Yes, I know Frank de Boer is in charge and that Virgil van Dijk is out, but it is time for some positivity. Netherlands can win Euro 2020 and here are my six reasons why!

  • By Michael Bell
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Netherlands have two of the best centre-backs in football

Virgil van Dijk is out and that is a major blow, but Netherlands has produced excellent centre-backs in recent years and can fill his position with Serie A winner Stefan de Vrij, who was named the best centre-back in Italy last year. He will be partnered with Matthijs de Ligt, who has just had an excellent campaign for Juventus.

A strong defence is key and the Netherlands have the defenders to keep it tight at the back with Daley Blind, Nathan Ake, and the youngster Jurrien Timber also able to step into the 5-3-2.

Yes there may be issues at full-back, but in terms of centre-backs, Netherlands are one of the strongest nations in football.

Memphis Depay is on fire!

There isn’t many attackers going into the tournament in better form for club and country than Memphis Depay and he can be the man to lead Netherlands to glory.

The soon to be Barcelona striker is in the form of his life, having netted 22 times for Lyon this season, while adding 12 assists. In an Oranje shirt he has seven goals and three assists in his last seven games. He scored three times in the two pre-tournament warm-up games.

Memphis will be the focal point of the Netherlands attack and he is capable of doing something special at any moment.

If Memphis is in good form a the tournament, Netherlands can go far.

If it works the 5-3-2 can be a great formation

It is a controversial decision from Frank de Boer to change the traditional 4-3-3 formation to 5-3-2 just weeks before the tournament and the performances in the warm-up games have not been great.

However, Netherlands performances in a 4-3-3 have also been poor and De Boer is trying to fix the weaknesses in his side by having a fluid formation.

If it works, like it did for Louis van Gaal in 2014, then Netherlands could be solid at the back and dominant in possession. A nation just needs to hope that the players click when the games get underway.

The 5-3-2 worked for De Boer in their recent clash with Italy and against tougher nations later in the tournament it could be very effective.

Netherlands route to the semi-final could be favourable

On paper, Netherlands have a favourable group with their games against Ukraine, Austria, and North Macedonia all taking place in Amsterdam.

These three opponents have the ability to cause Oranje plenty of trouble but the group could have been much tougher.

Should Netherlands win the group as expected, then a third-place team then lies in wait. A bit of luck would then be needed to avoid the third placed side from group F that contains Germany, Portugal, France, and Hungary.

Get through that last 16 tie then they would face the winner of a clash between the second-placed side in group A and the second-placed team in group B. If those groups go as expected that could be a tie against a nation such as Turkey, Switzerland, Russia or Denmark.

Hypothetically, Netherlands route to the semi-finals could see them avoid any of the favourites for the tournament if they win the group. In a semi-final and final anything could happen when the pressure is on.

If Netherlands finish second though, the route could be much tougher.

The best team doesn’t always win the Euros

France go into the tournament as a big favourite but the European Championships always throw’s up a surprise. Nobody expected Greece to win in 2004 or Portugal to lift the trophy in 2016.

If you get a good draw and have some luck then any of the top nations could get their hands on the trophy, so why not Netherlands this time?

Nobody is expecting much from this Oranje

Netherlands usually head into a tournament as one of the favourites, but this time around many are expecting Oranje to crash and burn.

Pundits around Europe have tipped Netherlands to go out in the last 16 or even in the group stages, which releases some of the pressure on the players.

Louis van Gaal’s side were tipped to finish bottom of their group in 2014 and look how that panned out! I know it’s Frank de Boer in charge this time, but the lack of expectations could be a good thing for Oranje.

Winning the opening game is crucial and then the confidence could grow and grow.

The tournament is here and it is time to get excited! Let’s enjoy Oranje’s first tournament since 2014

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