On Thursday, The Netherlands hosts Greece in an important Euro 2024 qualifier. Kick-off in Eindhoven is at 19:45 BST.

I think it is safe to say that Ronald Koeman’s return as Netherlands head coach has not gone well so far with the loss against France kicking off the Euro 2024 qualifiers. A slender win over Gibraltar was then followed by the awful performances against Croatia and Italy in the Nations League last four.

The Netherlands now have two crucial Euro 2024 qualifiers coming up, firstly at home to Greece and then away to the Republic of Ireland on Sunday. The Netherlands do have the safety net of the playoffs, but if they want to automatically qualify in the top two of this group, then these are two must-win games for Oranje.

Greece are currently second in the group having won 3-0 over Gibraltar and 2-1 over the Republic of Ireland. Their last clash was a tight 1-0 loss to France in Paris.

Gus Poyet has managed to bring some confidence back to the Greek national team, who have won eight out of fourteen games since the Uruguayan took charge.

Team News

The Netherlands are without the injured Memphis Depay, while Sven Botman, Steven Bergwijn, Justin Bijlow and Jurrien Timber are also out.

Koeman has called in some new faces with Ian Maatsen, Quilindschy Hartman, Micky van de Ven and Tijjani Reijnders all hoping to make their debuts.

Koeman has already decided who starts in goal with Mark Flekken given the nod to replace Bijlow.

Possible Netherlands XI: Flekken, Dumfries, Ake, Van Dijk, De Ligt, De Jong, Koopmeiners, Veerman, Malen, Simons, Gakpo

Greece have some familiar names to fans of the Eredivisie with Vangelis Pavlidis of AZ Alkmaar in the squad. Former VVV Venlo striker Giorgos Giakoumakis and former Willem II left-back Kostas Tsimikas are also in the squad.

In defence, Pantalis Hatzidiakos will line up, returning to the Netherlands a week after departing AZ Alkmaar for Cagliari in Italy.

There is no place for Eredivisie top scorer from last season Tasos Douvikas, while West Ham defender Konstantinos Mavropanos is suspended for the clash after a red card against France last time out.

Possible Greece XI: Vlachodimos; Baldock, Tzavellas, Hatzidiakos, Tsimikas; Siopis, Kourbelis; Masouras, Bakasetas, Mantalos; Giakoumakis

Previous Meetings

The Netherlands have played nine times against Greece with seven of those ending in victory for Oranje, while the last meeting in 2016 finished 2-1 for the Greeks.

That friendly win in 2016 was the first time that Greece had ever defeated Oranje.

Odds

Netherlands 11/25 Draw 10/3 Greece 6/1

Can the Netherlands get a crucial victory?

The importance of this game cannot be understated for the Netherlands, who would be in trouble if a victory is not achieved against the Greeks.

Koeman will need to see a much-improved performance from his defence and attack as Greece turn up in Eindhoven with plenty of confidence.

Of course, Oranje goes into the game as favourites and they will need to start on the front foot, taking the game to the opponents from the start. Netherlands cannot allow Greece to spot any weakness or this could be a difficult night.

The pressure is much on Koeman’s shoulders as anything but a win will continue the opinion that he is not the man to take the Netherlands forward.




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