than being pumped long from the back. Width is generally provided by overlapping full-backs like Wijndal, Blind or Dumfries, with the wingers cutting inside – hence the left-footed Berghuis is always stationed on the right.

Georginio Wijnaldum: All of his European Qualifiers goals
Georginio Wijnaldum: All of his European Qualifiers goals

Key player: Georginio Wijnaldum

The Netherlands captain has repeatedly excelled with club and country on the biggest of stages. His surging runs into the opposition penalty area and excellent finishing have helped make him the current Oranje's second-top scorer; with 22 goals, he's only one behind Memphis Depay on 23. The pair also have an almost telepathic understanding on the pitch.

Coach: Frank de Boer

Ronald Koeman was a hard act to follow, but Frank de Boer recovered from a bumpy start to get the Oranje purring again. Despite being a poster boy for the Ajax/Barcelona/Netherlands 4-3-3 system, he is not afraid to shake things up when required, as his successful 5-3-2 formation during last year's UEFA Nations League qualifier in Italy proved.

One to watch: Matthijs de Ligt

Captain of Ajax at 19, defensive rock and potent attacker during the club's breathtaking UEFA Champions League journey in season 2018/19 (he scored in the quarter and semi-finals), and champion of Italy in his first term with Juventus; in Virgil van Dijk’s absence, this tournament could be De Ligt’s platform to achieve Oranje immortality.

Can they win it?

Realistically, the team will have to be firing on absolutely all cylinders and enjoy the rub of the green now and again if they are to lift the trophy. They are probably a couple of players short of being a truly top-tier international side, but a semi-final berth is a distinct possibility, and once you're there, you never quite know your luck.

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