Friday’s World Cup quarterfinal match between Argentina and the Netherlands is set to be one of the most exciting of the tournament. Argentina, after placing second in Group C, got here on a 2-1 win over Australia in the round of 16 while the Netherlands cruised past the USMNT 3-1 in their round of 16 matchup after topping Group A.
With every game Lionel Messi plays possibly being his last for Argentina, the South America vs Europe battle, and the different styles of play, this game will be one you don’t want to miss. The game kicks off on Friday, December 9 at 2 p.m. ET from Lusail Stadium.
Don’t miss Netherlands vs Argentina
Argentina vs the Netherlands: a clash of styles
These two teams play with very different style that will make for an interesting matchup, with Argentina playing more of a possession game and the Netherlands playing on the counterattack.
Netherlands head coach Louis van Gaal, who at 71 years old is the oldest coach in the tournament, has led the Dutch team on a 19-game undefeated streak and now to the quarterfinals of the World Cup. Of course, it’s always a challenge to stop Lionel Messi, whose creative ways seem to lead the ball to the net like a moth to a flame. But van Gaal has his ideas.
“It’d be pretty stupid to reveal your own tactics,” van Gaal said, smiling slyly to reporters and Dutch player Memphis Depay. “But it’s not that difficult to come up with any answer. You could have come up with an answer yourself. You may want to block and close the passing lines. Am I right, Memphis?”
He did reveal that he believes the Netherlands can maximize on their opportunities in the moments when Argentina lose the ball and Messi does not participate as much. Throughout this tournament, the Dutch have been masters at maximizing on opportunities, scoring eight goals on just 4.05 xG.
Related: Jurrien Timber on facing Messi: “I’m not scared”
Argentina head coach, 44-year-old Lionel Scaloni, is new to the squad, having taken over in 2018. He led them to the Copa America title in 2021, their first major title since 1993. With the exception of their opening 2-1 shock loss to Saudi Arabia, Argentina have scored at least two goals in five of their last Six World Cup games. Messi scored in three of the four matches and has 13 in their past eight.
Messi has been in fine form this World Cup. He is on the verge of equaling Gabriel Batistuta’s long-held record of 10 World Cup strikes for Argentina and it could happen on Friday. But he’ll be up against one of the best defenders of this era in Virgil van Dijk.
Argentina and the Netherlands World Cup history
Argentina beat the Netherlands in the 1978 World Cup final in Argentina. Then in 1998, the Netherlands beat Argentina in the round of 16 on Dennis Bergkamp’s infamous 90th-minute goal. Of course, the most recent loss will be on van Gaal’s mind, as he was the coach when the Netherlands lost in a penalty shootout to Argentina in the 2014 World Cup semifinals.
“It’s not as brilliant as previous Dutch teams, but they are very clear on what they do,” said Scaloni. “This is going to be a great matchup between two historic teams.”
Argentina team news
Angel Di Maria did not take place in the Round of 16 match against Australia due to a quadricep issue, but he has returned to practice and should be good to go against the Netherlands on Friday. It’s a good thing, too, as Papu Gomez sprained his ankle in that game and will be a definite out for Friday.
Possible Argentina starting lineup vs Netherlands
How the Netherlands and Argentina could line up
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The Netherlands team news
The Netherlands should have a fully fit team for Friday’s match against Argentina. In their win over the USMNT, Jermaine Frimpong played despite an ankle issue, but is unlikely to play in place of Denzel Dumfries on Friday. Dumfries had two assists and one goal against the USA. Stefan de Vrij is good to go after suffering from some minor discomfort but is likely to start out on the bench against Argentina.
Possible Netherlands starting lineup vs Argentina
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