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Written By Albert Echatah

Poland and the Netherlands face each other in the opening Group D match of Euro 2024 on Sunday at Hamburg’s Volksparkstadion.

The Polish team qualified for this year’s European Championship via the playoffs, but their opponents scaled through with consummate ease and are now determined to win another European championship.

Preview

Poland will participate in their fifth consecutive major tournament this summer, and despite a difficult group-stage draw, they are expecting to advance to the knockout stage. Poland arrived in Germany on a five-match winning streak. Despite the fact that Robert Lewandowski’s injury has dashed their hopes—the Eagles will be without their talismanic striker for at least Sunday’s opener.

Currently competing in their eleventh European Championship, the Netherlands famously won the trophy when UEFA’s biggest international competition was held in Germany, in 1988, thanks to a sensational volley by Marco van Basten that sealed their victory in the final. Netherlands haven’t made it to the semis in 2 decades and Ronald Koeman’s team are eager to change that. The Netherlands defeated Iceland on Monday with the same scoreline as their 4-0 win over Canada last week. Prior to this, they had only lost two of their previous six games against elite opponents, France and Germany.

Head To Head

In the 19 games that have been played between both countries, the Netherlands have the edge over Poland, having won seven of the ties compared to Poland’s three wins.

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Players To Watch

Karol Swiderski, who is dealing with an ankle problem, could play as a “false nine,” but Krzysztof Piatek provides a more conventional alternative to lead the Polish frontline.

Denzel Dumfries provided five assists during the Euro 2024 qualifying campaign. The Inter Milan wing-back will be starting on the right, fending off challenge from Jeremie Frimpong.

Verdict

Although, injuries have derailed both sides’ preparations, they cannot afford to mope around considering the calibre of their remaining Group D opponents. The Netherlands still have scorers all over the pitch even without a prolific striker, so, they should take advantage of Poland’s offensive shortcomings and win their opening Euro match.

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