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Netherlands national football team
European Championship | Semi-Finals
Jul 10, 2024 at 8pm UK
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Euro 2024: England backed to "outrun" and "overpower" Netherlands in semi-final

© Imago
Former England international Stephen Warnock outlines how Gareth Southgate's side could beat Netherlands in their Euro 2024 semi-final.

Former England international Stephen Warnock has claimed that the Three Lions' hopes of winning their Euro 2024 semi-final against Netherlands could lie in their ability to "outrun" and "overpower" their opponents in midfield.

A place in Sunday's final against Spain is at stake for both England and Netherlands ahead of their showdown in Dortmund, with England aiming to reach a second successive Euros final and Netherlands attempting to make the showpiece event for the first time since winning the trophy in 1988.

Both teams have been criticised en route to the last four, with England in particular flattering to deceive throughout the tournament and not winning a single match inside 90 minutes since their opener against Serbia.

Gareth Southgate's side drew with Denmark and Slovenia in their other two group games, before requiring a dramatic late Jude Bellingham equaliser on their way to beating Slovakia in extra time in the last 16, and another late goal in Saturday's eventual penalty shootout triumph over Switzerland.

By contrast, Netherlands have recorded victories over Poland, Romania and Turkey as well as a draw with France, but did finish third in Group D behind Austria and France following a 3-2 defeat to the former in their final group game.

Netherlands' Stefan de Vrij celebrates scoring against Turkey on July 6, 2024© Reuters

"It could be quite boring - a game of chess"

Like England, Netherlands' tactics have been questioned during the tournament for being overly negative, particularly in their goalless draw with France during the group stages.

With England having sometimes struggled to break down teams who sit back and defend during this summer's tournament, Warnock is not overly optimistic that the second semi-final will prove to be as absorbing and entertaining as Spain's win over France on Tuesday night.

"It could be quite boring, a game of chess almost where it's quite slow and thought out. Neither team will want to leave themselves a little bit light at the back because they'll be fearful of pace on the counter-attack," Warnock told Sports Mole.

"They'll be fearful of going behind, because what we know is that both teams are capable of shutting up shop if they if they need to and sitting deep and making the game a little bit ugly.

"That's where you're going to find that maybe it might be an individual piece of brilliance that's going to unlock this game. Hopefully it's from our side."

England's Jude Bellingham scores their first goal on June 28, 2024© Reuters

Midfield could be key to England beating Netherlands

England have relied on such individual pieces of brilliance to rescue them in both knockout games so far - namely Bellingham's bicycle kick against Slovakia and Bukayo Saka's equaliser against Switzerland - and, on paper at least, boast a superior squad of players to that of Netherlands.

However, Ronald Koeman's side contains world-class players of their own, while they also have the tournament's joint top-scorer in Liverpool forward Cody Gakpo.

"The Dutch have got good players, but they've also got weaknesses as well, and you've got to try and take advantage of those weaknesses," former Liverpool man Warnock told Sports Mole.

"I don't think they're particularly blessed down the right back position if I'm being honest. They've tried to change that position a couple of times now and I think in midfield, they're a good footballing team but I think you can outrun them.

"You can overpower them in midfield as well. But they'll probably be looking at England's vulnerabilities and saying that they can cause England a lot of problems as well."

Should England beat Netherlands then it would mark the first time that they have reached successive finals at a single major tournament, having agonisingly lost the Euro 2020 final on penalties against Italy at Wembley.

Stephen Warnock was speaking to Sports Mole on behalf of BetVictor.

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Spain's Mikel Merino celebrates scoring their second goal on July 5, 2024
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Group A

Q Germany Germany32107
Q Switzerland Switzerland31205
3 Hungary Hungary31023
4 Scotland flag Scotland30121

Group B

Q Spain Spain33009
Q Italy Italy31114
3 Croatia Croatia30212
4 Albania national flag Albania30121

Group C

Q England flag England31205
Q Denmark Denmark30303
Q Slovenia Slovenia30303
4 Serbia Serbia30212

Group D

Q Austria Austria32016
Q France France31205
Q Netherlands Netherlands31114
4 Poland Poland30121

Group E

Q Romania Romania31114
Q Belgium Belgium31114
Q Slovakia Slovakia31114
4 Ukraine Ukraine31114

Group F

Q Portugal Portugal32016
Q Turkey Turkey32016
Q Georgia Georgia31114
4 Czech Republic Czech Republic30121

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