Matthijs de Ligt is set to start against Austria in Netherlands’ second Group C match of the Euro 2020 season. The Juventus defender missed their tournament opener against Ukraine this past weekend but Frank de Boer has claimed that the centre back will feature against the Austrians.
The 21-year-old picked up a groin injury around 10 days ago in their training camp in Portugal. He even failed to make the 12-man bench on Sunday but is expected to start their next match.
Frank de Boer hasn’t spoken about which of the back three will make way for de Ligt, but it is safe to say that Stefan de Vrij will keep his place. That means if the Dutch side are going to stick to their 5-man defence, either Jurrien Timber or Daley Blind will have to make way.
“De Ligt is in very good shape, has trained well and has shown that he is completely ready,” De Boer said.
Frank de Boer was also impressed by Austria’s performance in their 3-1 win over Group C’s whipping boys North Macedonia.
Asked what impression they had made on him, De Boer answered: “A good one. They can play different systems from what I’ve seen. It’s a good team, lots of Red Bull (Salzburg) players. Then you know what happens: Volgassfussball (full gas football).”
The Dutch coach also expressed his thoughts about Marko Arnautovic’s 1-match ban for his goal celebration against North Macedonia.
“I saw that there was an investigation, but I don’t know exactly what it was about. I am sorry for Austria, because he is a good player. It will be a loss for Austria and in that respect, it is an advantage for us,” De Boer said.
Netherlands played very well in their opening game but could have easily dropped two points due to the concession of 2 second half goals. Denzel Dumfries’ late winner ensured that they took all 3 points and a win on Thursday will more or less guarantee their place in the round of 16.