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Jun 17, 2021 at 8pm UK
Depay (11' pen.), Dumfries (67')
de Roon (14')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Alaba (10'), Bachmann (67')

Preview: Netherlands vs. Austria - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Netherlands vs. Austria - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Thursday's European Championship clash between Netherlands and Austria, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Netherlands take on Austria in Group C of Euro 2020 on Thursday.

Both nations can play without too much pressure having made winning starts to their respective campaigns on Sunday.

Match preview

Netherlands, who have home advantage on their side at the Johan Cruijff ArenA for all three of their group stage matches, secured a highly entertaining 3-2 victory over Ukraine on Sunday night.

Oranje were the better of the two teams in a goalless first half, with Denzel Dumfries guilty of missing Frank de Boer's side's best chance after a superb pass by the lively Georginio Wijnaldum.

Wijnaldum, who recently completed his free transfer from Liverpool to Paris Saint-Germain, is granted greater freedom for his country than he was for his previous club in recent years, and he duly delivered the opening goal after Ukraine goalkeeper Heorhiy Bushchan spilled the ball to the midfielder on the edge of the area.

Wout Weghorst doubled his international tally and the Netherlands' lead in the match six minutes later, but Andriy Yarmolenko was allowed far too much time and space to bend a superb left-footed strike into the top corner from distance, before Roman Yaremchuk completed a dramatic turnaround with a close-range header.

However, Dumfries made amends for his earlier miss by leaping highest at the back post to head into the ground and beyond Bushchan, who may have felt he should have kept it out having got a hand onto the ball.

Netherlands will need to ensure they defend better against a dangerous Austria side on Thursday, but offensively there is clearly plenty of promise about this side, particularly with Memphis Depay yet to hit top form.

Austria enjoyed a fairly dramatic win of their own after sinking North Macedonia 3-1 to record their first ever victory at a European Championship.

Borussia Monchengladbach full-back Stefan Lainer volleyed the Austrians into the lead after a superb sweeping pass by RB Leipzig's Marcel Sabitzer, with Das Team making the most of their side's dominant German Bundesliga make-up.

However, 37-year-old Goran Pandev spoiled the party 10 minutes later by pouncing on a catalogue of Austrian errors - with none of Martin Hinteregger, Marcel Sabitzer, Daniel Bachmann or David Alaba covering themselves in glory when attempting to clear the danger - to pass the ball into an empty net for a simple equaliser.

Franco Foda introduced strikers Michael Gregoritsch and Marko Arnautovic moments before the hour mark, with the pair having dream impacts by both getting themselves on the scoresheet.

Gregoritsch met Alaba's superb cross from the left flank to tap home at the near post, before Konrad Laimer's clever flick allowed Arnautovic to race in behind and seal a crucial three points for his side.

Netherlands European Championship form:
  • W

Netherlands form (all competitions):
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W

Austria European Championship form:
  • W

Austria form (all competitions):
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • W

Team News

Despite a late scare against Ukraine, the Netherlands' overall performance more than justified De Boer's team selection and formation, so the 51-year-old is unlikely to make any changes to the XI which earned the 3-2 win.

Matthijs de Ligt was forced to sit out of Sunday's match due to picking up a groin injury. The Juventus defender has since returned to training, but is unlikely to be risked with more important matches almost certainly to come in the near future.

Indeed, should his side beat Austria and secure their progression to the knockout stages in the process, De Boer may be tempted to rest certain key players in their final group game against North Macedonia, with the likes of De Ligt, Ryan Gravenberch and Luuk de Jong potentially handed game time.

Foda, however, would have had much more to ponder after the impact of Gregoritsch and Arnautovic from the substitutes' bench in the second half of their win against North Macedonia.

Arnautovic's angry celebration, however, has earned the former West Ham United and Stoke City forward a one-match ban from UEFA for "insulting another player".

In his post-match press conference on Sunday, Foda had suggested Arnautovic was set to start against Netherlands, with him being left out of the starting XI more due to recent injury issues:

"When Marko [Arnautovic] is in top shape, he always plays for me from the start," Foda said.

"But you always have to be careful after a muscle injury. Marko is a very important part of our team and it is quite possible that he will play against Holland from the start."

However, the Shanghai Port man's ban means that Christoph Baumgartner and Sasa Kalajdzic are likely to continue in attack, with Gregoritsch hoping for a similar impact from the bench.

Netherlands possible starting lineup:
Stekelenburg; Timber, De Vrij, Blind; Dumfries, De Roon, De Jong, Wijnaldum, Van Aanholt; Depay, Weghorst

Austria possible starting lineup:
Bachmann; Dragovic, Alaba, Hinteregger; Lainer, Laimer, Schlager, Sabitzer, Ulmer; Baumgartner, Kalajdzic

We say: Netherlands 2-1 Austria

Both sides were involved in thrilling encounters on Sunday, and we expect another entertaining affair on Thursday.

There is little pressure on either nation given that one more point from their final two matches will almost certainly take them through to the knockout stages, and we expect the Netherlands' greater quality and home advantage to ultimately pay dividends.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

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