Euro: Three key battles that could decide the game between Austria and Netherlands
A victory in this game would guarantee a place in the knockout stages of the competition and both teams will be up for it considering there were question marks over both teams in the build up for the tournament.
Netherlands did win their opening game in the Euros but it was by the narrowest of margins as Ukraine made a phenomenal comeback from 2-0 down and the Dutch side needed Denzel Dumfries to come up with an 85th-minute winner. Meanwhile, Austria looked much more comfortable in their 3-1 win against minnows North Macedonia but allowed the lowest ranked team of the Euros to score their first ever goal in a major tournament.
In this article, we will take a look at three key battles that could decide the outcome of the game between Netherlands and Austria.
Wout Werghost vs David Alaba
VFL Wolfsburg striker Wout Werghost’s selection in the starting XI came under severe scrutiny but the 28-year-old target man justified his place against Ukraine with his excellent build up play and nicely-taken opportunistic goal. The 6 feet 6 inches Bundesliga forward is likely line up alongside Memphis Depay against a three-man backline comprising of three Bundesliga defenders and led by David Alaba. They all know Werghost’s game well and so does the towering Dutchman and it will be an encounter to watch out for.
Gini Wijnaldum vs Konrad Laimer
Gini Wijnaldum has been the undisputed best player in the Dutch jersey over the last few years with the 30-year-old coming up with man of the match performances in almost every game. With Martin De Roon and Frenkie De Jong providing defensive cover, Wijnaldum enjoys much more freedom in the Dutch jersey when compared to Liverpool and he makes excellent use of that. Versatile RB Leipzig midfielder Konrad Laimer is likely to be handed the responsibility of keeping Wijnaldum at bay and the battle between the two ever-reliable footballers could potentially decide the game.
Frenkie De Jong vs Marcel Sabitzer
Frenkie De Jong is regarded as one of the best midfielders in the world already at the age of 24 and if the Netherlands are expected to go a long way in the Euros, the Barcelona midfield dynamo has to be at his very best. De Jong is a complete midfielder and is widely tipped to be the heir of Sergio Busquets and will face a strong challenge against Austria against RB Leipzig star Marcel Sabitzer. The 27-year-old is a footballer extremely difficult to deal with and must be kept silent if Netherlands have to avoid the spectators yet another cracker of a game after Ukraine.
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