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Arnautovic banned for upcoming clash w Netherlands

UEFA Euro 2020: Austria to face Netherlands without key player

June 16, 2021 By Michelle Bonsu
Austria, who are hoping to book their spot in the round of 16, will have to take on fellow top-placed side Netherlands without a key player in their ranks.

The match between Austria and the Netherlands this Thursday is set to be a very interesting one, to say the least. Both sides have picked up three points from their respective clashes against Eastern European minnows North Macedonia and Ukraine, and thus sit joint-tied on point at the top of Group C. However, Austria presently are ahead of the Oranje on goal difference thanks to their 3-1 win over debutant outfit North Macedonia.

If one of these teams can win on Thursday, that side will book a spot in the round of 16, meaning that the stakes are even higher for both the Die Burschen and the Oranje. 

There is one issue, for Austria, at least. They'll have to make do without a key player for this crunch clash. Striker Marko Arnautovic has been slapped with a one match ban by UEFA following his celebrations after scoring a goal against North Macedonia.

Arnautovic, who is of Serbian background, was accused by North Macedonia's football federation of insulting one of their players, Gjanni Alioski, who is Albanian. Although the 32-year-old, who plays his club football for Chinese side Shanghai Port, has apologized for his celebration and denied any racist remarks, UEFA has still decided to suspend him for one game. 

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