Netherlands vs Ukraine: How to watch, kick-off time, teams news, predicted lineups and ones to watch
Photo: UEFA

Frank de Boer and his Dutch side will be wanting to open their Euro 2020 campaign in style as they host Ukraine at the Johan Cruijff Arena

Holland are in group C alongside Austria, North Macedonia and Sunday's opponents Ukraine. The Oranje, on paper, will see this group as an easy route to the knockout stages; they clearly have the talent and should progress through.  Getting off to a winning start on Sunday will be the boost the squad need and will give hope to the supporters who are yet to be convinced De Boer is the right man for the job.

As for Ukraine, they are led by Andriy Shevchenko, a former striker who scored 48 goals in 111 appearances. Shevchenko will want to prove the doubters and the stats wrong - Ukraine have never made it to a knock-out stage of a European championship before. Could this year be different? The 44-year-old has impressed in the run-up to Euro 2020, beating current holders Portugal but have failed to impress in the World Cup Qualifiers. 

Team News 

Donny van de Beek has been forced to pull out of the camp due to a niggling injury in his groin. The midfielder took to Instagram to open up about his heartbreaking exit.

He said: “As you may have already learned, I, unfortunately, had to leave the team due to a groin injury. A big disappointment, especially because it would be my first European Championship and unfortunately I can't be there now.

“I want to thank you for all the sweet messages I have received, it means a lot to me. I want to wish the players, the staff, and last but not least the fans a great European Championship.”

Liverpool defender Virgil Van Dijk also will be a big miss. The experienced 29-year-old wasn't called up to De Boers squad; he is still nursing a knee injury he sustained in October 2020.

De Boer's second-best centre back option, Matthijs de Ligt is also a doubt too. The 21-year-old picked up a knock in training and never featured in the victory over Georgia. He is now training again and is pushing to be fit for Sunday's fixture.  

The question for Ukraine is what system Shevchenko will adopt. With Ukraine likely to have less of the ball and be under pressure for large spells it's up to the 44-year-old to either stick to his routes with his preferred 4-3-3 or switch it up and go for a 3-5-2/5-3-2. The latter got them a well-earned draw against France in the build-up. 

Ones To Watch

Memphis Depay couldn't be in finer form ahead of the European championships; the Dutchman has registered 12 assists and scored a staggering 20 goals in Ligue 1 for Lyon. If the 27-year-old can take his form from the league and produce with the weight of his national team on his shoulders, then Holland supporters will be in for a treat this summer.  

Gent striker Roman Yaremchuk will also be a player looking to emulate his club form. The 25-year-old has scored 20 goals this season for Gent. Yaremchuk will be key to linking up play between his fellow teammates - he is particularly strong at holding on to the ball and knows when to pick a key pass. 

Predicted XI 

Netherlands: Tim Krul, Denzel Dumfries; Matthijs de Ligt, Stefan de Vrij; Owen Wijndal, Frankie de Jong; Georginio Wijnaldum, Davy Klaassen; Steven Berghuis, Memphis Depay; Wout Weghorst.

Ukraine: Bushchan; Karavaev, Zabarnyi, Matviyenko, Mykolenko; Zinchenko, Sydorchuk, Malinovskyi; Yarmolenko, Yaremchuk, Zubkov.

A Word from the Managers 

Although the Dutch have a better team on paper, Frank de Boer still recognises that Ukraine will be a dangerous proposition: 

"Ukraine have some really good players, so they're not easy to beat. The Eastern European countries will always have quality players. I’m expecting three very tough group games, and, if we play our game, we should go through to the next round.”

Andriy Shevchenko understands they have to make history and get through the group stages: 

"The main task for the team is to go through the group stage. We understand that we will have to play against very strong teams and that the Netherlands are one of the favourites. The main thing is that we have a certain style we are playing and we will not change that. We have our own principles which we abide by. So we might have an opportunity to play 4-3-3 or, for example, 3-5-2, but our own principles will not change.”

Where To Watch 

The game will broadcast live on ITV as part of the EURO 2020 coverage, with kick-off being at 20:00 BST.