Group C at Euro 2020 is comprised of long-awaited returnees the Netherlands, the defensively disciplined Austria, tournament debutants North Macedonia, and a young and ambitious Ukraine team. Who are the favourites to progress and what can be expected from the four teams? Read on to inform your Euro 2020 Group C predictions.

  • by Michael Statham
  • Follow Michael on Twitter @EredivisieMike

This article has also been published on Pinnacle Sports, where you can get the latest Euro 2020 betting odds.

Euro 2020: Group C predictions

TeamPinnacle projected points
Netherlands6.5
Austria3.5
Ukraine3.5
North Macedonia2.5

Euro 2020: Group C schedule

All times listed are CEST (Central European Summer Time).

June 13, 18:00: Austria vs. North Macedonia

June 13, 21:00: Netherlands vs. Ukraine

June 17, 15:00: North Macedonia vs. Ukraine

June 17, 21:00: Austria vs. Netherlands

June 21, 18:00: Austria vs. Ukraine, Netherlands vs. North Macedonia

Netherlands

Manager: Frank de Boer

Key Player: Frenkie de Jong

FIFA World Ranking (April 2021): 16th

Recent performances: Euro 2016 – Did not qualify, 2018 World Cup – Did not qualify

Odds to win Group D1.401*

Odds to win Euro 202011.690*

The Netherlands qualified for Euro 2020 from Group C, in which they finished second behind Germany. While the squad is largely settled heading into the competition, manager Frank de Boer has received a somewhat unwelcoming reception from Dutch soccer fans ever since he replaced Ronald Koeman almost a year ago.

The Netherlands’ chances will rely on solid performances from the likes of Frenkie de Jong and Memphis Depay.

Having failed to qualify for the previous two major international competitions, Koeman was a big factor in the Netherlands’ recent revival. In his two-and-a-half years as manager, he oversaw a notable overhaul, phasing out a generation containing the likes of Arjen Robben, Wesley Sneijder, and Robin van Persie while blooding younger talents who have since become key players, most notably Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong and Juventus’ Matthijs De Ligt.

Under Koeman, ‘the Oranje’ reached the first ever Nations League final, where they were narrowly beaten by Portugal. Their run to the final witnessed the team slowly but surely gain their edge back, with Virgil van Dijk marshalling the defence and the passion and trickery of Memphis Depay leading the attack.

Unfortunately for the Netherlands, Koeman joined Barcelona at the end of last summer, leading to de Boer taking the reins. His stint commenced with the longest ever winless streak for a new Netherlands head coach amidst criticism that he was afraid to divert from the playing style which Koeman introduced.

To add to his problems, captain van Dijk has been ruled out of the tournament through injury, but he can call upon excellent replacements in Stefan de Vrij and Daley Blind to partner De Ligt.

There is a strong togetherness amongst this new Dutch generation and their squad seems more determined than ever to go as far as possible in the tournament. The team features an identifiable core comprised of consistently selected players, although there are also young stars sprinkled around the squad including Ajax’s mercurial 18-year-old midfield talent Ran Gravenberch.

The Netherlands’ chances will rely upon solid performances from de Jong in midfield and how well the other forwards in their squad can link up with Depay. There is reason to suggest they will comfortably progress from Group C (and they are priced by Pinnacle at 1.050* to do so), but they could easily be eliminated once they meet one of Europe’s powerhouses, particularly if de Boer’s tactical inflexibility persists.

Austria

Manager: Franco Foda

Key Player: David Alaba

FIFA World Ranking (April 2021): 23rd

Recent performances: Euro 2016 – Group stage, 2018 World Cup – Did not qualify

Odds to win Group D6.000*

Odds to win Euro 2020106.680*

Austria will enter Euro 2020 aiming to earn their first ever win at a Euros final tournament, as well as their first at a major international competition since 1990. It is therefore worrying that they have recently exhibited a lack of confidence.

Austria’s apparent tactical reluctance to attack could easily prove their undoing.

Head coach Franco Foda has come in for criticism for his conservative and defensive style, which many believe has restricted the talents of Austria’s most formidable players. For instance, RB Leipzig’s deep-lying playmaker Marcel Sabitzer has been fielded behind the striker, while Bayern Munich defender David Alaba is often deployed on the left wing.

