Netherlands vs Qatar Prediction
29th November 2022
18:00 Qatar Time/15:00 GMT
Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor
World Cup Head-to-Head Record
Netherlands vs Qatar Prediction Match Overview
Netherlands vs Qatar could see the Dutch top the group. The Netherlands enter the match in a good position, having collected 4 points from their previous two games and on the brink of qualification. Their performance in the last match against Ecuador was pretty tepid. Indeed, the Ecuadorians were the better team for long spells of that game after Cody Gakpo had given the Dutch an early lead with a beautiful left-foot shot. However, Enner Valencia’s equaliser in the second half prevented the Dutch from qualifying on the night. The Netherlands know that attaining a point against Qatar will guarantee their place in the round of 16. They can also afford a loss if Ecuador beat Senegal. A draw in that match or Senegal win and a simultaneous Dutch loss would see permutations come into play. However, the Netherlands will not be thinking that way. They will want to win and seal first place in the group.
The Asians enter the Netherlands vs Qatar match knowing they have already been eliminated. They conceded three goals against Senegal, but a Mohammed Muntari header created history by giving Qatar their first-ever goal in the World Cup. The Qataris will play for pride in this game, hoping to beat the Netherlands and make more history with a first-ever World Cup win. However, they are under no illusions about how tough this challenge is.
Injuries and Suspensions
Might not play:
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Netherlands vs Qatar Prediction Analysis
The Midfield Battle
We anticipate that both teams will likely keep their starting elevens from their last games. However, there is the potential for Dutch coach Louis Van Gaal to be more expansive and switch to 4-3-3. Qatar coach Felix Sanchez may reward Mohammed Muntari with a start, given his goal against Senegal.
The midfield battle will be crucial in the Netherlands vs Qatar game. Frenkie de Jong has had a mixed World Cup so far for the Netherlands. However, up against Karim Boudiaf and Assim Madibo, he must try his best to run the game. De Jong must receive the ball from the Dutch centre-backs and try to start moves. He will likely have plenty of time on the ball in this match, as the Qatar players will probably sit deeper and retain their shape. Qatar won’t likely try to be expansive and overly attacking. However, you never know, as they have the freedom to play now that they are confirmed as eliminated. Still, we think de Jong will see plenty of the ball and control the game.
The Netherlands should have the majority of possession, and this situation suits de Jong perfectly. His midfield partner will likely be Teun Koopmeiners, though Steven Berghuis and Marten de Roon are also options. De Jong will look to play the ball through the lines with cute little passes and drive forward with his excellent dribbling ability. If he can do this, he can break the Qatari lines. Boudiaf and Madibo, as stated, will likely stay deeper, but they must try to press de Jong where they can. If de Jong is given too much time and space, he can run any game. Koopmeiners will support de Jong by offering space for de Jong to link up with him. Gakpo will likely stay higher for the Dutch. Al-Haydos can come deeper and outnumber the Dutch midfield in this situation. It might be a futile effort. However, the Dutch have yet to impress in this tournament and will have to play through a stubborn Qatari side.
Both sides have wing-backs and wide men who can exploit the flanks. The starting formations look narrow, but Bergwijn and Depay should act as split strikers sometimes, coming deeper and wider to allow Gakpo to attack the space in the box. Depay, especially, is a real livewire. He will come to the left to aid Daley Blind and the right to try to link up play with the pacey and marauding Denzel Dumfries. The right wing could be a source of success for the Dutch in Netherlands vs Qatar, as Homam Ahmed likes to get forward on Qatar’s left-hand side. Boudiaf and Madibo must cover this space when he does; otherwise, Depay and Bergwijn will be free to exploit the channel and come inside on to the Qatari centre-backs. Gakpo will also come wide on occasion. Therefore, through Dumfries, Gakpo, Bergwijn, and Depay, the Netherlands will interchange positions and try to cause havoc and confusion in the Qatari defence. Depay is a talented player, and he will look to come inside and get shots off or link the play with Bergwijn and Gakpo. De Jong will also often feed Dumfries and the wide men to try to drag the Qatar players out of position and find the gaps in the middle.
