Defender De Ligt to miss Netherlands opener at Euro 2020
AP, , Saturday 12 Jun 2021


Netherlands coach Frank de Boer says defender Matthijs de Ligt is not ready to play in the team's opening European Championship match against Ukraine on Sunday.

De Ligt is recovering from a groin injury but has been training with the team in recent days. He said earlier this week he hoped to be able to play Sunday in the Netherlands' first major tournament match since the 2014 World Cup.

But De Boer says ``it is a bit too early. We don't want to take any risks. We have two more group matches.''

He did not say who would replace the Juventus defender in the starting lineup for the team's Euro 2020 opener. The Netherlands already is missing center back and captain Virgil van Dijk with a long-term knee injury.

De Boer says he expects De Ligt to be available for the next match against Austria on Thursday.

The Netherlands will play all three of its Group C matches at the Johan Cruyff Arena in Amsterdam.

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