Preview: Euro 2020 Group C

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Euro 2021

Group C of the 2020 UEFA European Championships sees some old faces return and new ones attempt to stand out in the crowd.

Austria, Netherlands, North Macedonia, and Ukraine make up the third group of Euro 2020 this summer. 

The group may be the least exciting on paper but there are reasons to be excited about it.

AUSTRIA

Austria will be hoping to live up to expectations this time around after a bitterly disappointing Euro 2016 campaign saw them finish bottom of their group.

The Austrian squad for this summer’s championship is full of players at the height of their career.

Austria’s talisman David Alaba will be very important for the side.

He is expected to play a more attacking role than he did for Bayern Munich this past season.

A stacked midfield also includes Bundesliga stars Marcel Sabitzer and Konrad Laimer.

Former West Ham star Marko Arnautovic will lead the line for the Austrians, possibly alongside Sabitzer or Sasa Kalajdzic.

An experienced defence will sit in front of Watford’s Daniel Bachmann, who is heading to the Euros after a successful season with the Hornets.

A ball-dominant display against England gave fans a sneak-peek at their attacking intent.

NETHERLANDS

The Netherlands is in a major tournament for the first time since their 2014 World Cup run which saw them finish third.

The side had looked to be one of the tournament favourites when Ronald Koeman was in charge, but with the loss of both him and Virgil Van Dijk, that idea has faded.

A 4-2 loss to Turkey in March exposed their weaknesses.

There are still many world-class players involved in the squad – Memphis Depay, Georginio Wijnaldum and Mathijs De Ligt to name a few – but they tend to make it look harder than it needs to be.

Young talents such as Owen Wijndal and Ryan Gravenberch could shine if given the chance, but the tactical shortcomings of their current manager Frank de Boer handicap the side.

Nonetheless, their home advantage in all three group games will help them along the way.

They should progress past the group stage, but an upset is always possible against this Dutch side.

NORTH MACEDONIA

North Macedonia are the lowest-ranked side in the European Championships this summer.

Entering through the Nations League’s bottom-tier playoff, they will be cast aside by many pundits before kicking a ball.

However, their recent victory over the German national side shows what they are capable of.

Manager Igor Angelovski sets up his side in a defensive  5-3-2 formation but they can be lethal in attack. 

Napoli’s Elif Elmas and 37-year-old Goran Pandev are very important to the side.

Although it is a slimmer chance than the other three teams, the North Macedonians could enjoy some knockout international football this summer.

UKRAINE

Ukraine is the final team involved in Group C.

The side has crept back into the spotlight of European football under the management of Andriy Shevchenko.

Wins against Portugal and Spain have given the side a lot of attention.

Furthermore, the side cruised to the top spot in their qualifying group.

Their squad for the Euros is a youthful group with several veterans also present.

The side is one of the dark horses at the tournament and could impress neutrals.

Oleksandr Zinchenko and Mykola Matvienko will be crucial in defence with Gregory Bushchan in goal behind them.

Ukraine soaks up pressure against the stronger sides in Europe and unleashes their attacking force of Yarmolenko, Yaremchuk and Malinovskyi on others.

Shevchenko’s side can progress, but this group is tighter than it appears.

Group C Fixtures: Austria v North Macedonia Sunday, 13th June 17:00. Netherlands v Ukraine Sunday, 13th June 20:00. Ukraine v North Macedonia Thursday, 17th June 14:00. Netherlands v Austria Thursday, 17th June 20:00. Ukraine v Austria Monday, 21st June 17:00. North Macedonia v Netherlands Monday, 21st June 17:00.

ENDS

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