The criticism of the Netherlands 3-5-2 formation has recently died away. The team’s attacking performance in Sunday’s 3-2 Euro 2020 triumph over Ukraine appears to have put an end to the argument at least for now about which system coach Frank de Boer should use.
In the team’s second Group C match against Austria on Thursday at the Johan Cruyff Arena, anticipate the same lineup of three defenders, five midfielders including wingbacks on each flank, and two forwards.
“I think we’ve shown that 3-5-2 can be very attacking as well,” Netherlands defender Stefan de Vrij said. “Within 10 minutes, I think we had like seven shots.”
Some Dutch supporters want the squad to play a 4-3-3 formation, which consists of four defenders, three midfielders, and three forwards. Before the match versus Ukraine, one individual chartered a jet to send the message home.
Both the Dutch and the Austrians won their initial matches at Euro 2020, putting them in a position to advance if they win again. The top two teams from each of the six groups, as well as the four best third-place teams, advance to the knockout stage.
Austria is in first place in Group C after a 3-1 win over North Macedonia in their first match. It was the country’s first major event victory in 31 years, and its first-ever at the European Championship.
However, the celebrations were cut short. The North Macedonian soccer federation has petitioned UEFA to penalise Austria striker Marko Arnautovi for making a nationalist outburst after scoring in a match in Bucharest.
The tirade, according to the federation, was directed towards Ezgjan Alioski, an Albanian. Arnautovi was born in Serbia to a Serbian father and an Austrian mother.
Arnautović wrote on Instagram that he was sorry for what happened and acknowledged “some heated words yesterday in the emotions of the game for which I would like to apologize – especially to my friends from North Macedonia and Albania.”
Back on the field, according to one of his mates, Netherlands defender Matthijs de Ligt, who missed the first encounter due to injury, should return on Thursday.
Austria defender Martin Hinteregger stated that the Netherlands game will be substantially different from the team’s first game.