Euro 2020: Netherlands, Austria Eye Round Of 16 Berth

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Netherlands and Austria will be in action in their Group C Euro 2020 second tie on Thursday with a ticket into the round of 16 at stake.

Both teams recorded opening day victories with the Netherlands edging Ukraine 3-2 and Austria defeating North Macedonia 3-1.

Netherlands will need to ensure they defend better against a dangerous Austria side, but offensively there is clearly plenty of promise about this side, particularly with Memphis Depay yet to hit top form.

Despite a late scare against Ukraine, the Netherlands’ overall performance more than justified De Boer’s team selection and formation, so the 51-year-old is unlikely to make any changes to the XI which earned the 3-2 win.

Matthijs de Ligt was forced to sit out of Sunday’s match due to picking up a groin injury. The Juventus defender has since returned to training, but is unlikely to be risked with more important matches almost certainly to come in the near future.

Indeed, should his side beat Austria and secure their progression to the knockout stages in the process, De Boer may be tempted to rest certain key players in their final group game against North Macedonia, with the likes of De Ligt, Ryan Gravenberch and Luuk de Jongpotentially handed game time.

Austria coach Franco Foda, however, would have had much more to ponder after the impact of Gregoritsch and Arnautovic from the substitutes’ bench in the second half of their win against North Macedonia.

Arnautovic’s angry celebration, however, has earned the former West Ham United and Stoke City forward a one-match ban from UEFA for “insulting another player”.

However, the Shanghai Port man’s ban means that Christoph Baumgartner and Sasa Kalajdzic are likely to continue in attack, with Gregoritsch hoping for a similar impact from the bench.

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