Netherlands – Argentina Predictions
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Netherlands 2-2 Argentina
Date: 09.12.2022 | Match at: 20:00 | League: WORLD CUP – PLAY OFFS – QUARTER-FINALS | Tip: Over 1.5 Goals | Odds: 1.46 | Bookie: Unibet.
Match Preview Netherlands – Argentina Predictions
- The first two nations to reach the quarter-finals of the 2022 World Cup complete the Friday evening programme with a 2014 semi-final rematch. Up to 88,000 fans at the Lusail Stadium will be hoping that the Netherlands and Argentina don’t repeat their drab goalless encounters at the 2014 and 2006 tournaments, and it appears unlikely after both teams scored and conceded in their last-16 victories.
- With goals in the first, second and third trimesters of their dominant 3-1 win over the USA, it came as no surprise that 71-year-old Netherlands manager Louis van Gaal bragged about his side’s “big chances” of winning their first World Cup trophy. There’ll be plenty of personal motivation for Van Gaal, who has previously stated that a World Cup title is the only remaining goal of his 30-year managerial career, as the veteran was in charge of the Dutch in their 2014 semi-final penalties loss to the Albiceleste.
- Argentina were made to work hard for their fourth quarter-finals appearance from the last five World Cups and can now formally put 2018’s disappointing round-of-16 exit behind them. The goal they conceded in their 2-1 victory over Australia last time out was registered as a own goal, so they can also boast that no opposing player has breached their defence in their three consecutive wins, with the Albiceleste now building momentum after a shock 2-1 defeat to Saudi Arabia in their group-stage opener.
- The sense of occasion for this match has not been lost on manager Lionel Scaloni, who described this clash with Van Gaal at a 1am press conference as “a proud moment”, but declared his side are ready for any challenge: “my players are born to play in these sorts of games”. The two-time winners have been in imperious form, particularly in the first 45 minutes, after accumulating 11 half-time leads from their 13 fixtures this calendar year (W11, D1, L1).
- Key battle: We’ll likely see Manchester City teammates Nathan Aké and Julián Álvarez in a direct clash, with Argentina’s Álvarez having scored in each of his last six appearances of at least 40 minutes for club or country. The youngster is in for a challenge here however, considering the Netherlands’ Aké has not tasted defeat in an international match when stepping out onto the pitch for more than two years (W11, D6)!
- Hot stat: The Netherlands have scored first in 16 of their current 19 games without defeat, drawing the three fixtures in which they conceded the opener.
- World Cup trivia: The last two World Cup winners (France and Germany) were runners-up 12 years prior. The Netherlands finished second in 2010!
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