The Netherlands will have high hopes for the European Championship this summer, even without Virgil Van Dijk’s defensive anchor.
The Dutch will be strong favorites to win the group against Austria, North Macedonia and Ukraine.
Getty – Contributor
The Netherlands have to face star defender Dijk. dispense
After Ronald Koeman left the national team for fame in Barcelona last year, a new era of orange football is on the horizon.
After failing to qualify for Euro 2016, the Netherlands will turn heads as their fans strive to show how good they are.
They have to do without their captain and arguably the best player in Liverpool’s Van Dijk, who was out all year with a knee injury.
The Netherlands won the European Championship back in 1988, could this be their year?
They start their tournament against Ukraine on Sunday night and here is everything you need to know about them.
goalkeeper: Marco Bizot (AZ), Tim Krul (Norwich), Maarten Stekelenburg (Ajax)
defender: Nathan Ake (Manchester City), Daley Blind (Ajax), Matthijs de Ligt (Juventus), Stefan de Vrij (Inter Milan), Denzel Dumfries (PSV), Patrick van Aanholt (Crystal Palace), Joël Veltman (Brighton), Owen Wijndal (AZ)
midfield player: Frenkie de Jong (Barcelona), Marten de Roon (Atalanta), Ryan Gravenberch (Ajax), Davy Klaassen (Ajax), Teun Koopmeiners (AZ), Quincy Promes (Spartak Moskva), Jurrien Timber (Ajax), Georginio Wijnaldum (Liverpool .))
Forward: Steven Berghuis (Feyenoord), Luuk de Jong (Sevilla), Memphis Depay (Lyon), Cody Gakpo (PSV), Donyell Malen (PSV Eindhoven), Wout Weghorst (Wolfsburg)
The star man: Frenkie de Jong
De Jong is now showing his talent on the international stage
Frenkie de Jong doesn’t shy away from big matches either.
At just 24, he has established himself as one of the best midfielders in the world.
A product of the famous Ajax youth academy, he has established himself as a key player in Barcelona this season.
If the Netherlands want to be successful at this European Championship, they need top performances from De Jong.
About the midfielder, manager Frank De Boer said: “Of course Messi always has an influence, but you can already see the importance De Jong has in the team and the players recognize that.”
The one to watch out for: Ryan Gravenberch
Gravenberch is considered to be one of the up and coming talents of the Netherlands
Ryan Gravenberch is one of the people who keeps an eye on those euros.
Another Ajax Academy’s product, the 19-year-old is one of the top names on the club’s roster this season.
With technical prowess and a defensive mindset at such a young age, it’s no surprise that Gravenberch has been associated with some of the best clubs in the world.
Although not considered a starter, the U17 European Championship winner will definitely get significant minutes and have the ability to influence the game.
The manager: Frank De Boer
Frank de Boer has a lot to prove at the EM
Some may remember Frank De Boer for his disappointment at Inter Milan and Crystal Palace but the manager is poised to rehabilitate.
There has been a lot of uproar over his appointment as many people think there are better options for such an important tournament.
The Netherlands have been looking decent since he replaced Koeman. won four of his nine games as responsible.
This is a great opportunity to prove to everyone that he is a worthy and capable manager.
All games live on talkSPORT
June 13 – Netherlands v Ukraine 8:00 p.m.
June 17th – Netherlands vs. Austria 8:00 p.m.
June 21 – Netherlands vs. North Macedonia 17:00