Despite having almost entirely the same starting XI as during the 2017 Euros, the Dutch squad doesn’t quite pack the same punch – or rather hasn’t been packing the same punch in the interim.
The KNVB took a calculated gamble on Sarina Wiegman at the start of 2017, giving her the head coaching role after they said a quick goodbye to Arjen van der Laan, but it ended up being one of the best gambles any team has taken.
The summer of 2017 was a blur of good feeling and orange as far as the eye could see for the Oranje Leeuwinnen and, for many, still remain as favourites to go far this summer. However, the Dutch haven’t been faultless and have had their fair share of wobbles in qualifying, even needing to come through the play-offs to snatch the last remaining UEFA berth.
Drawn into a group they’ll like the look of, if Wiegman can get her team playing anywhere near the same level over this tournament as the last one, few teams will stand a chance.
The group stage one that will be telling, if the Netherlands fail to gel in France it will be instantly noticeable and could even spell for an early flight home.
Goalkeepers: Loes Geurts (Kopparbergs/Göteborg), Lize Kop (Ajax), Sari van Veenendaal (Arsenal).
Defenders: Dominique Bloodworth (Arsenal), Anouk Dekker (Montpellier HSC), Merel van Dongen (Real Betis), Kika van Es (Ajax), Stefanie van der Gragt (Barcelona), Danique Kerkdijk (Bristol City), Desiree van Lunteren (SC Freiburg), Liza van der Most (Ajax).
Midfielders: Daniëlle van de Donk (Arsenal), Jackie Groenen (1. FFC Frankfurt), Inessa Kaagman (Everton), Victoria Pelova (ADO Den Haag), Jill Roord (Bayern München), Sherida Spitse (Vålerenga).
Attackers: Lineth Beerensteyn (Bayern München), Ellen Jansen (Ajax), Renate Jansen (FC Twente), Lieke Martens (Barcelona), Vivianne Miedema (Arsenal), Shanice van den Sanden (Olympique Lyonnais).
Reserves: Cheyenne van den Goorbergh (FC Twente), Barbara Lorsheyd (ADO Den Haag), Aniek Nouwen (PSV), Katja Snoeijs (PSV), Ashleigh Weerden (FC Twente), Jennifer Vreugdenhil (Valencia), Siri Worm (Everton).
Will they get it right or will they get it wrong? That’s the question, the Dutch are well capable of sublime football that few can keep up with but the team has struggled considerably since winning the Euros, if they hit their stride this summer it will take a special team to stop them.
Also see: Our main 2019 Women’s World Cup page.
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