- Johan Cruijff Arena
- Ukraine are unbeaten in their last six matches.
- Ukraine have lost only ten of their 44 games under Andriy Shevchenko.
- Netherlands have only won five of their ten games under Frank de Boer.
- Andriy Yarmolenko has scored 40 goals in 94 caps for Ukraine and netted a brace against Cyprus.
Questions raised around de Boer’s preparations
Ronald Koeman oversaw the resurrection of Dutch football as he guided Netherlands back to the big stage after failing for the last two major international tournaments, but the coronavirus-enforced delay of Euro 2020 has had a major impact on their chances this summer.
Koeman left to take charge of Barcelona and his successor – former Crystal Palace disaster Frank de Boer – hasn’t exactly instilled confidence in the nation. They have won only half of his ten matches in charge and a 4-2 thrashing at the hands of Turkey raised some serious questions.
It’s not just the on-pitch performances that have people concerned. Key duo Virgil van Dijk and Donny van de Beek are missing through injury and Frank de Boer controversially decided to not call up a replacement for late withdrawal van de Beek.
They are huge favourites in Group C, but I expect them to struggle against a Ukraine side that are tipped as dark horses of the tournament.
Ukraine turn a corner under Shevchenko
Ukraine have the talent and confidence to take advantage of the Dutch plight. They thrashed Cyprus 4-0 in their final pre-tournament warm-up game and are now unbeaten in six matches, including an excellent 1-1 draw away to France back in March.
Heavy defeats to Spain and France in 2020 came when the Ukraine squad was devastated by Covid-19 so can be overlooked, and their performance in qualifying was exceptional as they topped a group containing Serbia and European champions Portugal.
Yarmolenko can trouble Dutch defence
One man who could cause the Dutch defence some real problems is Andriy Yarmolenko. The 31-year-old hasn’t exactly set the Premier League alight since moving to West Ham but he tends to save his best performances for his country.
Only Ukraine manager Andriy Shevchenko has scored more goals than Yarmolenko for the national side, with the right winger bagging 40 times in 94 appearances. He scored two against Cyprus last time out and is well worth consideration at this price.
Ukraine to upset the odds in Amsterdam
As you might have gathered, I don’t think the Netherlands deserve to be such heavy favourites on Sunday. The inconsistency that plagued the last ten years has returned under de Boer and they are far too reliant on Memphis Depay going forward.
Ukraine are unbeaten in their last six games and with de Boer’s reign yielding only five wins from ten I’m backing a Ukraine double chance here. Four of Ukraine’s last six have ended in 1-1 draws so that’s my choice for a correct score prediction.
Netherlands predicted lineup
Ukraine predicted lineup
- Both teams have scored in four of the Netherlands’ last six competitive fixtures
- Four of Ukraine’s last six matches have finished with a 1-1 scoreline
- Five of Ukraine’s last six games have featured fewer than three goals
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