The Netherlands are already through to the last 16 as group winners, while North Macedonia have been eliminated, but Kevin Hatchard believes we are still in for an entertaining clash in Amsterdam.
"North Macedonia have scored against Austria and Ukraine, and their commitment to attack has been refreshing. They could be outclassed here, but they'll go down swinging."
North Macedonia v Netherlands
Monday 21 June, 17:00
Live on ITV1
De Boer has made the perfect start
It's fair to say that confidence in Frank de Boer's ability to lead the Netherlands to glory at Euro 2020 was low going into the tournament. After a string of disasters, personality clashes and firings at club level, de Boer's stock wasn't exactly high when he replaced Ronald Koeman as the boss of the Oranje. However, the Dutch have beaten Ukraine 3-2 and seen off Austria 2-0, and momentum is building.
Wing-backs Patrick van Aanholt and Denzel Dumfries have stretched defences, with PSV's Dumfries scoring in both appearances so far, his first senior goals at international level. Frenkie de Jong has played with sumptuous style in midfield, while the return from injury of Juventus centre-back Matthijs de Ligt has been timely. Forwards Wout Weghorst and Memphis Depay have both scored, and seem to complement each other well as a duo.
The Netherlands have won the group with a game to spare, and it remains to be seen whether de Boer will shuffle his pack and give some of his fringe players some minutes, while resting key men. Luuk de Jong, Donyell Malen and Owen Wijndal could all come into the starting XI, as could box-to-box midfielder Davy Klaassen, who has just had an excellent season with Dutch champions Ajax.
Eliminated North Macedonia keen to make a mark
It was a terrific effort from North Macedonia to qualify for the finals of a major championship for the first time, and they certainly haven't disgraced themselves in this tournament. Austria and Ukraine were both pushed hard before those countries ultimately went on to win, and Igor Angelovski's men now only have pride to play for, with qualification for the last 16 out of reach.
37-year-old skipper Goran Pandev has been razor-sharp in attack. The Genoa forward, who scored his first goal for his country 19 years ago, scored against Austria and had a goal disallowed for offside against Ukraine. Eljif Elmas has had some nice touches, Ezgjan Alioski has been a threat down the left, and Enis Bardhi has also caught the eye in midfield.
The problem for North Macedonia has been their defending. They have leaked five goals already, and had it not been for the excellent goalkeeping of Stole Dimitrievski, that tally could have been higher. They have shown a willingness to commit men to the attack, and I don't expect that to change here.
Hosts are rightful favourites
The Netherlands have relished playing in front of fans in Amsterdam, and they'll be well supported again here. Although they had a serious wobble against Ukraine before edging a 3-2 win, they were incredibly dominant against Austria. Even a Dutch side with significant changes should have enough quality to win this, but the price of 1.351/3 in the Match Odds market holds little appeal.
You could boost that price with the Sportsbook's Bet Builder (see offer below), and combine a Dutch win with an Over 2.5 Goals bet at 1.834/5.
North Macedonia can sign off with a goal or two
North Macedonia have nothing to lose, and they'll want to have at least scored in all three group games before they bow out. Angelovski's side has found the net at least once in 28 of their last 32 matches, and I think they'll get chances here against a Dutch side that tends to let the opposition play.
Both Teams To Score is odds-against here at 2.0811/10, but if you want an even bigger price, you can back the Netherlands to win and both teams to score at 3.02/1 on the Sportsbook. A North Macedonia loss/BTTS bet has paid out in both of their games so far this term.
Memphis to strike again?
I successfully tipped Memphis Depay to score against Austria, and he is 1.84/5 to find the net again here. Keep an eye on the team news, but the Lyon man is a good option, even at odds-on. He takes penalties and free-kicks, he's always at the heart of the Netherlands' attacking play, and he has scored 12 goals in his last 13 games for club and country.
Pandev is priced at 5.59/2 to score, while penalty-taker Alioski is 8.07/1.
Kevin Hatchard Euro 2020 P/L
Points Staked: 8
Points Returned: 11.56
P/L: +3.56 points
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