Euro 2020 Group C promises to be a battle of will over flair. The Netherlands, traditionally, one of the more skillful teams in Europe battle it out with Ukraine, Austria, and North Macedonia, teams whose hard work and persistence earned them a place in this year’s European Championship. Here’s what to expect.
Throughout the history of the European Championships, The Netherlands has provided some of the most spectacular performances of any nation taking part. The past decade, however, has been a mixed bag for the Oranje. Failure to qualify for Euro 2016, as well the 2018 World Cup weighs heavily on the minds of Dutch fans.
This time around, however, there is no shortage of world-class talent from which manager Frank de Boer can pick. As has often been the case, many of Europe’s top teams feature Dutchmen among their ranks. Furthermore, the structure of the 2021 national team is built around the highly successful youth model promoted by Ajax Amsterdam.
Holland are favorites to qualify. Still, none of their group games look like simple affairs. And, knowing the team’s penchant to crack under pressure, fans of the team will be watching with faded breath until the group fixtures are over.
Goalkeepers: Marco Bizot (AZ), Tim Krul (Norwich), Maarten Stekelenburg (Ajax)
Defenders: Nathan Aké (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)
Midfielders: Frenkie de Jong (Barcelona), Marten de Roon (Atalanta), Ryan Gravenberch (Ajax), Davy Klaassen (Ajax), Teun Koopmeiners (AZ), Quincy Promes (Spartak Moskva), Jurriën Timber (Ajax), Donny van de Beek (Manchester United), Georginio Wijnaldum (Liverpool)
Forwards: Steven Berghuis (Feyenoord), Luuk de Jong (Sevilla), Memphis Depay (Lyon), Cody Gakpo (PSV), Donyell Malen (PSV Eindhoven), Wout Weghorst (Wolfsburg)
Ukraine’s qualification in the European Championship is a confirmation of an effective and sensible football system that has been developed internally for years. As a consequence, most of the players in the squad represent Dynamo Kyiv and Shakhtar Donetsk.
Andriy Shevchenko’s team overcame Portugal in the group stages. Defeating the current Euro champions is certainly an important calling card. The recent EPL success of Oleksandr Zinchenko will also be required frequently. Judging by the way that Group C is composed, Ukraine has every reason to be optimistic about its chances to qualify for the knockout stage.
Goalkeepers: Georgiy Bushchan (Dynamo Kyiv), Andriy Pyatov (Shakhtar Donetsk), Anatolii Trubin (Shakhtar Donetsk)
Defenders: Oleksandr Karavaev (Dynamo Kyiv), Serhiy Kryvtsov (Shakhtar Donetsk), Mykola Matviyenko (Shakhtar Donetsk), Vitaliy Mykolenko (Dynamo Kyiv), Denys Popov (Dynamo Kyiv), Eduard Sobol (Club Brugge), Oleksandr Tymchyk (Dynamo Kyiv), Illia Zabarnyi (Dynamo Kyiv), Oleksandr Zinchenko (Manchester City)
Midfielders: Roman Bezus (Gent), Yevhen Makarenko (Kortrijk), Ruslan Malinovskyi (Atalanta), Marlos (Shakhtar Donetsk), Mykola Shaparenko (Dynamo Kyiv), Taras Stepanenko (Shakhtar Donetsk), Heorhii Sudakov (Shakhtar Donetsk), Serhiy Sydorchuk (Dynamo Kyiv), Viktor Tsygankov (Dynamo Kyiv)
Forwards: Artem Besedin (Dynamo Kyiv), Artem Dovbyk (Dnipro-1), Roman Yaremchuk (Gent), Andriy Yarmolenko (West Ham), Oleksandr Zubkov (Ferencváros)
Austria may not be known as a European powerhouse in terms of football, but performances in recent years look to change that impression. The Austrians also qualified for Euro 2016 and can count on a good set of players. Many of these players are registered with some of Bundesliga’s finest teams.
Austria qualified second out of a relatively easy group which Poland one. There may be a lack of depth in this squad. However, Das Team possesses a very strong set of starting players. Furthermore, the draw for Group C makes it a competitive affair all around.
Goalkeepers: Daniel Bachmann (Watford), Pavao Pervan (Wolfsburg), Alexander Schlager (LASK)
Defenders: David Alaba (Bayern), Aleksandar Dragović (Leverkusen), Marco Friedl (Werder Bremen), Martin Hinteregger (Frankfurt), Stefan Lainer (Mönchengladbach), Philipp Lienhart (Freiburg), Stefan Posch (Hoffenheim), Andreas Ulmer (Salzburg)
Midfielders: Julian Baumgartlinger (Leverkusen), Christoph Baumgartner (Hoffenheim), Florian Grillitsch (Hoffenheim), Stefan Ilsanker (Frankfurt), Konrad Laimer (Leipzig), Valentino Lazaro (Internazionale), Karim Onisiwo (Mainz), Marcel Sabitzer (Leipzig), Louis Schaub (Luzern), Xaver Schlager (Wolfsburg), Alessandro Schöpf (Schalke), Christopher Trimmel (Union Berlin)
Forwards: Marko Arnautović (Shanghai Port), Michael Gregoritsch (Augsburg), Sasa Kalajdzic (Stuttgart)
Out of the teams to managed qualification to Euro 2020, North Macedonia is one of the biggest surprises. The team finished third in their qualification group. Their participation, however, is due to their success in the Nations League.
North Macedonia has never qualified for a European Championship. However, at first glance, they possess a strong and generally experienced squad. Players like Ezgjan Alioski, Eljif Elmas, and, especially, Goran Pandev will be familiar to most football fans. Showing the same type of work ethic and, with a bit of luck, Macedonia could achieve something memorable at this edition of the Euro.
North Macedonia squad:
Goalkeepers: Stole Dimitrievski (Rayo Vallecano), Risto Jankov (Rabotnicki), Damjan Siskovski (Doxa Katokopia)
Defenders: Egzijan Alioski (Leeds), Egzon Bejtulai (Shkëndija), Visar Musliu (Fehérvár), Kire Ristevski (Újpest), Stefan Ristovski (Dinamo Zagreb), Darko Velkovski (Rijeka), Gjoko Zajkov (Charleroi)
Midfielders: Arijan Ademi (Dinamo Zagreb), Enis Bardi (Levante), Darko Churlinov (Stuttgart), Eljif Elmas (Napoli), Feran Hasani (Partizani), Tihomir Kostadinov (Ružomberok), Boban Nikolov (Lecce), Milan Ristovski (Spartak Trnava), Stefan Spirovski (AEK Larnaca)
Forwards: Daniel Avramovski (Kayserispor), Goran Pandev (Genoa), Marjan Radeski (Akademija Pandev), Vlatko Stojanovski (Chambly), Aleksandar Trajkovski (Mallorca), Ivan Tričkovski (AEK Larnaca), Krste Velkovski (Sarajevo)
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