Netherlands vs Argentina World Cup 2022: Date & Time, Match Preview, Team News, Prediction
The South American nation are back in good form following their opening day loss to Saudi Arabia
Netherlands and Argentina will fight it out for a spot in the semi-finals of the World Cup when they meet in Lusail on Friday.
Lionel Messi fired Argentina into the last eight of the competition as they beat Australia 2-1 in the previous round, while Netherlands got the better of the United States to ensure they progressed.
Netherlands vs Argentina preview
|Photo: Getty Images|
The pressure is on Lionel Messi and Argentina to go all the way and give the six-time Ballon d'Or winner the trophy he deserves before his international career comes to an end.
Argentina have managed to recover from their shock defeat to Saudi Arabia in the first game of the competition, having beaten Mexico, Poland and Australia since then.
Netherlands, however, are unbeaten so far and got the job done against United States in the previous round.
The likes of Memphis Depay, Cody Gakpo, Virgil van Dijk and Frenkie de Jong will feel capable of upsetting the Albiceleste despite their underdogs tag.
The Netherlands were briefly handed a scare with Jeremie Frimpong (ankle) before the win over the USA, but the Bayer Leverkusen right-back formed part of a fully-fit squad for that game, and Van Gaal should have everyone available for the quarter-final too.
Inter Milan centre-back Stefan de Vrij could not train on Sunday due to discomfort, but he has since returned to the group to challenge the established order of Jurrien Timber, Virgil van Dijk and Nathan Ake, although he will likely be fighting a losing battle there.
Depay's opener against the USA made it 24 goals in his last 30 outings for the Netherlands - as well as 10 assists - and the Barcelona attacker should once again partner up with Gakpo in an untouched Dutch XI.
As far as Argentina are concerned, Sevilla attacker Papu Gomez came off with a sprained ankle in the 50th minute against Australia and is a doubt for the contest, but Angel Di Maria is stepping up his recovery from a quadriceps problem and should be fit to replace his stricken teammate. Rodrigo De Paul is also fine despite a spot of muscular fatigue.
|Photo: Getty Images|
Scaloni has no injury concerns elsewhere and continues to keep faith in the centre-back pairing of Cristian Romero and Nicolas Otamendi, which should remain as it is despite constant pressure from Lisandro Martinez.
The likes of Angel Correa and Leandro Paredes were put through their paces in a training ground XI earlier this week, but neither man will be expected to edge out Di Maria or the impressive Enzo Fernandez for a start in the quarter-final.
Netherlands possible starting lineup:
Noppert; Timber, Van Dijk, Ake; Dumfries, De Jong, De Roon, Blind; Klaassen; Gakpo, Depay
Argentina possible starting lineup:
Martinez; Molina, Romero, Otamendi, Acuna; Fernandez, De Paul, Mac Allister; Di Maria, Messi, Alvarez
|Photo: Getty Images|
Netherlands 2-2 Argentina (a.e.t, Argentina to win on penalties)
The footballing gods should not deliver another drab 0-0 with so much offensive talent on the Lusail field and the Dutch's penchant for lightning-quick counter-attacks, and both sides also possess a slight vulnerability to suggest that a high-scoring affair should be on the menu.
Stalemates between the Netherlands and Argentina have been commonplace at the World Cup, and we do not expect that theme to change here, so Scaloni's side may have to rely on their penalty-kick prowess to set up a semi-final clash with Croatia or Brazil.
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