The Netherlands’ coach Frank de Boer received major criticism on his 3-5-2 formation, however, after winning against Ukraine in EURO 2020, the debate seems to have ended.
In the match against Austria that will take place on Thursday, the same formation is expected, with 3 defenders, 5 midfielders, as well as 2 attackers.
The Netherlands’ defender Stefan de Vrij said that “I think we’ve shown that 3-5-2 can be very attacking as well. Within 10 minutes, I think we had like seven shots.”
On the other hand, Dutch fans want their team to play according to the attacking system of 4-3-3, with 4 defenders, 3 midfielders, along with 3 attackers.
The Netherlands won the match against Ukraine, and it can now advance towards another win.
Austria’s defender Martin Hinteregger stated that the match against the Netherlands will be much more different than their previous opponent.
“We’ll have less of the ball, but that could be good as it will give us more chance to play on the counter,” said Hinteregger. “The Netherlands have incredible players, so we’ll need a top, united team performance to defend against their strong attacks.”
The Netherlands’ defender on the other hand, Matthijs de Ligt has now recovered after his groin injury which made him miss the first match.
Additionally, the Netherlands has won the last 6 games against Austria, with the Austrian’s last dating back to 1990 in Vienna.
An exception for the Netherlands is the goalkeeper Marten Stekelenburg who is 38 years old, and he is the oldest player that has ever played for the Dutch team in a big tournament.
“If you had asked me at the beginning of this season whether I would be the first goalkeeper during European Championship,” Stekelenburg said, “I would have laughed at you.”