• Saturday, Jul 31, 2021
  • Last Update : 03:13 pm

Netherlands without De Ligt for Euro opener

  • Published at 07:48 pm June 12th, 2021
De Ligt
Netherlands' Matthijs de Ligt during training in Zeist Saturday Reuters

De Ligt's absence is a major blow given they are coming into the tournament without their other leading central defender Van Dijk

The Netherlands will go into their first game of Euro 2020 against Ukraine Sunday without Matthijs de Ligt as the Juventus defender recovers from a groin injury, coach Frank de Boer confirmed.

De Ligt missed the Netherlands' final Euro 2020 warm-up match against Georgia last weekend and his absence is a major blow given they are coming into the tournament without their other leading central defender in Virgil van Dijk.

The Liverpool star is still recovering from a serious knee injury.

De Boer is also coming into the tournament without goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen, who was left out of the squad after testing positive for Covid-19.

The veteran Maarten Stekelenburg, 38, will take over between the posts, preferred to Tim Krul of Norwich City.

Stekelenburg played in the side that lost to Spain in the 2010 World Cup final.

The Netherlands are returning to a major tournament after failing to qualify either for Euro 2016 or the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

They will play all their games in Group C at home in Amsterdam, with Ukraine's visit on Sunday being followed by matches against Austria next Thursday and then North Macedonia on June 21.

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