National coach Erwin van de Looi of the Dutch Juniors thinks that his team is not the favorite on Saturday in the important second group match against Germany at the European Under-21 Championship in Hungary and Slovenia. He expects a tough duel.
“It is a bit exaggerated to label us as a favorite. Germany was in the final two years ago and took the title four years ago. They are always good at final tournaments and placed first in our group. It will be a tough job”, said Van de Looi at a digital press conference.
Still, Germany seems to have a smaller crop than the previous European Championships. Many players of the current squad are active in the 2. Bundesliga. The Germans do have access to the only sixteen-year-old top talent Youssoufa Moukoko from Borussia Dortmund.
“So you think we are favorites against Germany?”, Van de Looi addressed a journalist. “That’s nice and nationalistic. You also didn’t know many players from Romania. Look at the results of this tournament. England and France have already lost. All teams have good players, even if they are not well known.”
“Germany may not have big names that really stand out or are already celebrities in their own country, but if you play or are close to the Bundesliga, which is ranked higher than the Eredivisie, then you are an excellent football player.”
The players of the Dutch Juniors play a game of foot volley during practice.
‘We are not suddenly going to do everything differently’
The Juniors did not get further than a disappointing 1-1 draw in the opening game on Wednesday. As a result, the Netherlands cannot afford to lose to Germany, which won 3-0 against Hungary on Wednesday without the injured Moukoko – he has now recovered.
“We are definitely looking for revenge. We took a critical look at ourselves on Thursday. We know that things have to be better. Of course we are going for the win, but given the score we should not lose. If we want to keep it in our own hands, then we must at least draw. ”
Van de Looi does not intend to change much tactically compared to the duel with Romania. Sven Botman and Cody Gakpo probably have a basic place. Botman remained on the bench against Romania due to minor complaints and Gakpo came in halfway through the second half.
“We are not suddenly going to do everything differently. We have embarked on a process of how we want to play and that has brought us quite a bit. It would be strange if, after a less performance against Romania, you would throw overboard everything you did for two years and conjures all kinds of tactical variants out of the hat. ”
The Dutch Juniors against Germany starts on Saturday at 9 p.m. in Székesfehérvá. The Netherlands will close the group stage against Hungary on Tuesday. The numbers one and two of each group qualify for the quarter-finals, which will be played together with the semi-finals and the final from May 31 to June 6.
Source site www.nu.nl