Netherlands vs. Austria Euro 2020 Odds, Pick, Betting Prediction: Can Austrian Midfield Make Things Difficult?

Netherlands vs. Austria Euro 2020 Odds, Pick, Betting Prediction: Can Austrian Midfield Make Things Difficult? article feature image
Credit:

Daniel Mihailescu – Pool/Getty Images. Pictured: Marko Arnautovic of Austria celebrates with Konrad Laimer.

  • Netherlands is a big favorite over Austria on Thursday in Euro 2020 group play (3 p.m. ET, ESPN) as both sides jockey for position atop Group C.
  • The Dutch beat Ukraine in a thriller in their opener, while Austria dispatched of North Macedonia.
  • B.J. Cunningham breaks down his Netherlands vs. Austria pick and preview below.

Euro 2020: Netherlands vs. Austria Odds

Netherlands Odds -180
Austria Odds +500
Draw +325
Over/Under 2.5 (-137 / +114)
Day | Time Thursday | 3 p.m. ET
TV ESPN
Odds updated Wednesday afternoon via DraftKings.

Two teams atop Group C meet in Amsterdam, as the Netherlands battles Austria.

Netherlands secured a 3-2 victory over Ukraine in their opening match, but made it unnecessarily nerve-racking, allowing two goals in a four-minute span late in the second half after dominating the first 75 minutes of the match. A victory would secure a place for the Dutch in the knockout stage and all but guarantee winning Group C given they face off with North Macedonia in their final group stage match. So, expect the Dutch to come out on the front foot against the Austrians.

Austria were very impressive in their opening match against North Macedonia, walking away with a 3-1 win and completely dominating the game. The Austrian midfield is about as solid as you’ll see in this tournament and will need to dominate the match if Austria are going to get a result on the road.

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Netherlands’ Success Runs Through Midfield

The Netherlands looked fantastic and quite frankly dominated about 86 minutes of their game against Ukraine, but this match is going to be much more difficult, and it’s quite honestly going to be a fascinating battle in the midfield. Peter DeBoer went with a 3-5-2 against Ukraine mainly because I think he wanted to have as many wide players as possible to beat Ukraine from the perimeter, which was successful.

The Dutch have a fantastic mixture of young talent and experience, and I think the thing most people are undervaluing the Netherlands on is their defense. Obviously they won’t have the best center backs in the world as Virgil van Djik is not fit enough to play in the Euros, but they still have Mattijs de Ligt who missed the match against Ukraine, but will be back for Thursday’s match, which makes a world of a difference for the Dutch because he is the best defender on their roster.

They also have Inter Milan defender Stephan de Vrij, who was a key part of their Serie A title-winning defense. Even though Ukraine scored two goals, they only created 0.70 expected goals for the match. It’s going to be much more difficult for Austria going forward in attack than it was against North Macedonia. 

The key in this game is going to be in the midfield. Marten de Roon, Georginio Wijnaldum and Frenkie de Jong are going to have to control the game and keep the pace frenetic because otherwise Austria’s midfield will turn this match into a slow, defensive slugfest.

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Can Austria Win The Midfield Battle?

Austria’s midfield combination of Marcel Sabitzer, Konrad Laimer and Xaver Schalger showed just how good they are as a group, with Sabitzer being the more attacking, creative midfielder and Schlager and Laimer being more of the defensive ball winners. Then of course David Alaba was the best player on the field in the North Macedonia match, so they are going to make life difficult for Netherlands to control the midfield like they did against Ukraine.

Austria also came out in a 3-5-1-1 formation, which isn’t a surprise because Austria tends to change up their formations a lot, but it will be interesting to see how defensive they come out because one point in this match and one point against Ukraine in their final group stage match would be good enough for second place in this group. 

Things won’t come as easy for Austria as they did against North Macedonia, but given the unpredictability with their formations, along with their solid midfield, they could control this game and get a result in Amsterdam.

Betting Analysis & Pick

I really think Austria’s midfield is going to give Netherlands some problems and won’t allow the Dutch to play an open, free-flowing game like they want to. The Austrians also showed how dangerous they can be on the counter, so I expect them to get a result in this match.

Since I only have the Netherlands projected at -114, I think there is some value in backing the Austrian’s spread of +1 at -113 odds (DraftKings).

Pick: Austria +1 (-113)

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