Netherlands vs Argentina Prediction

9th December 2022
22:00 Qatar Time/19:00 GMT
Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail
Referee: Antonio Mateu Lahoz (Spain)

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Saudi Arabia


World Cup Head-to-Head Record


Played:5  Netherlands Wins:2  Argentina Wins: 1 Draws:2

Netherlands vs Argentina Prediction Match Overview


The Netherlands finished top of Group A and met group B runners-up, the USA, in their round of 16 match. The Dutch took the lead with a Memphis Depay finish in the 10th minute after a Denzel Dumfries cross. Daley Blind then made it 2-0 on the stroke of half-time from another Dumfries cross in an almost carbon-copy goal to the first. The Americans pulled one back late in the second half through an unusual finish by Haji Wright. However, Dumfries capped off his excellent performance with a goal to seal the victory.

After winning Group C, Argentina met Group D runners-up Australia in the round of 16. Argentina outplayed the Australians for most of the game. Lionel Messi opened the scoring in the 35th minute with a lovely left-foot finish. Julian Alvarez pounced after the Argentines pressured Australian goalkeeper Matt Ryan into a mistake to make it 2-0. However, Australia scored with an extremely fortunate deflected goal to make the ending nervy for Argentina. A tremendous Lisandro Martinez block and a save from Emi Martinez ensured Argentina’s passage to the quarter-finals. Messi was fantastic in the game, highlighting why the vast majority of people consider him easily the best player of his generation and arguably the greatest player of all time.

The Europeans and South Americans now meet in the second quarter-final at 10 pm local time in Lusail on Friday. There is a rich history between the two in the World Cup, with Argentina winning the 1978 final against the Netherlands, amongst other clashes. It should be an intriguing match and could go either way. Neither side have lit up the tournament so far, so we will see if one can make a statement. The winners will meet either Croatia or Brazil in the first semi-final in Lusail.

Injuries and Suspensions

Might not play: Di Maria, De Paul, Gomez (Argentina)

Will not play: 

Possible Lineups

Croatia vs Brazil Prediction lineup
Brazil vs Croatia Prediction Lineup

Netherlands vs Argentina Prediction Analysis

The Contest for the Midfield

Argentina may change to three at the back to match the Netherlands’ formation. Frenkie de Jong and Marten de Roon are critical in the heart of the Dutch midfield. Davy Klaassen can play in front of them and drop deeper to help. Likewise, Argentina may match this with Rodrigo De Paul and Enzo Fernandez in their engine room and Alexis Mac Allister a little in advance. Predicting who will dominate possession is tricky. The Dutch only had 42 per cent of the ball against the Americans in the last round, but the USA do have a strong midfield. Argentina will likely try to take the game to the Netherlands, and the Dutch will be happy to pick their moments and play on the counter-attack. Indeed, Frenkie de Jong is influential in the Dutch midfield. His press resistance, short passing ability, and ability to make raking runs can disrupt the opposition’s shape. Marten de Roon will complement him here.

However, Rodrigo De Paul has improved as the tournament has gone on for Argentina. He is a slight injury doubt, but he will likely play. His work rate and ability to cover ground and press will be integral to the Argentines’ ability to stop the Dutch from gaining a foothold in the game. Enzo Fernandez is another classy and talented Argentina midfielder. As a young man, he has much energy and tenacity and can stop the Dutch from getting in their groove. Alexis Mac Allister will come deeper for Argentina to make up numbers in midfield, as will the irrepressible Lionel Messi. Therefore, Argentina will look to control the midfield and swamp the area, not allowing the Dutch any time on the ball. This situation might enable them to win the ball high and quickly pounce and attack with the wing-backs and Mac Allister, Fernandez, Messi and Alvarez.

