Netherlands Euro 2024 Preview | Tactical Analysis & Final Verdict

Netherlands Euro 2024 Preview | Tactical Analysis & Final Verdict article feature image

BJ Cunningham, Cyriel Klitsie/Action Network. Pictured: Virgil van Dijk.

The Netherlands comes into the Euros after making it to the quarterfinals of the World Cup and narrowly losing to Argentina.

The Dutch are now under Ronald Koeman, which is now his second stint as the Dutch National Team manager, but this is his first major international tournament in charge. The Netherlands were good in qualifying against everyone not named France. They won all six matches against Greece, Ireland and Gibraltar, but they did lose to France twice.

Netherlands will see France again in the group stage and given the squad that's been assembled, they are lacking offensive firepower.

Here's my Netherlands Euro 2024 preview.

Tactical Analysis

Netherlands' build up is a little different than most teams. The Dutch have seemingly always played out of 3-4-3 regardless of who is the manager, but their build resembles that of either a 3-4 or 2-4 with the two midfielders dropping deep to try and create an overload through the first and second phases of build up.

The problem with having essentially seven guys deep in build up is it makes it a lot harder to overload the last line of defense, which meant that the Netherlands weren't able to overwhelm low block teams like Ireland or Greece in their group.

To be fair to the Netherlands their best midfielder Frankie De Jong was only able to play for two of their eight qualifying matches. With him in the side for the Euros, it should allow the Dutch to push more guys forward with his ability to conduct their build up.

When they enter the final third, it’s all about creating wide overloads because that is where their best players are. Xavi Simons typically occupies the left half space for RB Leipzig, but he plays more wide for the Dutch, who always are trying to get into 4 v 3 situations. The other reason they do that is because the Dutch severely lack fire power up front in the striker department with Donyell Malen, Memphis Depay and Wout Weghorst being their best options.

They will typically sit in a 5-3-2 trying to stay very narrow to deny space through the middle. Forwards will make curved runs to press the opposing center back to push the ball out wide and create traps up against the line.

Since they don’t press at a high rate, they have a very low amount of high recoveries and put more of a premium on not getting beat in transition. While they are allowing a very low amount of counterattack shots comparatively to the rest of the Euro field, they are allowing one of the highest long ball and cross completion rates, which is a downside of playing so passively when you’re out of possession.


data via WyScout

Final Verdict

The Netherlands have outstanding center backs, midfielder and wing backs, but the attack leaves a lot to be desired. The three options they are going to go with are most likely Cody Gakpo (who is not a true striker), Memphis Depay (barely played for Atletico Madrid this season) and Wout Weghorst (terrible numbers at Hoffenheim).

If you remove their two matches against Gibralter, the Netherlands averaged 1.40 xG per 90 minutes, which is 19th in the Euro field and there were four penalties included in there as well.

This attack is what is going to hold them back, but their defense is about as good as anybody in this tournament, so they may be playing a lot of lower event matches.

I think the Netherlands are a little overvalued in the futures market, but I think there is more value simply betting against them on a match to match basis.

Pick: Pass

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