Netherlands v Czech Republic
Sunday June 27, 5:00 p.m.
Live on ITV1
A perfect record, but are the Dutch really perfect?
The Netherlands entered Euro 2020 with a lot of questions. Frank de Boer was in doubt as a manager, a system change from the classic Dutch 4-3-3 caused consternation, and there were concerns that injuries in defense would further weaken a team that already seemed fragile.
To de Boer’s credit, his decision to deploy a three-way full-back and full-backs has paid off so far. Denzel Dumfries was particularly impressive at right-back, scoring the game-winning goal against Ukraine and scoring the decisive second goal in a 2-0 win over Austria. Skipper Gini Wijnaldum has scored three goals from midfield and the partnership of powerful center-forward Wout Weghorst and talismanic Memphis depay showed signs of promise.
However, if we’re scratching below the surface, winning all three group games isn’t as impressive as it initially looks.
The Dutch had the home advantage in Amsterdam for all three games, and that game against the Czechs is in Budapest. The 3-2 win over Ukraine presented a huge swing as a 2-0 lead was lost, and it was only a reckless loss of possession from Ukrainian goalkeeper Heorhiy Bushchan that led to the game-winning goal . Austria were terrible in the ensuing 2-0 victory, and before de Boer’s men swept North Macedonia 3-0, the underdogs hit a post and saw a goal ruled out for an out. – marginal play with the blank scoresheet.
De Boer can pick his best XI here, and it would be a surprise if he didn’t pick a 5-3-2, with Wolfsburg forward Weghorst shifting to his partner Memphis Depay in attack.
Schick’s magic lit up the Czech charge
The Czech Republic entered this tournament with a well-deserved reputation for solidity and a high work rate, and they underscored this with their performances at Euro 2020. However, their defiant strength was always likely to depend on so technically – gifted Patrick schick could live up to its potential on the big stage. The Bayer Leverkusen striker arguably scored the tournament goal in a brace against Scotland, he received a penalty against Croatia, but was deprived of service in a 1 loss. -0 against England.
Schick was not the only hero of the Czechs. Tomas Soucek was generally influential in midfield and selflessly played against Scotland as he scored dangerous John McGinn out of the game. Skipper Vladimir Darida provides energy in the midfield, while center-back Tomas Kalas and Soucek’s West Ham teammate Vladimir Coufal have drawn attention from the rear.
The suspension of left-back Jan Boril is a blow, with Hoffenheim’s Pavel Kaderabek being a top contender to replace him, although he’s usually a right-back. Kaderabek is a quick and enterprising full-back, and in theory he’ll be looking to get behind Dumfries.
Dutch a little too short to excite
The Netherlands are 1.75/7 in the Match odds walked here, and it seems to me to reflect too much of their group stage campaign. There are still some weaknesses to be exploited, especially the defense in transition, and this is a group of players who have not used this system for a very long time. A smart coach like Czech Jaroslav Silhavy will undoubtedly have been examined in various ways to exploit these flaws.
You might consider supporting Czech Republic +0.5 and +1.0 on the Asian handicap at 2.0521/20. You will only lose half of your stake if the Czechs lose by a single goal, and if they win or if the tie goes into overtime, you get odds against the winner.
The heckling in Budapest?
The Dutch are certainly an attacking threat, with eight goals so far, and two of their three games have seen a Over 2.5 goals bet land. If you look further back, eight of their last ten games have scored at least three goals.
The Czechs will look to stay compact in their 4-2-3-1 formation, but Schick is a danger in attack, and players like Jakub Jankto and Lucas Masopust can get them up on the pitch quickly in transition.
If you want an In-Play bet, you might be tempted to Over 3.5 goals to a heavy 3.45. If you back him up early in the game an early goal will leave you in a good position, and consider the following: In Holland’s last two games there have been opening goals in the 11th and 24 minutes, while that all three games all featured a goal in the first half.
Dangerous Denzel poses a threat
A great feature of the Dutch attack has been the full backs playing high on the pitch and providing an attacking outlet. With Jan Boril suspended, PSV’s Denzel Dumfries should have some leeway, and he’s 6/1 to mark his third goal of the tournament in the first 90 minutes of the game. He is also 5/1 in the Assistance at any time market, so you can put half a point on each.
In the To Score market, Memphis is 11/10, with Weghorst 9/5 and Wijnaldum in 5/2 form. For the Czechs, Schick is priced at 3/1 to find the way of the nets.