European Championship Last 16: Romania – Netherlands 

The final day of the last 16 has arrived upon us as Romania and the Netherlands kick off this Tuesday at 18.00 in the Allianz Arena in Munich. Both teams will be happy to have drawn the other as the Netherlands will consider themselves lucky to have drawn Romania as a group winner after finishing third. Romania on the other hand will see chances to beat the Netherlands as the Dutch have not had the best of tournaments so far. Also, the winner of this tie will play the winner of Austria versus Turkey, and thus this is one of the most balanced quarters of the tournament bracket. If you would have said beforehand that one team of The Netherlands,Austria,Turkey and Romania would be in the semi final it would have been quite the claim. 

Romania Team News

The main player missing for Romania is left back Nicusor Bancu. The Romanians have successfully avoided major injuries thus far but will miss Bancu due to suspension. Vasile Mogos and Deian Sorescu are the most likely candidates to take over at left back. Some good news for Romania however is the fact that Razvan Marin is fully back in training after a minor fitness issue kept him sidelined briefly for training. The ex Ajax player has been the main man for Romania this tournament so far with his 2 goals instrumental in the group win. He followed his excellent long distance shot against Ukraine with a penalty to equalise against Slovakia to send Romania through. 

Netherlands Team News

The Netherlands squad is fully fit ahead of the last 16 clash, in which Oranje tries to find a first knockout win at the Euro´s since beating Sweden in 2004 after penalties in the quarter final. Denzel Dumfries, who was rested in the game against Austria as he had some minor hamstring issues, is fully available for Koeman tonight. Dumfries is expected to move back into the line up ahead of Geertruida, who was left in many difficult situations by his teammates in the match against Austria. It is likely that Joey Veerman will be left out of the starting lineup after his unlucky performance in the game against Austria, where he was substituted after 35 minutes already. Xavi Simons will probably move to the most forward midfield position to allow Reijnders to move back next to Jerdy Schouten. Malen will likely then be right winger again to try and take advantage of the space behind the Romania defence. 

Romania Form

Romania had a rocky preparation for the Euro´s as they hadn’t managed a single victory in 4 friendly matches in 2024. Draws against Bulgaria and Liechtenstein were preceded by a draw against Northern Ireland and a 2-3 loss against Colombia in March. During the Euro´s however they have shown their resilience, in the first game impressively dismantling dark horse candidates Ukraine 3-0. In the second game they were defeated by Belgium 2-0 but had sight on a result for a long period of the game. Their last match against Slovakia they did just enough to go through to the next round with a Marin penalty providing enough to go through. Their qualification has been impressive however, finishing above Switzerland and staying undefeated, conceding only 5 goals in 10 games. 

Netherlands Form

In the Netherlands negative sentiment dominates after the surprise defeat in the game against Austria. Not necessarily the result itself was the main problem but the way in which the game unfolded led to large amounts of criticism. Austria tactically outplayed the Netherlands for large parts of the first half and made life very difficult for the Dutch midfield and defence. In the second half, the performance improved a bit but the Dutch still looked shaky at the back. Koeman will have to improve on the tactical positioning of his team defensively should the Netherlands want to progress far into the tournament. They will consider themselves lucky to end up with Romania as an opponent in the last 16, with a potential rematch against Austria or a clash with Turkey in the quarter final should they win. 

What do the stats say?

  • Romania have won only 1 out of 14 games against the Netherlands
  • The Netherlands have won the last 4 games against Romania, scoring 13 goals and conceding 1
  • Both teams have met once before on a major tournament, with the Netherlands beating Romania 2-0 in the group stage at Euro 2008

Our verdict

If football was played on paper the Netherlands would be through to the quarter finals. The Dutch have more quality than their opponents and are considered heavy favourites for the game(74% chance to go through to the quarter final). However, the game with Austria showed that any side that is well prepared can make life difficult for the Dutch and has urged Koeman to increase intensity for his game preparation. The Netherlands will hope to not make the same mistake as the last Euro´s, overlooking their less famous opponents in the last 16 and quarters and already dream about the semi finals. Only to then be beaten by Czech Republic in the last 16 in a lacklustre performance.  

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.