Netherlands vs Czech Republic: Dutch dreaming of Amsterdam party, but must first solve ‘big problem’

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 (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
(POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

While Dutch fans may be dreaming of an Amsterdam canal party come July, Frank De Boer says the Netherlands must focus on their immediate task at Euro 2020 and dump out the Czech Republic.

The Oranje finished top of Group C, winning all three matches in Amsterdam on their return to a major international tournament for the first time since the 2014 World Cup.

With the likes of Belgium, Italy, Portugal and Spain all in the other half of the draw, the Dutch would appear to have a favourable route towards the semi-finals, which will be held at Wembley and could see them come up against England.

De Boer, though, is focused on the here and now against the Czechsin Budapest on Sunday, rather than what might lie ahead.

“Which opponents are in form is an afterthought. We have to take care of every game,” the Dutch coach said at a press conference.

“We are now looking at the Czech Republic. We have a big problem with that.

“The route in terms of classification is favourable, but first the focus must be fully on the Czech Republic.”

De Boer added: “What would be a success for this tournament? If we get to the last four, then we have done well.

“Ultimately we want to be getting paraded down the canals (of Amsterdam) on a boat: that is the ultimate goal.

De Boer on the canals of Amsterdam in 2013 (AFP via Getty Images)
De Boer on the canals of Amsterdam in 2013 (AFP via Getty Images)

“We not only want to reach the final, but also to win it. Then the tournament is completely successful.

“There are, though, six or seven teams that also think they can become champions.

“We have the qualities to win the tournament, but for that to happen, everything has to go right.”

De Boer expects a stern test from the Czechs, who finished third in Group D behind England and Croatia.

“The Czech Republic is a unit, we know very well what they want, which is to disturb the opponent early and have power in the duels,” said De Boer, who must decide whether to deploy Donyell Malen or Wout Weghorst up front alongside Memphis Depay.

“If there is space they play on the ground, if not they have a lot of people who go deep and fight for the second ball.

“It is a difficult opponent, traditionally we always have a difficult time. We have to be top notch to beat them.”

Czech captain Vladimir Darida picked up an unspecified injury during training session, so is doubtful.

Coach Jaroslav Silhavy knows what a challenge his side face at the Puskas Arena.

“The Dutch have a lot of quality. We have been studying them in detail: how hungry they are for goals and their great individual skill,” Silhavy said on EURO2020.com

“They have a lot of pace, know their game and play in a simple manner: they get the ball up as fast as possible to their attackers. If they lose the ball, they instantly press and it’s very unpleasant.”

Silhavy added: “If we want to think about advancing, we have to give 100 to 150 per cent - and if a few individual performances can be replicated like in the game against Scotland, then we have a good chance.”

Additional reporting by PA.

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