On Monday, Netherlands U21’s face France in the quarter-finals of the European Championships. Kick-off is at 5pm BST.

Back in March, Netherlands came out on top in their group despite drawing their opening games 1-1 against both Romania and Germany. A 6-1 win over Hungary propelled Jong Oranje to the last eight and set up a meeting with France.

A star-studded French side lost their opening game 1-0 to Denmark but then recovered to reach the knockout rounds with wins over Russia and Iceland (both 2-0).

On Monday, Netherlands and France meet in Budapest with the winner going on to face either Denmark or Germany in the semi-finals on the 3rd of June.

Team News

Erwin van de Looi’s plans have been hit by a number of players joining up with the full Netherlands squad. Ryan Gravenberch, Teun Koopmeiners, Cody Gakpo, and Jurrien Timber are all heading to the European Championships.

Van de Looi has also lost Noa Lang, Brian Brobbey, Deyovaisio Zeefuik and Ludavit Reis due to injury and club commitments.

Ajax right-back Devyne Rensch could make his debut at this level, while Calvin Stengs, Justin Kluivert and Ligue 1 champion Sven Botman should start.

Possible Netherlands U21 XI: Bijlow, Rensch, Bakker, Botman, Schuurs, Harroui, Matusiwa, De Wit, Stengs, Kluivert, Boadu

France have been able to call on a number of great talents with Lyon star Houssem Aouar, Rennes star Eduardo Camavinga, and new Liverpool signing Ibrahim Konate all in the squad.

Netherlands will need to keep Celtic striker Odsonne Edouard quiet with the 23-year-old netting 17 times in 13 games for the U21’s.

Leicester City star Wesley Fofana and Arsenal midfielder Matteo Guendouzi are not with the squad.

Possible France U21 XI: Meslier, Dagba, Maouassa, Upamecano, Konate, Soumare, Aouar, Camavinga, Ikone, Gouiri, Edouard

Odds

Netherlands 9/4 Draw 21/10 France 11/10

Can Netherlands reach the semi-finals?

France are going into this game as the big favourite, and Netherlands chances did take a blow with Van de Looi unable to call on some key players for the game.

France is strong at the back, in midfield, and up top making them a formidable opponent. However, Netherlands also has a number of exciting talents capable of hurting the French side. If van de Looi gets his tactics right and doesn’t give the French too much respect then there is no reason why Jong Oranje cannot progress.

Van de Looi may decide to start with a 5-3-2 formation with De Wit and Kluivert up front, but the coach will look to Calvin Stengs to fill the hole left by the absence of Cody Gakpo.

It is a quarter-final of a tournament so anything is possible, but it will be key for Netherlands to keep it tight at the back and look for their chances to counter. If Jong Oranje can get through this game then the confidence of lifting the trophy would be huge.

Click here to watch our exclusive interviews with Erwin van de Looi and Dani de Wit before the game.




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