Netherlands meet Argentina at Lusail Iconic Stadium in a blockbuster Quarter-Final tie at 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Victory would see the Dutch reach the semi-finals for the third consecutive World Cup in which they featured in – and first since 2014.
Argentina meanwhile are looking to reach the semi-finals for the first time since they finished runners-up at 2014 tournament.
Netherlands have no fresh injury concerns to report ahead of this match following their victory over USA in the Round of 16, with a fully-fit squad available for selection.
Nathan Ake, Frenkie de Jong, Matthijs de Ligt and Teun Koopmmeiners enter this match with just one booking away from suspension for the semi-finals.
Argentina could have Papu Gomez available after he recovered from an ankle sprain suffered in their Round of 16 win over Australia.
Angel Di Maria (quad) is a doubt despite being named as an eventual unused substitute on the bench against Australia.
Gonzalo Montiel and Marcos Acuna both are at risk of suspension for the semi-finals coming into this match, meaning that the pair can’t afford to be booked.
- Netherlands are unbeaten in four of five previous World Cup meetings against Argentina excluding penalty shootouts (W2, D2, L1).
- Argentina are yet to beat Netherlands when playing as the away team in a World Cup (D1, L1), having lost 2-1 in July 1998 then were held to a goalless draw in June 2006.
- Netherlands have kept clean sheets in their last three meetings against Argentina in all competitions (W1, D2).
- Just two of Argentina’s seven goals at this tournament have been scored before half-time, with both first-half goals having been netted by Lionel Messi.
- Netherlands have converted just 14 of 35 shots onto target in four matches at this World Cup.
Having solidly but quietly done the job in the Group Stage amidst criticism of boring football, Netherlands certainly hit with a brilliant tactical counter-attacking display against USA complete with some fantastic turnovers and pace.
Argentina’s biggest issue at this tournament meanwhile has been consistency across 90 minutes because their football hasn’t exactly been entertaining – except against Poland, so I would like to see more regular urgency on the ball because the Dutch will surely not settle for slow sloppy play.
On that note, I am intrigued by how this game could unfold because Argentina have often benefitted from moments of luck for their goals amidst inconsistent urgency, which could encourage the Dutch to take the fight to them and force them into a lengthy battle that they might not expect.
Either way, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see extra-time at minimum but I am going for a Dutch win because they do look the better overall team in quality and tempo than Argentina, although Lionel Messi knows when to turn on his magic so will be a danger for the Netherlands to silence.
Prediction: Netherlands 2-1 (AET) Argentina