Netherlands Can Pass Austria Test

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The Netherlands' home advantage could be key as they take on Austria in what could very well be the Group C decider.

Netherlands striker Wout Weghorst

The Netherlands take on Austria at the Johan Cruijff Arena in Amsterdam on Thursday in Euro 2020 Group C and a home win could be on the cards in the final fixture of the day.

Both sides kicked off their respective campaigns with victories as the Dutch downed Ukraine 3-2, while Austria beat minnows North Macedonia 3-1.

The Netherlands may again be without centre-half Matthijs de Ligt, who was ruled out of the win against Ukraine with a groin injury, and if he does miss out Ajax teenager Jurrien Timber is expected to keep his place in the starting XI.

Austria are without suspended forward Marko Arnautovic, who serves a one-game ban after Uefa found him guilty of “insulting another player” in their tournament opener.

Home Comforts Key for Dutch

The Netherlands looked to be on course for a comfortable win over Ukraine after opening up a 2-0 lead just before the hour mark. Frank de Boer’s men could have built up a bigger advantage had it not been for some sloppy finishing, but two goals in the space of four minutes saw Ukraine draw level before PSV defender Denzel Dumfries scored a late winner.

Austria made hard work of beating North Macedonia after veteran striker Goran Pandev cancelled out Stefan Lainer’s opener, but two goals in the final 12 minutes ensured they took all three points.

This fixture may well decide who wins Group C and the fact the Netherlands are at home is a significant advantage. The Dutch are 4/6 to win, while the 2/1 on offer for a home with an both teams to score appeals given De Ligt’s likely absence and the fact they conceded two against Ukraine.

In-Form Weghorst Can Add to Account

Wout Weghorst scored the Netherlands’ second goal against Ukraine and he looks a strong contender to get among the goals again against the Austrians.

Weghorst now has two goals in his last two games for his country having found the net in a warm-up friendly against Georgia, and as the focal point in a talented Dutch attack he is likely to see a few chances come his way on Thursday.

The 27-year-old scored 20 goals in 34 Bundesliga games for Wolfsburg last season to help them qualify for the Champions League, and has carried that fine domestic form into Euro 2020 with the Netherlands after his strike in the previous game.

Weghorst is 33/20 to score at anytime, or 7/2 to score first.

Goals Could Be on the Cards

Both teams showed defensive frailties in their opening fixtures and both look better going forward than they do defending. That is usually a recipe for goals and that may well be the case in this fixture as the two teams chase a win that would essentially guarantee them a place in the next round.

The Oranje may well be without their defensive lynchpin in De Ligt, while Austria have found clean sheets hard to come by of late with just one in their last eight games.

Both teams to score is an option at 5/6 but the better bet could be over 2.5 goals at the same price. There have been over 2.5 goals scored in seven of the last eight games involving the hosts and there have been at least three goals scored in four of the last seven games involving the Austrians.

*All odds correct at time of writing.

Gareth has been writing about a variety of sports for many years and for a number of publications. Tennis football and the NBA are particular favourites, but Gareth has wide-ranging interests across the sporting spectrum.

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