Two of the greatest teams in World Cup history, the Netherlands and Argentina, will meet in the quarterfinals of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar on Friday.
After victories over the United States and Australia respectively in the round of 16, both sides experienced a scare along the way and a place in the last four awaits the winner as Lionel Messi’s Albiceleste will face a Dutch team that did not even participate in the last tournament.
The Netherlands and Argentina are no strangers at this level.
The South American team suffered a 4-0 defeat in the second round of the 1974 tournament and then took revenge on home soil in the 1978 final.
Dennis Bergkamp’s legendary last-minute goal helped the Dutch win at this stage in 1998, but Argentina advanced from the semifinals in 2014 because of the need for a penalty shootout.
Prior to the U.S. win, the Dutch overcame a viral outbreak at their World Cup training camp with no apparent ill effects.
Now that Memphis Depay is back healthy and firing, Louis van Gaal seems to have a largely stable squad. Davy Klaasen and Martin Delon started the last two games in the midfield after problems in that department.
After being forced to miss the win in Australia, Argentina’s focus in the coming days will be on getting Di Maria back fit.
Lionel Scaloni is happy to have the experienced winger back to replace Pape Gomez and complete his attack, while Julian Alvarez will retain his place in the eleven alongside Lionel Messi.
However, switching to three center backs for the second half of the Top 16 match could be an approach the Argentine boss will want to stick to from the start of this competition.
This is arguably the first meeting between the two footballing powerhouses in the knockout stages of this World Cup. It seems unlikely that we will have a classic, entertaining match.
Netherlands vs Argentina Prediction
There is an unknown factor, as up until this moment neither side has faced a title contender – and neither side is at the highest level.
Argentina has the edge in terms of talent, and perhaps the magic moment will settle the issue.
Argentina won 3-2.
Netherlands vs Argentina Match Odds (90 mins)