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The Netherlands face the United States on Saturday afternoon in the first round of 16 tie at the 2022 World Cup.
Louis van Gaal’s Oranje topped Group A with seven points, defeating Senegal and Qatar either side of a draw with Ecuador. The US held their nerve in a tense glut of added time against Iran to preserve a slender 1-0 win, securing their first victory of the competition after successive draws against Wales and England.
Here’s everything you need to know about a knockout clash between two nations that couldn’t qualify for the 2018 World Cup.
Netherlands vs USA H2H Results (All Time)
Current Form (Last Five Games)
Netherlands team news
Memphis Depay was fit enough to make his first start in Qatar against the host nation on Tuesday. The Barcelona forward lasted 66 minutes before Van Gaal rested him, managing the minutes of a player on his way back from a lengthy hamstring injury.
Netherlands Starting 11 (3-4-1-2): Noppert; Timber, Van Dijk, Ake; Dumfries, De Roon, F De Jong, Blind; Klaassen; Gakpo, Depay.
Bench: Bijlow, Pasveer, Frimpong, Malacia, De Ligt, De Vrij, Taylor, Koopmeiners, Berghuis, Bergwijn, Janssen, Lang, Simons, L De Jong, Weghorst.
USA team news
Christian Pulisic scored the United States’ winning goal against Iran but injured himself in the process. The Chelsea forward quelled concerns from his hospital bed when he posted an update after the match: “I’ll be ready Saturday, don’t worry.”
However, a spokesperson for nation’s football association warned that the “pelvic contusion” Pulisic suffered would be evaluated “day-to-day”.
Josh Sargent and Weston McKennie were forced off against Iran with ankle and quad injuries respectively. Sargent’s problem is thought to be more severe but the involvement of both is uncertain.
USA Starting 11 (4-3-3): Turner; Dest, Carter-Vickers, Ream, Robinson; McKennie, Adams, Musah; Weah, Wright, Pulisic.
Bench: Horvath, Johnson, Long, Zimmerman, Moore, Scally, Yedlin, Acosta, Roldan, De la Torre, Aaronson, Reyna, Morris, Ferreira, Sargent.
Netherlands win or draw – Netherlands are unbeaten in their last 18 games in all competitions (winning five of the last six), while USA are winless in their last 11 World Cup matches against European nations.
Netherlands to win or the game to end in a draw is currently 1/5*
Either side to win by exactly one goal – Each of USA’s last 13 World Cup games have either been decided by exactly one goal (3 wins, 4 defeats), or drawn (6).
Netherlands clean sheet – Netherlands have kept four clean sheets in their last five games in all competitions and five shut outs in their last six World Cup matches.
Goalless at half time – The Netherlands haven’t conceded a first half goal in any of their last eight World Cup games, while USA have gone five games without conceding before the break in the competition.
Under 2.5 match goals – None of the six games involving Netherlands and USA at the 2022 World Cup have seen more than two goals.
First goalscorer – Cody Gakpo put Netherlands 1-0 ahead in all three of their group games at this World Cup; the last player to score the opening goal in four separate matches at a single World Cup was David Villa in 2010.
Anytime goalscorer – Christian Pulisic has been involved in both of USA’s goals at the 2022 World Cup (1 goal, 1 assist), having more attempts on goal (6) and touches in the oppositions box (19) than any other USA player so far.
Anytime goalscorer – Cody Gakpo has scored five goals in his last six appearances for Netherlands, netting three goals from just four attempts at the 2022 World Cup so far.
Cody Gakpo to score anytime for the Netherlands is currently 10/3*
Insights courtesy of Opta. Head to The Analyst Stats Hub for live group stage standings, top scores, match metrics, team stats and much more!
*Odds correct at time of publication. 18+. Please gamble responsibly. BeGambleAware.org
The first round for Van Gaal’s side was an exercise in doing just enough to progress from one of Qatar’s weakest groups. Theoretically, the United States came through the tournament’s toughest group – the only one with all four nations ranked inside the top 20 – but it was a laborious endeavour.
The return to fitness of Depay promises to lubricate the Netherlands’ sticky frontline – which has relied upon Cody Gakpo scoring three goals from four shots. There is no returning figure for the US which offers hope of providing a sharp edge to their encouraging buildup play that so regularly fizzles out. If anything, Pulisic’s fitness concerns threaten to blunt America’s attack even further.
Berhalter is factually correct in asserting: “From here, anything can happen.” However, the Dutch should have enough to overcome his side in a meeting between two teams playing within themselves.
Prediction: Netherlands 1-0 US
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