The Dutch are playing very conservatively in this tournament under coach Louis Van Gaal. For a nation with a reputation for playing attractive, free-flowing football, there have been complaints back home. However, while Van Gaal is instructing his midfield men to play a more reserved game, it is clearly working for them. Argentina are the best team they will have faced so far, and they will be a more strenuous test. However, de Jong and de Roon could gain some ground in Netherlands vs Argentina and get the ball forward. In that case, they can create opportunities for the attackers to advance on the Argentina defence. Argentina will likely control possession, but it will not be extreme dominance. The Netherlands will always have an attacking threat if they can win the ball. It should be a fascinating battle in the central areas, with a plethora of energetic and technically gifted midfielders fighting for supremacy.

The Wide Areas and Forwards

The width and attackers will also be paramount in this match. At first glance, it seems like the Netherlands might have the edge out wide, as their wing-backs Denzel Dumfries and Daley Blind have been playing in this system all tournament. In contrast, Marcos Acuna and Nahuel Molina have generally played as more conventional full-backs in a back four up until now. Indeed, Dumfries is a marauding wing-back who gets up and down the pitch and can exploit attacking areas. We said in our Netherlands-USA preview that he still needed to come into his own in this tournament. However, an exceptional performance from him is what transpired against the Americans. Blind, too, while less mobile and more conservative than Dumfries, got forward against the USA to get himself a goal and an assist. These are positives for the Dutch, who will look to utilise the wing-backs again. However, against a better team (on paper) than the Americans, the Dutch wide players will likely have more defensive responsibility and might be pinned back sometimes.

The two Argentina forwards, Messi and Julian Alvarez, will drift wide. Both will be a nuisance, Alvarez with his pressing and harrying and skill, and Messi with his supreme dribbling, passing, and ability to orchestrate the game. When the Dutch wing-backs can get forward, de Jong and de Roon must cover them. Dumfries and Blind will have to deliver low crosses into the box for Cody Gakpo, Memphis Depay and Davy Klaassen arriving. The two Dutch forwards will also likely split often to come and support out wide and exploit spaces that Acuna and Molina vacate when they advance against the Dutch.

If both teams match up with identical formations, the flanks become a chess match. The game becomes about which central midfielders cover, which set of wing-backs attack more vigorously, and which front two are more dangerous in pressing, dribbling, and shooting. Both teams have three at the back, the Netherlands having the imperious Virgil Van Dijk in particular. The Argentines have good centre-backs too, so it will be difficult for the forward players to beat the centre-backs and find space for shots inside and outside the box. However, even at his advanced age, we should never discount Messi from being able to destroy any team. The midfielders on both sides will have to be cautious and try to cover the spaces between the lines Messi and Depay will drop into for their respective teams. Both can dribble and cannot be allowed to turn and face the opposing defence.

Overall, there will likely be plenty of wide play. The reasoning is that the midfield areas will be congested so the space will often be in the wider areas. Hence, whichever team can take advantage of the flanks should be in an excellent position to deliver crosses or use interplay to find their way into the box and find gaps in the middle. Messi is outstanding at popping the ball to the wings and continuing his run into the box to receive the ball for a finish. He can also set up Alvarez in the box. These weapons might be crucial in opening up a stubborn Dutch rearguard.

Netherlands Key Players

Denzel Dumfries

We are naming Dumfries again for three reasons. First, his performance against the USA suggests he is growing into the tournament. Second, our analysis said the space would be on the flanks. Hence, Dumfries will be one of the Dutch’s primary attacking outlets. Third, Messi might drift to his side sometimes, so Dumfries must keep an eye on the diminutive genius. Dumfries needs to get forward in Netherlands vs Argentina and try his best to interplay with the forwards and deliver crosses. He can arrive in the box when the ball comes in from Blind on the other side, as he did for his goal against the Americans. However, when the Dutch don’t have the ball, Dumfries must be defensively diligent. He must keep the likes of Messi, Alvarez, Acuna, and Mac Allister from finding little pockets in that Argentina left-hand channel. Messi plays on both sides, and as Dumfries is the more expansive of the Dutch wing-backs, we can see him targeting Dumfries’s side. Dumfries must be balanced in his attacking and defensive responsibilities.

