The Netherlands take on Argentina for a pulsating battle in the second quarterfinal of the 2022 World Cup at the Lusail Iconic Stadium. Whoever triumphs here will face either Croatia or Brazil in the first semi-final.
The Dutch made fine work of USA by beating them 3-1 while Argentina survived a late fight-back from Australia to win 2-1 in the Round of 16.
NED vs ARG Match Details
Date: Friday, 9 December / Saturday, 10 December
Time: 22:00 (AST) / 00:30 (IST)
Venue: Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail
NED vs ARG Match Preview
The pragmatic approach of the Dutch has helped them to the quarterfinals of the competition as they bit an optimistic yet inexperienced United States 3-1 in the last 16. The result was not received with a snap of a finger as Christian Pulisic almost scored the opener in the early minutes only for Andries Noppert to come to his side’s rescue again. While the CONCACAF giants failed to capitalise on the opportunities that fell to them, the Netherlands showed the difference in quality and mentality by taking theirs. Two wing-backs left the opponents to shreds with Denzel Dumfries first setting up Memphis Depay and Daley Blind in the first half and then making his trademark run inside the box to settle the win from the latter’s pass. The style of football was not interesting in contrast to what their manager Van Gaal dubbed prior to the game but winning a high stake competition like the World Cup demand results more than the football pleasing to the eye. It is something resonating well with this Dutch side. Whether they can demonstrate their formula well against Argentina in a massive quarterfinal clash is left to see. The Dutch have advanced from the last four of the five quarterfinals competed in the World Cup with the sole exception being an elimination from the last 16 in 2006. They have made it to the semi-finals of 2010 and 2014 in both of their previous two editions after not making the stage four years back. Incidentally, Argentina was the opposition that eliminated them from the last four through a penalty shootout in Brazil. Van Gaal’s side will take that result as a notion of revenge on Friday.
It was only fitting that Lionel Messi broke the jinx of not scoring in the knockout stages of a World Cup in the 1000th game of his career. That came as the opener against Australia in the eventual 2-1 win. Julian Alvarez got the second goal after a howler from Matt Ryan but the Socceroos did not give in as they went for a comeback after restoring something for themselves with an Enzo Fernandez own goal. Left-back Aziz Behich’s effort was blocked heroically by Lisandro Martinez while goalkeeper Emiliano prevented talented 18-year-old Garang Kuol to do the unthinkable in sending the game to extra time. A nervy but fine ending for La Albiceleste who manage to escape the stage that halted their progress in 2018 by eventual winners France. The last time Argentina were in the quarterfinals, they went on to become the runners-up in 2014. Lionel Scaloni’s men could smell a similar scent this time around but have a lot of unhygienic records to rectify in their last-eight tie against the Netherlands. Despite beating them on penalties eight years ago, the Dutch have ruled this encounter with only one loss in nine meetings. Side by side, the South American giants have also been eliminated in the previous nine World Cup rounds by a European team. Argentina also lost previously in this tournament against Saudi Arabia in the opening game but that was the only they have suffered in the last 40 games in all competitions. Hence, history should not dampen their confidence.
Check here Argentina’s Squad for FIFA World Cup 2022 & Team Profile and FIFA World Cup 2022: Argentina - World Cup Records and Stats and FIFA World Cup 2022 - Argentina records in World Cup knockout stages
World Cup Form
NED vs ARG Predicted Lineups
NED: Andries Noppert; Jurrien Timber, Van Dijk, Nathan Ake; Denzel Dumfries, Frenkie de Jong, De Roon, Daley Blind; Davy Klaassen; Cody Gakpo, Memphis Depay
ARG: Emiliano Martinez; Nahuel Molina, Christian Romero, Nicolas Otamendi, Marcos Acuna; Enzo Fernandez, De Paul, Mac Allister; Di Maria, Lionel Messi, Julian Alvarez
NED vs ARG Dream11 Team Prediction
GK: Noppert (8)
DEF: Van Dijk (7.5), Otamendi (9), Blind (9)
MID: Di Maria (7.5), F de Jong (8.5), E Fernandez (8.5), Dumfries (8.5)
FW: Messi (9), Depay (8.5), Gakpo (9)
Vice-captain: Cody Gakpo
Captain: Lionel Messi