Euro 2020 Preview: Group C (Dutch headline, but beware Ukraine)

Euro 2020 Preview: Group C (Dutch headline, but beware Ukraine)

Euro 2020

Euro 2020 Preview: Group C (Dutch headline, but beware Ukraine)

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The Netherlands had a complicated path to qualifying for Euro 2020, but eventually succeeded in snapping a run of two straight major tournaments missed, and now Frank DeBoer’s men find themselves in a manageable group at Euro 2020.

The Dutch will be without Virgil Van Dijk, but still have enough skill across the board to be seen as the clearcut choice in Group C, and a sleeper candidate for a deep run.

The battle for second place should be a fierce one, with Ukraine favored, but Austria carrying comparable odds into the group stage.

Here is a closer look at Group C:

Group C

Schedule (Times Eastern)

June 13 – Austria vs North Macedonia – (ESPN) 12 p.m.

June 13 – Netherlands vs Ukraine –  (ESPN) 3 p.m.

June 17- Ukraine vs North Macedonia – (ESPN) 9 a.m.

June 17 –Netherlands vs Austria –  (ESPN) 3 p.m.

June 21 – North Macedonia vs Netherlands – (ESPN2) 12 p.m

June 21- Ukraine vs Austria –  (ESPN) 12 p.m.


AUSTRIA


HEAD COACH

Franco Foda

PLAYERS TO WATCH

David Alaba, Marcel Sabitzer, Konrad Laimer, Marko Arnautovic

NAME TO LEARN

Christoph Baumgartner is part of an Austrian roster that will rely heavily on players from the German Bundesliga with Baumgartner being one of three players from TSG Hoffenheim. He is also the youngest member of an Austrian squad that boasts a strong midfield, but is lacking a true creative presence. Baumgartner will be relied upon to stretch the opposing defense, likely as a left-midfielder. The 21 year-old midfielder is coming off a 5 goal, 6 assist season in 31 Bundesliga games and is prime to be an important part of an Austria team that has the talent to advance from the group.

ROSTER

Goalkeepers: Pavao Pervan (Wolfsburg), Alexander Schlager (LASK), Daniel Bachmann (Watford)

Defenders: Aleksandar Dragovic (Bayer Leverkusen), David Alaba (Real Madrid), Martin Hinteregger (Eintracht Frankfurt), Stefan Lainer (Borussia Monchengladbach), Andreas Ulmer (Red Bull Salzburg), Christopher Trimmel (Union Berlin), Stefan Posch (Hoffenheim), Philipp Lienhart (Freiburg), Marco Friedl (Werder Bremen)

Midfielders: Julian Baumgartlinger (Leverkusen), Stefan Ilsanker (Eintracht Frankfurt), Valentino Lazaro (Inter Milan), Alessandro Schopf (Schalke 04), Florian Grillitsch (Hoffenheim), Konrad Laimer (Leipzig),Louis Schaub (Luzern), Xaver Schlager (Wolfsburg), Christoph Baumgartner (Hoffenheim), Marcel Sabitzer (RB Leipzig)

Forwards: Michael Gregoritsch (Augsburg), Karim Onisiwo (Mainz), Saša Kalajdzic (Stuttgart), Marko Arnautović (Shanghai Port)

OUTLOOK

Austria has failed to make it out of the group stage in the last two times they qualified for the Euros in 2008 and 2016 respectively. Despite the obvious talent on the roster, Austria has also struggled in the early stages of World Cup Qualifying, losing 4-0 to Denmark and drawing 2-2 against Scotland in March. Their success starts with David Alaba stepping into the midfield and his ability to be a creator instead of in defense where he features at the club level, but the rest of the attack must come together if Austria is hoping to advance out of the group stage for the first time in team history.


NETHERLANDS


HEAD COACH

Frank De Boer

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Frenkie de Jong, Matthijs de Ligt, Georginio Wijnaldum,  Memphis Depay

NAME TO LEARN

The youngest member of the Dutch squad, Ryan Gravenberch is a world-class talent that was eligible for the U21 Euros, but was selected by Frank de Boer for the senior squad. With Donny van de Beek missing out on the tournament due to injury, the Dutch will need someone to provide a creative presence in the midfield and perhaps Gravenberch is the one who rises to the occasion.

