Tactical Preview for Netherlands EURO 2024

A tactical preview for Netherlands National Football Team playing in EURO 2024

The Netherlands arrive at Euro 2024 as rank outsiders to reign supreme in Germany amid a questionable run of form under Ronald Koeman. Oranje qualified with a second-place finish in Group B, finishing behind one of the tournament’s favorites, France. They won six and lost two of eight games, performing well against the lesser-fancied nations.

The one-time European Champions performed fairly well at the 2022 FIFA World Cup, while Louis van Gaal was in charge. They made it to the quarterfinals but crashed out to eventual winners Argentina on penalties. Koeman succeeded Van Gaal in January 2023 after coaching the national team from February 2018 to August 2020. He’s overseen eight wins in 13 games and been under pressure amid a topsy-turvy tenure.

Ronald Koeman will be eager to prove his doubters wrong by guiding the Netherlands to glory and winning Euro 2024. We look at what to expect from  Het Nederlands Elftal as they kickstart their campaign in arguably the group of death with France, Poland, and Austria.

Predicted lineup of the Netherlands National Football Team playing in EUROs

The Netherlands often play in a 3-4-1-2 formation, which allows them to focus on possessional play as they look to build from the back. They’ll likely do this through Brentford’s Mark Flekken. Ronald Koeman plays with three at the back and perhaps boasts the most reliable set of defenders in the tournament.

Virgil van Dijk will captain the Dutch side, likely alongside Manchester City’s Nathan Aké and Inter Milan’s Stefan de Vrij. The trio is extremely experienced, while Tottenham Hotspur’s Micky van de Ven is another option that highlights the team’s depth.

Ronald Koeman could choose Inter’s Denzel Dumfries and Girona’s Daley Blind as his wingbacks despite the latter aging. The veteran defender has been a mainstay in the Netherlands’ first team for many years, and his know-how and versatility could be vital. Bayer Leverkusen’s Jeremie Frimpong could be knocking on the door for a starting role amid a stellar club season as he also bagged a goal and assist in a 4-0 pre-Euros friendly win against Canada.

Oranje’s midfield is perhaps its weakest point, especially as Barcelona superstar Frenkie De Jong has withdrawn due to injury. The manager has no elite names to choose from, and the Blaugrana playmaker’s absence will be majorly detrimental. PSV’s Jerdy Schouten could be a starter after an impressive season in the Eredivisie and sit alongside AC Milan’s shining star Tijjani Reijnders.

The Netherlands’ shining light is Xavi Simons, who could be crucial for their hopes of success in Germany. The young attacker was excellent on loan at RB Leipzig last season, posting 10 goals and 15 assists in 43 games across competitions. He could start in a frontline alongside Liverpool’s Cody Gakpo, who will want to impress after a slow start at Anfield.

Wout Weghorst will likely spearhead the Dutch attack, as Memphis Depay deals with fitness issues despite his selection. The veteran striker enjoyed a fine 2022 World Cup campaign but needs to prove his worth as Depay was in fine form at the end of last season.

Starting XI: Mark Flekken (GK); Virgil van Dijk (C), Stefan de Vrij, Nathan Aké; Denzel Dumfries, Daley Blind; Tijjani Reijnders, Jerdy Schouten; Xavi Simons, Cody Gakpo, Wout Weghorst

Netherlands expected XI
Netherlands’ likely starting XI for Euro 2024 (Credits: Getty)

Also Read: A tactical preview for France National Football Team playing in EURO 2024

Team Strengths

  • Strong defensive options – Ronald Koeman is spoilt for choice in defense as he has a wide variety of options that offer something different. He has arguably the most dependable center-back in Virgil van Dijk. Experienced troops such as Stefan De Vrij and Daley Blind with youthful talent like Jeremie Frimpong and Micky van de Ven.
  • Flexible formation Koeman has shown he’s not afraid to shake things up and change formation to suit the opposition his troops come up against. He often alternates between a back three and a 4-3-3, with the latter allowing Simons and Gakpo to race forward and latch onto De Jong’s through balls.
  • Manager’s experience – Oranje have one of the most experienced managers who has previously coached Barcelona and in the Premier League. He missed out on the chance to take his nation to a major tournament during his first reign but will do so on this occasion. The Dutchman will be looking to impress after a disappointing spell at Camp Nou.

Team Weaknesses

  • Injury crisis – Ronald Koeman has an injury curse to deal with as three-star men dealt with problems last season. De Jong has just pulled out of the tournament and that significantly decreases his nation’s hopes of a successful campaign. Feyenoord goalkeeper Justin Bijlow nursed a calf issue last season while Depay had muscle issues that plagued his Atlético campaign.
  • Shaky qualification campaign – The Netherlands took until the penultimate game of their qualifying campaign to book their place at Euro 2024. They put in several unconvincing performances including a 4-0 loss to France. They will need to show vast improvement to do well in Germany.
  • Lack of previous success – Oranje have only won the European Championship once and that was in 1988 while Koeman was still playing. They’ve never won a World Cup, finishing runners-up on three occasions. That lack of trophy success could be an issue given they are unfamiliar with getting the job done.

Netherlands EURO 2024 Key Players to Watch Out For

  • Virgil van Dijk—The Liverpool captain will be key for the Netherlands in Germany, especially in the tough group they’ve been handed. He was at his best at club level for the Merseysiders, the most comfortable he’s looked in years after his ACL injury four years ago. Oranje’s skipper has earned 68 caps and will lead his nation for the second time at a major tournament.
Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk
Liverpool Captain Virgil van Dijk (Credits: Getty)
  • Xavi Simons—The Dutch attacker is one of the most exciting attacking talents. He lit up the Bundesliga last season and has been linked with Barcelona and several other European giants amid a meteoric rise. The versatile forward will wear the No.7 and could shine similarly to icons such as Arjen Robben and Frank Rijkaard and Ruud Gullit.
RB Leipzig's Xavi Simons
RB Leipzig loanee Xavi Simons (Credits: Getty)
  • Tijjani ReijndersThe 25-year-old enjoyed a breakout season at AC Milan after arriving from AZ Alkmaar last summer. He’s excelled in Serie A with eye-catching performances. The versatile midfielder posted four goals and as many assists in 50 games across competitions, making him an ever-present at the San Siro. He’ll need to shine for the Dutch to be able to deal with Frenkie de Jong’s absence.
AC Milan's Tijjani Reijnders
AC Milan star Tijjani Reijnders (Credits: Getty)


The Netherlands will head to Euro 2024 as underdogs and may just like that label. They have been handed a nightmare with Frenkie de Jong pulling out with an injury and this has had a massive impact on Ronald Koeman’s team. Their group is a tough one and they might be happy to make it past the last 16.

Also Read: A tactical preview for Italy National Football Team playing in EURO 2024

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