The Route to the Quarterfinals
One of the most impressive teams at the 2022 Qatar World Cup has been the Netherlands. Managed by Louis Van Gaal, the Dutch national team managed to secure first place in the group stage. They beat Senegal 2-0 in their opening fixture, drew 1-1 with Ecuador in the second match and finished the group with a 2-0 win over Qatar, the host nation. In all three of the group stage matches, the scoring was opened by Cody Gakpo, a 23-year-old forward who plays for PSV Eindhoven in the Dutch Eredivisie.
In the round of 16, the Netherlands faced the United States and comprehensively beat them 3-1. In this match, Gakpo could not hit the back of the net, but that did not stop his teammates from doing so. All of the goals were assisted by the two full backs for ‘Oranje’, with Daley Blind getting and assist and Denzel Dumfries providing two assists. Both full backs also scored a goal apiece.
Before a ball was kicked, Argentina were heavily backed by bookmakers as one of the favourites to win the tournament. They started their World Cup campaign in the worst possible way. In the opening fixture, Argentina lost 2-1 to Saudi Arabia, despite leading at half-time.
However, ‘La Albiceleste’ managed to win two games on the trot and finish the group in first. They beat both Mexico and Poland 2-0 in the remaining group stage matches with Lionel Messi scoring in two out of the three games. The seven-time Balon D’or winner also provided an assist, becoming the first player to ever assist a player at the World Cup on five separate occasions.
In the round of 16, Argentina played against Australia and were the better team for large portions of the game. Messi opened the scoring following a few intricate passes between his teammates. The Argentinian side scored a second goal after Julian Alvarez pounced on the mistake that goalkeeper Matt Ryan made. The Australian national team managed to pull one back after a deflected shot hit Enzo Fernandez and landed in the back of the net. However, the mood was not dampened as Argentina played the rest of the game out to secure their place in the quarterfinals.
Current Odds at mr.play
There are many different betting markets that are available for the quarterfinal fixture between the Netherlands and Argentina. The match is set to be an evenly-balanced tie, with the bookies almost unable to pick a clear favourite. The current odds on Argentina to win the match are 2.19 whilst the odds on Netherlands to win are 3.4. A bet on a draw will pay out at 3.00 times your stake.
Other betting markets that can be played on include wagers on over 1.5 goals for odds 1.42, 1.99 on both teams to score and 1.90 on over 8.5 corners. It is also possible to bet on double chance results such as the Netherlands winning or drawing for odds 1.63, Argentina winning or drawing for odds 1.29 or either the Netherlands or Argentina to win for odds 1.36.
Team Overviews & Player Profiles
One of the standout players for the Netherlands is Cody Gakpo. The youngster has burst onto the scene in the 2022 World Cup and scored three goals already. That puts him on the same return as Lionel Messi, who is the top scorer for Argentina. In the 2022 World Cup, the Netherlands have been playing with a 3-4-1-2 formation which has been introduced by Louis Van Gaal. The Oranje manager has been successful in the World Cup previously, reaching the semifinals of the 2014 World Cup. The Dutch team back then had also used the same formation and were knocked out on penalties against Argentina.
In this quarterfinals match, Van Gaal has the chance to make amends for his country by having the last laugh. He is somewhat wiser to the threats that Argentina have and will know how to stop Messi. The Netherlands is one of the teams that Messi has failed to score against, despite playing against them in the 2006 and 2014 World Cup tournaments.
The system employed by Van Gaal allows his left and right sided full backs to advance up and down the pitch as much as possible. That means that both Blind and Dumfries will have the license to get themselves into attacking positions and put the ball into the box. The manager will be hoping that either Gakpo, or his other experienced striker Memphis Depay, will convert one of the chances they get. Depay is currently the leading active goal scorer of the Netherlands with 43 goals. He is only seven goals short of the all-time record holder, Robin Van Persie. That total can be reduced come Friday evening.
Most of the attacking threat for Argentina will be placed on the shoulders of Lionel Messi. The Argentinian national team have been impressive so far, although a lot of their magical moments have been created from Messi. He scored a penalty against Saudi Arabia, a screamer against Mexico and a delicately placed shot against Australia.
Lionel Messi will know that this World Cup is likely going to be his last. Thus, it may be his last chance to win the biggest trophy in football. He is key to making the Argentinian system tick. However, Lionel Scaloni, the manager of Argentina, has already made adjustments to his side, bringing in the youthful Julian Alvarez instead of playing the more experienced Lautaro Martinez. Alvarez has impressed by scoring two goals in the campaign so far.
A Fierce Rivalry
This will be the sixth time that Argentina play against the Netherlands. In the previous meetings, both teams have won twice, and they both share a draw. The first meeting was in 1974 when the Netherlands beat Argentina 4-0. In the 1978 meeting, Argentina got their revenge by beating the Netherlands 3-1 after extra time. The two teams met twenty years later at the 1998 World Cup where the Netherlands won 2-1. In 2006, the two teams played out a nil-nil draw before their encounter in 2014. As mentioned before, the 2014 meeting was in the semifinals of the World Cup, where Argentina managed to beat the Netherlands 4-2 on penalties after a goalless draw.