Friday, January 27, 2023

FIFA WC Qatar: Netherlands-Argentina in battle of heavyweights

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Market Desk (sports): 3 time finalist Netherlands and 2 time champion Argentina have clashed in many WC classics and Argentina is all about Messi but if the Dutch can find a way to certainly tip the scales in their favor.

Van Gaal has been combative about the media’s notion of the Dutch under him adopting a negative game, moving away from the rampant free football of Johan Cruyff.

Before this, the two countries met for the first time in 1974 in an international friendly match. Then they played 9 matches in total, out of which the Dutch won 4 matches. 2 matches ended in draw. Lose to Argentina 3 times. However, both countries are equal in World Cup statistics. Out of 5, Argentina won 2, lost 2 and drew 1.

Meanwhile, the Netherlands have not lost a single match in the WC in Qatar. The first match of the group stage was a 2-0 win over Senegal. the second match with a 1-1 draw with Ecuador and a 2-0 win with Qatar in the third match. A 3-1 win over the USA in the pre-quarterfinals proved they are in no way behind in the title race.

 Argentina, on the other hand, started their trip to Qatar with a 2-1 loss to Saudi Arabia. Then they won against Mexico and Poland by the same margin of 2-0 goals. Messi confirmed the quarter with a 2-1 victory against Australia in the last 16 match. In the current season, Messi’s attack is the opposite of how good his defense is. A win against the Dutch won’t be easy if they can’t fix that flaw before the quarter-finals.

Netherlands Predicted XI: Noppert; Timber, Van Dijk, Ake; Dumfries, De Jong, De Roon, Blind; Klaassen; Gakpo, Depay

Argentina Predicted XI: Martinez; Molina, Romero, Otamendi, Acuna; Fernandez, De Paul, Mac Allister; Di Maria, Messi, Alvarez.

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