Lusail Iconic Stadium is the venue as the Netherlands and Argentina go head-to-head in a mouth-watering 2022 World Cup quarter-final tie on Friday (7.00 pm).
Louis van Gaal’s men did not only come through the group stage unscathed but now go into this blockbuster tie as one of only three teams in the tournament to have gone unbeaten in all four matches.
Memphis Depay leapfrogged Klaas-Jan Huntelaar on the list of the Netherlands’ all-time top goalscorers, taking his international tally to 43 goals during a 3-1 demolition of the United States last time out.
Despite being out of favour at Barcelona, the former Manchester United flop remains one of Holland’s headline performers and is only seven goals short of becoming the best-ever scorer for his national team.
With 94 goals under his belt, Memphis’ Argentina counterpart Lionel Messi achieved that task a long time ago, but that hasn’t helped his country win the World Cup yet.
However, after lifting the Copa America title last summer, the Paris Saint-Germain superstar has grown confident of carrying his nation to the Jules Rimet trophy for the first time since 1986.
The tournament could not have started any worse for La Albiceleste, as Saudi Arabia stunned them 2-1 in a curtain-raising fixture, yet everything has gone smoothly ever since.
Inspired by Messi’s dazzling performances, Lionel Scaloni’s lads have strung together three consecutive victories, including a tight 2-1 win over Australia in the round of 16.
The Netherlands’ eye-catching form at the Qatar showpiece is nothing to be surprised about, considering they’ve not lost any of their 19 internationals during van Gaal’s third stint at the helm (W14, D5).
Having entered the tournament as dark horses, the Oranje have exceeded expectations, with each of their three 2022 World Cup triumphs yielding a two-goal margin.
There’s no doubt they’d settle for a slimmer margin against a mighty Argentina, and there’s a reason for optimism in the Dutch camp as they’ve progressed from their last three World Cup quarter-final ties.
Unfazed by an early shock in Qatar that knocked them down from a 36-match unbeaten streak, Argentina have got back on track and are now aiming at their first semi-final appearance since 2014.
But it’s worth noting that since losing to Uruguay in the 1930 final, La Albiceleste’s last nine exits in the World Cup knockout stage have come at the hands of European nations.
The South American heavyweights have failed to make it out of three of their last four World Cup quarter-finals appearances, although they did progress from the most recent one back in 2014.
Netherlands vs Argentina Head-to-Head
‘Netherlands vs Argentina’ is the third most-often played fixture at the World Cup, with Friday’s showdown marking the sixth meeting between the sides at the tournament.
The H2H stakes in the World Cup are perfectly balanced, with both teams recording two wins apiece plus a draw in the 2006 group stages, with La Albiceleste winning the most recent duel in the 2014 semi-finals.
But excluding extra-time, the South Americans have failed to beat their European counterparts in eight of their nine encounters across all competitions (D4, L4).
Netherlands vs Argentina Team News
Van Gaal can call upon the services of the entire team that has navigated the past two rounds, yet a few players are on yellow cards and may have to take a cautious approach.
Nathan Ake, Frenkie de Jong and Teun Koopmeiners are at risk of skipping the semi-finals should they pick up bookings and Netherlands make it out of this tie.
The same goes for Gonzalo Montiel and Marcos Acuna in the other camp, while Alejandro Papu Gomez won’t be able to help Argentina at Lusail Iconic Stadium due to injury.
Netherlands vs Argentina Potential Line-ups
Netherlands (3-4-1-2): Andries Noppert; Jurrien Timber, Virgil van Dijk, Nathan Ake; Denzel Dumfries, Marten de Roon, Frenkie de Jong, Daley Blind; Davy Klaassen; Cody Gakpo, Memphis Depay.
Argentina (3-5-2): Emiliano Martinez; Cristian Romero, Nicolas Otamendi, Lisandro Martinez; Nahuel Molina, Rodrigo De Paul, Enzo Fernandez, Alexis Mac Allister, Marcos Acuna; Lionel Messi, Julian Alvarez.
Netherlands vs Argentina Prediction
This one’s catchy. Both sides boast outstanding quality in their ranks and are desperate to take home the trophy, so it’s impossible to give anyone the upper hand.
If we have to pick the one with the better chance of progressing, we’ll stick with Argentina.
Netherlands 0-1 Argentina
How to Watch?
You can watch all 2022 World Cup games live online from anywhere courtesy of Private Internet Access, a world-class VPN that provides a legal solution by connecting to their United Kingdom streaming servers and watching it for free on BBC iPlayer or ITV Hub.
Football Today readers can get a massive 82% off a subscription, which means it will cost you as low as $2.19 per month!
World Cup 2022 Links
- Who is Liverpool’s most important player – Van Dijk or Salah?
- Postecoglou confirms huge injury blow for Tottenham ahead of Crystal Palace clash
- FA Cup quarter-final TV picks confirmed, ITV will show headline fixture between Man Utd and Liverpool
- Preview: Man City vs Man United – stats, team news, line-ups
- Crystal Palace shareholder John Textor slams Premier League financial rules
- Conor Gallagher determined to stay at Chelsea despite contract stand-off and Tottenham interest
- Eric Dier makes permanent switch to Bayern Munich from Tottenham
- Premier League manager of the month nominees for February revealed
- Paul Pogba receives four-year ban for doping
- Man United fans in uproar as Old Trafford relocation plans spark outrage