Poland Vs Netherland Match Preview (1 Viewer)

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Group D kicks off at Euro 2024 with Poland and the Netherlands facing off at Hamburg's Volksparkstadion on Sunday. Poland scraped into the finals through a playoff, while the Netherlands qualified comfortably and are aiming for their second European title.

Arriving in Germany with a five-match winning streak, Poland is playing in their fifth consecutive major tournament and hopes to advance to the knockout phase despite a tough group.

Poland's hopes have taken a hit with Robert Lewandowski's recent injury, which sidelines their star player for Sunday's opener. However, they still carry strong momentum. After a brief and unsuccessful stint with Euro 2016 winner Fernando Santos as coach, Michal Probierz took over and led Poland to victory in the playoffs, beating Estonia and Wales to secure their spot in the finals.

In recent warm-up friendlies, Poland defeated Ukraine 3-1 and Turkey 2-1, with five different players scoring, suggesting they can cope without Lewandowski. Despite this, Poland's history at the Euros is not encouraging, with only two wins in 14 matches. They have never beaten the Netherlands in 12 games since 1979, and this will be their first encounter at a major tournament.

The Netherlands, participating in their 11th European Championship, famously won the trophy the last time UEFA's main event was held exclusively in Germany in 1988. Although they have reached the semi-finals more often than any team except Germany, they haven't made it to the final four in 20 years. Ronald Koeman's current squad aims to change that.

In Group D, which also features favorites France and an improving Austria, the Netherlands' first goal is to make it to the knockout rounds. Recent results suggest this is well within their reach. After a 4-0 win over Canada and another 4-0 victory against Iceland, the Dutch are full of confidence. They had also won four of their previous six matches, with their only losses coming against France and Germany.

The Dutch team, led by captain Virgil van Dijk, is strong in defense and attack. Van Dijk scored in both warm-up games, and while the absence of Frenkie de Jong in midfield is a blow, the squad remains optimistic about their chances this summer.

INJURIES & SUSPENSION​

With both Robert Lewandowski, Poland's all-time top scorer at the Euros, and Juventus striker Arkadiusz Milik sidelined due to injuries, coach Michal Probierz will need to get creative with his attacking lineup.

Despite an ankle issue, Karol Swiderski might play as a 'false nine' this weekend, or Krzysztof Piatek could be used in a more traditional striker role to lead the Polish offense.

Veteran goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny, with 82 caps, will start in goal, while Italy-based star Piotr Zielinski will orchestrate the midfield.

For the Netherlands, Memphis Depay or Brian Brobbey will likely be chosen as the main striker, with Wout Weghorst also an option.

Following Frenkie de Jong's withdrawal due to an ankle injury, and with Atalanta BC's Marten De Roon and Teun Koopmeiners also out, full-back Ian Maatsen was called up as cover. However, Nathan Ake or Micky van de Ven is expected to start on the left side of defense.

Denzel Dumfries, who provided five assists in Euro 2024 qualifying—second only to Portugal's Bruno Fernandes—is set to feature on the right, keeping Bayer Leverkusen's Jeremie Frimpong on the bench.

POSSIBLE LINE-UPS​

Poland possible starting lineup:
Szczesny; Bednarek, Dawidowicz, Kiwior; Slisz; Frankowski, Zielinski, Piotrowski, Szymanski, Zalewski; Swiderski

Netherlands possible starting lineup:
Verbruggen; Dumfries, Van Dijk, Ake, Van de Ven; Schouten, Veerman; Simons, Reijnders, Gakpo; Depay

EXPERT PREDICTION​

Poland 1-2 Netherlands
Both teams have been hit by injuries, but they can't dwell on their misfortune with such tough competition in Group D.

Even without a standout striker, the Netherlands have goal threats across the field. They should capitalize on Poland's offensive struggles and aim to secure three points in their Euro opener.
 

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