For Qatar, Al-Haydos will drift wide, and on the occasions he receives the ball, he must take better care of it than he has so far in the tournament. Afif is probably Qatar’s best player, and he must link with Ahmed when he comes wide. Qatar’s left side appears to be their best avenue of success, and it will be interesting to see how they get on against Dumfries on the Dutch right. Afif must try to be tricky and dribble into the areas Dumfries vacates and try to come on to Timber and Van Dijk to get shots away. This area is where Koopmeiners must be disciplined and mindful and cover the gaps as Dumfries gallops forward.
Dutch Finishing and Possible Replacements
The Netherlands attackers have been criticised for being rather profligate. However, Depay’s record over the last 25 games is impressive, averaging about a goal a game. If they want to advance far in this tournament, they have to take more chances when they arise. This game may be a good chance to practice their shooting as we expect them to create opportunities. They can bring on Davy Klaassen later in the game as he is good at running into the box and getting strikes on goal, as he displayed against Senegal. They can also implement plan B with big men Wout Weghorst or Vincent Janssen. Qatar’s best creative avenue is introducing attacking midfielder Mohammed Waad and the lively and previously mentioned goalscorer Muntari (if he does not start).
Netherlands Key Players
Virgil Van Dijk
Van Dijk is one of the best central defenders in the world. However, he has yet to perform at his best in his first-ever international tournament. His calmness and composure are essential in this game as the Qatari attackers will play with the shackles off and with increased freedom. He must beware of Afif coming inside onto him and Muntari and Almoez Ali’s ability in the air from crosses. Van Dijk is excellent in the air and on the ground, so he will hope to contain the Qatari forwards. He is also vital in distributing the ball and starting moves. His balls into de Jong and long diagonals into the wingers could be on display here.
We previously mentioned de Jong’s importance in midfield, which is true in every game he plays for the Netherlands. However, we have selected Depay as the Netherlands’ second key player in the Netherlands vs Qatar game as he is just returning from injury. Therefore, we are interested to see how he holds up and his probable condition for the knockout phase (as the Netherlands will likely qualify). He will run the channels, get in behind, and display his trickery against the Qatar backline. He must be inventive and creative. Just as importantly, we expect the Netherlands to create chances. With his scoring record, he must be clinical and prove that he can score goals in this tournament. He is critical to the Dutch in Qatar and will look to open his account in this game.
Qatar Key Players
Barsham came in between the sticks for the Senegal game after Saad Al Sheeb’s calamitous display against Ecuador, and we expect him to start again. As stated, the Netherlands will likely create opportunities and have plenty of shots on goal. Barsham, therefore, must be on top form in terms of shot-stopping. He will probably have a busy day and must try to be big and close down the angles when the likes of Gakpo and Depay have one-on-ones. He must also be strong and come to claim crosses if the Dutch turn to the previously implied plan B. He must also distribute the ball well when he has it; if he kicks it long too often, the ball will just come straight back as the Dutch will retain possession. His performance will likely be vital in this game.
We have mentioned Frenkie de Jong frequently in this preview, and Boudiaf must limit the Dutchman’s influence on the game. As stated, Qatar will likely retain their shape, and Boudiaf must remain disciplined and not lose concentration for a moment. He must try to halt de Jong’s runs forward and cover the gaps when the Qatari wing-backs advance. If he can link up well with Al-Haydos, Madibo, and Afif and receive the ball from his defenders, Qatar might be able to gain a foothold in the game. He and his teammates must be brave when confronted with possible Dutch pressing. As their best midfielder, ultimately, Boudiaf will set the tone.
Netherlands vs Qatar Prediction
There will likely be no upsets in the Netherlands vs Qatar game. The hosts have performed poorly, and we cannot see them doing much against the Dutch. The Netherlands must not take Qatar lightly, but if they are professional and do their jobs properly, they should win comfortably in this final group game. The Dutch might play four at the back to attack a weak Qatar side. However, we expect them to stick with the three, control the midfield areas, and create several chances. We were going to be more conservative and predict 2-0 to the Netherlands. Qatar, though, are low on quality, and we may see plenty of Dutch goals and the Oranje probably sealing first in the group on goal difference.