Austria can boast genuine quality, but such tactical decisions mean it may not be released as an attacking force. Instead, supporters may need to pin their hopes on solid defensive performances as a method to gather enough points to progress from the group. The capability is there on this front and between October and November 2020 they enjoyed a run of five wins in six matches, conceding just three goals in the process.

However, this was derailed by a poor start to their 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign, which featured the nadir of a 4-0 home defeat to Denmark in which they failed to produce a shot on target.

Stuttgart’s 23-year-old forward Sasa Kalajdzic has often proved to be a bright spark amidst such mediocrity, and they can call upon several others who ply their club trade in the German Bundesliga. Pinnacle have priced Austria at 2.270* to collect under 3.5 points in Group C, which may prove a value bet given their recent form.

North Macedonia

Manager: Igor Angelovski

Key Player: Goran Pandev

FIFA World Ranking (April 2021): 62nd

Recent performances: Euro 2016 – Did not qualify, 2018 World Cup – Did not qualify

Odds to win Group D26.020*

Odds to win Euro 2020423.340*

North Macedonia will be rightly delighted just to have qualified for their first ever major international tournament. The minnows also recently turned heads with their World Cup qualifying win away to Germany, highlighting that the side captained by the now 37-year-old Goran Pandev can’t be taken lightly.

North Macedonia face an unlikely but not impossible chance of reaching the last 16.

Genoa’s Pandev will be the key player for the tournament debutants, having recently returned from international retirement. Beyond the stalwart, manager Igor Angelovski cannot call upon many players who seem capable of turning a match around, and he will likely field a defensive back five in a bid to score goals on the counter at the tournament.

Coincidentally, North Macedonia were in the same qualifying group as Austria, in which they finished third and five points behind their Group C opponents. Instead, they earned their Euro 2020 berth via the first edition of the Nations League, as one of the most notable beneficiaries of the competition’s newly established route to the Euros finals.

You should tread with caution when betting against the lowest-ranked side at Euro 2020, although North Macedonia also have the longest outright odds to win the competition for a reason and a top-two finish in Group C seems highly unlikely.

However, they could make the Round of 16 as one of the four best third-placed teams and are available at 3.250* to reach the knockout stages. Such a feat would make their fans watching from home even prouder of their international team.

Ukraine

Manager: Andriy Shevchenko

Key Player: Roman Yaremchuk

FIFA World Ranking (April 2021): 24th

Recent performances: Euro 2016 – Group stage, 2018 World Cup – Did not qualify

Odds to win Group D5.500*

Odds to win Euro 202068.420*

Ukraine will arrive at Euro 2020 aiming to prove that they can reach the knockout stages of the tournament. They were eliminated from the group stage at both Euro 2012 and 2016, losing five of their six matches in the process, although manager Andriy Shevchenko has claimed that his side possess a good chance of progressing.

Ukraine may suffer from inexperience in the knockout stages.

Expectations that Ukraine can reach at least the last 16 were boosted by their impressive qualifying campaign. Indeed, they topped their group unbeaten and ahead of Portugal while conceding only four goals in eight matches. Similarly to the Netherlands, this was assisted by a palpable sense of togetherness among the squad, as well as attacking talents including Dynamo Kyiv’s Viktor Tsyhankov and Gent’s Roman Yaremchuk.

The Ukraine squad features of a host of domestically-based young players. The average age of the most recent squad was just 25.7 years old, and according to Transfermarkt they have the sixth-lowest total squad value of the 24 nations at Euro 2020. In their most recent squad, just 29% of players were based outside of Ukraine at club level.

As a consequence, Shevchenko’s team may suffer from inexperience should they meet a more formidable opponent in the knockout stages. Their most recent Nations League campaign also did not optimistically portray their chances of a deep run in the tournament, as they finished bottom in a group containing Germany, Spain, and Switzerland.

Overall, Ukraine possess a decent chance of reaching the last 16, as Pinnacle’s odds for them to do so of 1.444* suggest, but there is little to indicate that they will progress much further.

Don’t forget to read Pinnacle Sports previews for the other Euro 2020 groups: Group AGroup BGroup DGroup EGroup F.

Looking forward to Euro 2020? Win Your Way by checking out the latest Euro 2020 odds on every match and group, outright markets, and more with Pinnacle.




Michael Statham (608 Posts)

Writer/interviewer/YouTuber for Football-Oranje. Massive Dutch football fan from the UK. Follow me @EredivisieMike & subscribe to Football-Oranje on YouTube.