Netherlands vs Ukraine: Can Dutch reinvent themselves and reclaim former glories?

The Netherlands are not a strong favourite for Euro 2020, but might that actually help them?

When: Sunday June 13, 20:00 GMT

How to watch: ITV

Where: Amsterdam Arena, Netherlands

Best Bets

Memphis Depay to score from outside the area at 9/1 (Sky Bet)

Roman Yaremchuk to score first and draw full time result at 36/1 (Paddy Power)

Netherlands to win 2-0 at 13/2 (Bet365)

It didn't quite feel right to have a major international tournament without the Netherlands in Russia in 2018, and we get to welcome them back with open arms when they face Ukraine.

The game will kick off the action in Group C, which is definitely one of the weaker ones with Austria and North Macedonia the other teams contesting it.

That perhaps takes the pressure off this one, but that might make for a much more open game than many will be in the first round of matches.

Past meetings

Ukraine 1-1 Netherlands (Friendly - August 11, 2010)

This will only actually be the third time these teams have ever played each other, with the most recent coming a whopping 11 years ago.

It was one of those games when nothing really happened in 89 minutes, yet the minute it did produce was full-on crazy.

Former Sunderland man Jeremain Lens put the Dutch ahead in the 73rd minute, with Olexandr Aliyev levelling things up seconds later.

Netherlands 3-0 Ukraine (Friendly - May 24, 2008)

The sides met in a Euro 2008 warm-up and Holland showed why they were one of the pre-tournament favourites back then.

Former Liverpool duo Dirk Kuyt and Ryan Babel were among the scorers, with Klaas Jan Huntelaar bagging the other.

As so often happens, the Netherlands disappointed when the real business started, losing to Russia in the quarterfinals.

Are the Netherlands back?

Memphis Depay Netherlands Jun21
Memphis Depay Netherlands Jun21

We have to be realistic and say this Holland side is unlikely to live up to previous vintages.

It's pretty much impossible to think of the European Championships without seeing Marco Van Basten's iconic volley in 1988 in your mind, and the current generation are not going to thrill with individual brilliance in the same kind of a way.

Oddly, that might help them. The blending of big egos has always been a problem for Holland in the past and it has made them less than the sum of their parts.

However, without the star names of yesteryear - and the egos that come with them - a more coherent and consistent Netherlands just might emerge.

Netherlands squad

Goalkeepers: Jasper Cillessen, Tim Krul, Maarten Stekelenburg

Defenders: Nathan Ake, Daley Blind, Matthijs de Ligt, Stefan de Vrij, Denzel Dumfries, Jurriem Timber, Patrick van Aanholt, Joel Veltman, Owen Wijndal

Midfielders: Frenkie de Jong, Marten de Roon, Ryan Gravenberch, Davy Klaassen, Teun Koopmeiners, Georginio Wijnaldum

Forwards: Steven Berghuis, Luuk de Jong, Memphis Depay, Cody Gakpo, Donyell Malen, Quincy Promes, Wout Weghorst

Don't underestimate Ukraine

Andriy Shevchenko Ukraine Oct19
Andriy Shevchenko Ukraine Oct19

Andriy Shevchenko is best remembered for tearing up Serie A with AC Milan back in the day, but he has spent the last couple of years building a very decent Ukraine team.

There is a splattering of quality throughout the side, with Atlanta's Ruslan Malinovskyi, Oleksandr Zinchenko of Manchester City and Dynamo Kiev winger Viktor Tsygankov.

There is also the threat of Roman Yeremchuk up front to consider. He has been banging them in this season, although only in Belgium. If he can step up a level, though, he might just be able to give Ukraine the cutting edge to make them a team everyone will want to avoid.

Ukraine squad

Goalkeepers: Georgiy Bushchan, Andriy Pyatov, Anatolii Trubin

Defenders: Eduard Sobol, Illia Zabarnyi, Serhiy Kryvtsov, Denys Popov, Oleksandr Tymchyk, Vitaliy Mykolenko, Oleksandr Karavaev, Mykola Matviyenko

Midfielders: Serhiy Sydorchuk, Ruslan Malinovskyi, Mykola Shaparenko, Marlos, Yevhen Makarenko, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Viktor Tsygankov, Taras Stepanenko, Andriy Yarmolenko, Oleksandr Zubkov, Heorhii Sudakov, Roman Bezus

Forwards: Roman Yaremchuk, Artem Besedin, Artem Dovbyk

International head-to-head

Netherlands wins: 1

Draws: 1

Ukraine wins: 0

Goalscorer bets

You can find Memphis Depay among the betting for the tournament's top goalscorer, so he is certainly one to keep an eye on here.

The former Manchester United man is a serious threat from set-pieces as well as open play, and almost certainly the main man for the Netherlands this summer.

You can back him to score anytime at around 13/10 or first at 7/2.

For Ukraine it is hard to look past Yeremchuk, who is 4/1 anytime and 10/1 for the first goal

READ MORE: Kieffer Moore's late equaliser keeps Welsh dreams alive at Euro 2020