Netherlands take on the Czech Republic in the last 16 of the European Championships on Sunday. The clash in Budapest kicks-off at 17.00 BST.

Frank de Boer’s side have impressed in the tournament, topping their group with three wins. A 3-2 win over Ukraine was followed up with a 2-0 victory against Austria and a comfortable 3-0 result against North Macedonia.

Netherlands now enters the last 16 and have been handed a tie against the Czech Republic in Budapest.

Coached by Jaroslav Silhavy, Czech Republic opened their tournament with a 2-0 victory over Scotland and a 1-1 draw with Croatia. However, their 1-0 loss to England saw them slip to third in their group and confirmed the tie against the Netherlands.

The winner of the tie will go on to face either Denmark or Wales in the quarter-finals.

Team News

Luuk de Jong was forced to pull out of the squad after suffering a knee injury during the week, but the Sevilla striker was unlikely to start anyway.

De Boer will put Marten de Roon back into the starting line-up after he was rested against North Macedonia due to a yellow card.

The big decision for the coach will be whether or not to start with Donyell Malen or Wout Weghorst up front. The latter started the first two games, but Malen impressed after starting the clash with North Macedonia.

Possible Netherlands line-up: Stekelenburg, Dumfries, Van Aanholt, De Vrij, De Ligt, Blind, De Roon, De Jong, Wijnaldum, Memphis, Weghorst

The Czechs will be without left-back Jan Boril after he picked up his second yellow card against England, which means Ales Mateju will come into the line-up.

Other than that, Silhavy has no injury issues and must only decide who starts in midfield between Alex Kral or Tomas Holes. Former Vitesse defender Tomas Kalas should start, while PSV Eindhoven’s Michal Sadilek will be on the bench.

Possible Czech Republic line-up: Vaclik, Coufal, Celustka, Kalas, Mateju, Holes, Soucek, Masopust, Darida, Jankto, Schick

Odds

Netherlands 4/6 Draw 11/4 Czech Republic 9/2

Previous Meetings

The Czech Republic are a bit of a bogey team for the Netherlands.

The Czech’s have won five of their 11 meetings, while Netherlands have only come out on top in three occasions, while three ended in a draw.

At Euro 2004, Netherlands threw away a 2-0 lead and lost 3-2 in a classic clash against the Czech’s. The last meeting was also a 3-2 win over Czech Republic in Amsterdam in 2015. That game confirmed that Netherlands would not make Euro 2016.

Player to watch

Georginio Wijnaldum

Netherlands captain has had a fantastic tournament so far and is currently top scorer for Oranje with three goals during the group stages.

The new PSG signing has linked up well with the Netherlands attack and has so far been deadly in front of goal. Wijnaldum will look to get space around the box and he could be the man to fire Netherlands into the last 8.

Patrik Schick

The star for this Czech side is Schick, who also has three goals during the group stages, including a stunner from range against Scotland.

The Bayer Leverkusen striker is a threat in the air and with the ball at his feet. He will give Stefan de Vrij and Matthijs de Ligt a tough game, with Netherlands needing to keep him quiet if they are to progress.

Can Netherlands progress to the last 8?

On paper, Netherlands are the favourites for this clash but in knockout football nothing can be predicted and nerves will play a part in Budapest.

Netherlands will need to control the possession and the hope will be that an early goal could calm any nerves. Up front, Memphis Depay, Denzel Dumfries and Wijnaldum are all in good form and they will be confident of causing the Czech defence plenty of problems.

However, the defence will need to be sharp against Schick and West Ham United midfielder Tomas Soucek who has had a quiet tournament so far. If Netherlands give away chances like they did in the group stages, then the Czech’s have the ability to punish them.

This is a big chance for Netherlands to reach the last 16 but the Czech Republic cannot be underestimated at all. A tense and nervy game awaits on Sunday and hopefully, Oranje come out on top!




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