We continue our special about the Euro 2021 this weekend, now, bringing the details of Group C of the competition. The Netherlands are the big favorites, and even with the confirmation of an important absence in the last few days, they are still the strongest team in the group. However, the promise is that the duels are not easy in this first round.
This is because Ukraine and Austria will fight point for point to second place in the tournament and also have enough potential to complicate life for the Dutch. Last but not least, the group is made up of North Macedonia, which is the big underdog in the group but should be a bit of a challenge. After all, in a recent duel, the team has already surprised Germany and showed that they will not go to the European Championship for anything.
Even without Van Dijk, Netherlands remain favorites
The Dutch national team received a sad confirmation at the beginning of May. Defender Virgil Van Dijk, one of the best defenders in the world, will not recover in time to play the Eurocup. Even with the absence of the athlete, the team coached by Frank de Boer is still very much favored in Group C of the competition. The Oranje will go to the tournament trying to repeat the feat of 1988 when they won the cup.
The Dutch had some trouble qualifying for the tournament. The team finished second in Group C of the European Championship Qualifying Group, behind Germany, and ahead of Northern Ireland in the direct fight for a spot. Now, the Netherlands wants to make good on their favoritism and finish top of the group. According to Bet365, the odds for that to happen are at 1.40.
Ukraine is counting on Shevchenko to make history
As a player, Andriy Shevchenko was the greatest scorer in the history of the national team of Ukraine and also responsible for the team’s largest participation in official tournaments, in this case, the World Cup 2006. Now, as a coach, the Ukrainian soccer idol hopes to make history again and lead the team, for the first time, to a final phase of the European Championship. And the possibility of this happening seems high.
The odds for a possible Ukrainian qualification, for example, are at 1.28, at Bet365. That is, the chances are high. This is because the Ukrainians are the second force in Group C and should at least get a place via playoffs. The team’s full potential was already shown in the Qualifiers, when the team overcame Portugal and was at the top of Group B, without losing a game.
Based on German soccer, Austria wants to advance
Another team trying for the first time in history to advance to the knockout stage of the European Championship is Austria. The team led by Franco Foda, just like Ukraine, has a good chance of reaching the last 16, even if it is via a playoff. The great hope for this goal is in German soccer, after all, in the last call-up, for example, 15 of the 23 players on the list were from the Bundesliga.
Even though the Austrians finished second in Group G in qualifying, they didn’t have much trouble qualifying. Now, the idea is once again not to suffer and earn a place in the last 16, preferably with the first or second position in the group. The odds for Austria to advance in the European Championship are 1.40, according to Bet365.
North Macedonia tries to surprise again
Last March 31st, North Macedonia surprised everyone and beat Germany, 2-1, away from home, in a World Cup Qualifier. The result was proof that the Macedonians can give trouble in this edition of the European Championship, in the first participation in history in the tournament. However, qualification for the round of 16 is still unlikely.
The odds for a possible advance of Igor Angelovski’s team are 3.40, according to Bet365. Based on the bookmaker’s odds, the Macedonians are the third biggest underdogs in the European Championship behind Hungary and Finland. However, for those who managed to get a place in the playoffs, any victory or point gained in the competition will already be of great value.
In the opening round of Group C, we have the confrontation between the two strongest teams, at least on paper, in the group, Netherlands and Ukraine, and the clash between Austria and North Macedonia. Both games will be played on June 13, a Sunday. As soon as the tournament gets closer, we will make the predictions for these and all other UEFA Euro matches available here at Betarena.