Memphis Depay

Depay will often drift to the two flanks and look to link up with Dumfries, Blind, Klaassen or Gakpo. He can also receive the ball between the lines when de Jong breaks them with his dribbling. Depay is a talented dribbler, excellent at playing little through balls and link-up, and intelligent in finding space. He must try to find gaps in the box where the Argentina midfielders and defenders fall asleep and lose him, as he did against the USA. Depay has been in tremendous goalscoring form over the last 25 games he has played at international level, averaging around a goal per game. He has been carrying an injury, so Van Gaal has managed him carefully thus far. However, there are signs that he is coming into form just in time for the business-end of the tournament. Taking any opportunities that he gets against Argentina would solidify that theory.

Argentina Key Players

Alexis Mac Allister

Mac Allister is a young player who has come into the team as the tournament has progressed and has impressed. He has given the Argentine team more zest and zeal with his work rate, high pressing, intelligent runs from the midfield area, and good link-up with Messi, Alvarez, and De Paul. He will likely buzz around a lot in Netherlands vs Argentina, looking to find space using the intelligence and spatial awareness which is uncommon in a relatively young player. We expect him to be fastidious in trying to stop de Jong from playing well. Also, his little passes out wide and into the box could be crucial in finding that yard of space Argentina need to create chances against Andries Noppert in the Dutch goal. Mac Allister and Alvarez will be Messi’s main goalscoring and creative support, as will veteran wide man Angel Di Maria if he starts or comes on. It is imperative that they find Messi or chip in with shots on goal themselves if Messi is playing a creator role.

Lionel Messi

Coach Lionel Scaloni knows that Messi is the wildcard in this Argentina team. Argentina have been somewhat unfairly described as functional and bog-standard throughout this tournament, or ‘Messi plus 10’. This claim is unfair as they have some very talented footballers in their starting eleven. However, there is no doubt that talisman Messi stands above even his best teammates as the greatest footballer of his generation. This statement is a fact, even at age 35. Messi will look to orchestrate proceedings against the Netherlands as he did against Australia, where he put on a clinic. He scored and could have had three assists if not for Lautaro Martinez’s profligacy in front of the goal. The Dutch are a step up in class. However, Messi possesses the dribbling, invention, intelligence, shooting and passing to massively disrupt the Dutch shape and find gaps in their cohesive system. He will need to use all his experience to play in teammates such as Alvarez and try to find the net himself. If Messi plays well, Argentina play well. If he doesn’t, they are less fluid.

Beat the Bookmaker Netherlands vs Argentina Prediction


As the tournament reaches its final stages, the matches become more difficult to call as the better teams begin to face each other more regularly. The Dutch and Argentines have been criticised in this tournament for being conservative. There are claims that both sides could be more expansive and take more risks. However, in international tournament football, sometimes all that is needed is to stay tight at the back and create and take a few chances through magic moments. With Messi playing well, Argentina are built to absorb pressure and look to his genius to create or score goals. The Netherlands have game changers themselves in Gakpo and Depay.

Despite the talent on show, this could be quite a battle seeing two teams cancel each other out. Argentina will likely have more of the ball. However, this is more because we see the Dutch being happy to follow the pattern of their previous game and hit on the counter-attack. The Netherlands vs Argentina might be an attritional affair. The Dutch cannot play much better than they have in our view. Argentina, alternatively, are generally solid defensively, and they may have a gear or two to find both in terms of controlling the game and in attacking areas. The Dutch seem more fancied by fans in this game (if not the bookmakers), which surprises us and appears to be underestimating Argentina. This game will likely be very tight, but we think Argentina will have enough to get the goals they need to win it. They may well breach the Dutch rearguard once or twice, and a 1-0 or 2-1 win for the South Americans could be on the cards.


Netherlands 1-2 Argentina; Argentina to Win in 90 Minutes

Beat the Bookmaker Netherlands vs Argentina Prediction – Argentina to Win in 90 Minutes Odds:




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