ROSTER

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

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

Midfielders: Ryan Gravenberch (Ajax), Frenkie de Jong (Barcelona), Davy Klaassen (Ajax), Teun Koopmeiners (AZ), Marten de Roon (Atalanta), Georginio Wijnaldum (PSG)

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

Outlook

The Netherlands are back in the Euros after missing out in 2016 and later failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. The lead up to this summer’s tournament has been marred with injuries to Virgil van Dijk, Donny van der Beek and Jasper Cillessen, but there is enough talent on the roster for Frank de Boer to lead the Dutch deep into the tournament.


UKRAINE


HEAD COACH

Andriy Shevchenko

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Oleksandr Zinchenko, Andriy Yarmolenko, Ruslan Malinovsky

NAME TO LEARN

Vitaliy Mykolenko enjoyed a meteoric rise with Dynamo Kyiv this season, and has since been linked with a transfer to a slew of Champions League clubs. His ability to lock down the left back position under Andriy Shevchenko frees up Oleksandr Zinchenko to play further up the field and bolster the Ukrainian attack.

ROSTER

Goalkeepers: Georgiy Bushchan (Dynamo Kyiv), Andriy Pyatov (Shakhtar Donetsk), Anatolii Trubin (Shakhtar Donetsk)

Defenders: Eduard Sobol (Club Brugge), Illia Zabarnyi (Dynamo Kyiv), Serhiy Kryvtsov (Shakhtar Donetsk), Denys Popov (Dynamo Kyiv), Oleksandr Tymchyk (Dynamo Kyiv), Vitaliy Mykolenko (Dynamo Kyiv), Oleksandr Karavaev (Dynamo Kyiv), Mykola Matviyenko (Shakhtar Donetsk)

Midfielders: Serhiy Sydorchuk (Dynamo Kyiv), Ruslan Malinovskyi (Atalanta), Mykola Shaparenko (Dynamo Kyiv), Marlos (Shakhtar Donetsk), Yevhen Makarenko (Kortrijk), Oleksandr Zinchenko (Manchester City), Viktor Tsygankov (Dynamo Kyiv), Taras Stepanenko (Shakhtar Donetsk), Andriy Yarmolenko (West Ham), Oleksandr Zubkov (Ferencvaros), Heorhii Sudakov (Shakhtar Donetsk), Roman Bezus (Gent)

Forwards: Roman Yaremchuk (Gent), Artem Besedin (Dynamo Kyiv), Artem Dovbyk (Dnipro-1)

OUTLOOK

The Ukrainians come into the tournament with 18 out of 26 players selected from the Ukrainian domestic league, but manager Andriy Shevchenko knows how to get the most out of his squad. In a World Cup Qualifier against France in March, the Ukraine played the defending World Cup Champions to a hard fought 1-1 draw and showed they have what it takes to finish in the top two of Group C.


NORTH MACEDONIA


HEAD COACH

Igor Angelovski

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Goran Pandev, Ezgjan Alioski, Elif Elmas

NAME TO LEARN

The 37 year-old Goran Pandev is a cult hero in North Macedonia, scoring the winner against Georgia that sent North Macedonia to what will be their first ever major tournament as a nation. Pandev has been capped 118 times and owns the best fun fact of the tournament —  he was born before North Macedonia declared their independence from Yugoslavia in 1991.

Roster

Goalkeepers: Stole Dimitrievski (Rayo Vallecano), Damjan Siskovski (Doxa), Risto Jankov (Rabotnicki)

Defenders: Stefan Ristovski (Dinamo), Darko Velkovski (Rijeka), Visar Musliu (Fehervar), Ezgjan Alioski (Leeds United), Egzon Bejtulai (Shkendija), Kire Ristevski (Ujpest), Gjoko Zajkov (Charleroi)

Midfielders: Arijan Ademi (Dinamo), Boban Nikolov (Lecce), Enis Bardhi (Levante), Elif Elmas (Napoli), Stefan Spirovski (Larnaca), Tihomir Kostadinov (Ruzomberok), Ferhan Hasani (Partizani), Daniel Avramovski (Kayserispor), Marjan Radeski (Akademija Pandev)

Forwards: Goran Pandev (Genoa), Aleks Trajkovski (Mallorca), Ivan Trickovski (Larnaca), Vlatko Stojanovski (Chambly), Darko Churlinov (Stuttgart), Milan Ristovski (Spartak Trnava), Krste Velkoski (Sarajevo)

OUTLOOK

For a country of just over 2 million people, just making the Euros is a victory, but North Macedonia has 2016 Iceland written all over them. In World Cup Qualifiers they defeated Germany and have a legitimate playmaker in Napoli’s Elif Elmas. Do not count the little guy out just yet.

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