Koeman chooses Geertruida, Malen, and Veerman against Austria

Lutsharel Geertruida and Donyell Malen are in the starting lineup for Oranje in their final group match against Austria. Joey Veerman also returns to the starting lineup after being on the bench against France.

Koeman chooses Geertruida, Malen, and Veerman against Austria Embed from Getty Images

This comes at the expense of Denzel Dumfries and Jeremie Frimpong, who formed a pair on the right side during the second group match against France.

Xavi Simons also starts on the bench, causing Tijjani Reijnders to move forward in the midfield. These changes indicate a strategic shift as Koeman prepares his squad to face Austria.

Head coach Ronald Koeman seems to be adapting to the tactics of Austria, known for their intense pressing under Ralf Rangnick. Geertruida is better suited to handle this pressing compared to Dumfries, whose strengths do not primarily lie in building up from the back. Geertruida's composure and technical skills make him a more suitable choice for breaking through Austria's aggressive press.

By choosing Malen, Koeman is also opting for a forward with speed and depth, capable of exploiting the spaces behind the defense. Malen's pace and ability to make runs behind the defensive line could be crucial in creating goal-scoring opportunities, especially against a team that presses high up the pitch. His inclusion adds a dynamic element to the attack, potentially stretching Austria's defense and opening up spaces for his teammates.

Additionally, the head coach believes that Veerman's passing abilities will be beneficial in the third group match against Austria. Veerman's vision and ability to distribute the ball effectively will be key in maintaining possession and transitioning from defense to attack. His presence in the midfield is expected to provide more control and creativity, helping to break down Austria's defensive setup.

Furthermore, Koeman is sticking with the familiar names. On Monday, the head coach announced during his press conference that Memphis Depay, despite his heavily criticized performance against France, will retain his place at the forefront of the attack. Depay's experience and knack for scoring goals are qualities Koeman trusts, hoping that the forward will find his form and deliver a decisive performance.

Koeman's decisions reflect a balance between adapting to the opponent's tactics and maintaining faith in his core players. The inclusion of Geertruida, Malen, and Veerman suggests a tactical flexibility aimed at countering Austria's strengths while leveraging the speed and technical abilities of the Dutch squad. As the match approaches, all eyes will be on how these changes impact the team's performance and whether Koeman's strategy will pay off in securing a crucial victory.

Updated: 03:57, 25 Jun 2024

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