Netherlands vs USA Prediction
3rd December 2022
18:00 Qatar Time/15:00 GMT
Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan
Referee: Wilton Sampaio (Brazil)
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Netherlands vs USA Prediction Match Overview
Netherlands vs USA promises to be a fascinating encounter to open the round of 16. In the end, the Netherlands topped Group A rather comfortably, with wins over Senegal and Qatar and a draw with South Americans Ecuador. They scored five goals in the group stage and only conceded one. However, it is arguable that they were in one of the more gentle groups of the eight. Indeed, without Sadio Mane, Senegal weren’t threatening opposition and hosts Qatar were highly disappointing. Ecuador did outplay the Dutch for large spells of the middle game. However, the Netherlands never looked in any danger of not qualifying.
The USA came in second place in Group B. Some claimed their group was the most challenging in the tournament, as it was the only one with all four teams ranked in Fifa’s top 20. However, the World Rankings can be wildly inaccurate regarding a team’s strength. Indeed, Wales showed little resistance in the group, although their solitary point did come against the USA. The Americans followed this with a goalless draw against England, where they were the superior team for long spells. In the final match, the USA had to win against Iran to qualify, and that is precisely what they did with a Christian Pulisic goal in the first half. Their games were low-scoring, with only three scored across the three matches.
Both teams now meet in the first round of 16 match at 6 pm local time on Saturday. Both will feel quite confident, as they can both move the ball well and have strong midfields. This game could be very tight. Indeed, the Americans’ last 13 World Cup matches have either been drawn or decided by one goal in either direction. Therefore, this could be a very competitive affair.
Injuries and Suspensions
Might not play: Sargeant (USA)
Will not play:
Netherlands vs USA Prediction Analysis
We don’t anticipate either team to deviate much from their apparent best elevens. In Netherlands vs USA, the midfield battle will be crucial. Both teams have talented midfielders in their ranks. The Dutch will likely start Teun Koopmeiners and Frenkie de Jong in central midfield, with Davy Klaassen in front of them in a more attacking role. The American midfield three is the heart of their team and offers much balance. Tyler Adams, Weston McKennie, and Yunus Musah are all very energetic, quick, and athletic players, which will be critical against the Dutch. De Jong is, of course, a very cultured midfielder. If given time to play, he is capable of controlling this game through his intelligent passing and receiving of the ball from Dutch centre-backs Virgil Van Dijk and Nathan Ake. McKennie and Musah must press high whenever possible, preventing de Jong from getting into a groove and setting the match’s tempo. De Jong is press-resistant, so the American midfielders must be diligent in their work. De Jong is also dangerous when driving forward with the ball through the midfield. The American central players must be aware of this and not allow him to advance to their defensive third. If he is allowed to, he can find Cody Gakpo and Memphis Depay with cute little through balls. De Jong must be stopped from finding the Dutch wide men and attackers with his incisive passing.
Next to De Jong, Koopmeiners will play a disciplined role and attempt to stop the Americans from getting on the ball themselves and spreading the play. Indeed, Musah and McKennie can drive forward too. While we expect the Netherlands to have more possession, we doubt it will be overwhelming, as the American midfield is good at retaining and recovering possession. Both midfields must also cover for their wing-backs and full-backs when they go forward. We expect an excellent contest for midfield superiority, perhaps with plenty of transitions. The likes of Klaassen and Pulisic will be marked closely by the Americans to try to prevent them from finding space between the lines for their teams. The American midfield can certainly cause the Dutch problems too, with their pressing, hard-running, and passing between the lines.
The wide areas will also be paramount in determining the result of Netherlands vs USA. The Netherlands line up in their 3-4-1-2 shape, so they will likely have Klaassen behind Memphis Depay and Cody Gakpo. Neither Dutch forward is a traditional number 9, and they will probably split and veer wide to link up with the Dutch wing-backs and allow Klaassen to attack the box. The Dutch will likely move the ball more intelligently on the left, where Daley Blind is cautious. However, the ball can quickly be shifted from the left to the younger, faster, and more energetic Denzel Dumfries on the right to disrupt the American shape. Dumfries was so impressive with his marauding runs at Euro 2020. However, in this tournament, he has been more reserved. He might come into his own at some point, and this match might be the time. He has to get up and down the pitch and link with Depay and Gakpo when they come wide to try to get behind the USA defence to deliver cut-backs and crosses. He can also act as a decoy for the two Dutch forwards to go inside and shoot.
Antonee Robinson and Sergino Dest are vital attacking weapons for the USA. They will be expected to get forward and support Christian Pulisic and Timothy Weah. Their pace and stamina can open up spaces for the tricky Weah and Pulisic to try to work openings and come inside onto Van Dijk and the other Dutch centre-backs. When the Americans get the chance, they must try to play in striker Haji Wright or get shots away. Equally, the full-backs must beware of over-committing because the Dutch can exploit the spaces they expose through Dumfries, Gakpo, and Depay. Intelligent decisions on when to defend and attack will be decisive in such a close matchup. Whichever team can transition better and make the best use of the flanks will likely win. Chances might be at a premium, so they must be taken when they arrive.
Replacements will be even more critical in the tournament’s knockout phase, with players injured, suspended or fatigued, and potentially extra time happening. Teams’ subs made much impact in the group stage, with five allowed, and they could be crucial again here. The Netherlands can bring on target men Vincent Janssen or Wout Weghorst if they want to try something different and go for an aerial bombardment. Steven Berghuis and Steven Bergwijn also offer fresh legs and invention in the attacking third. Youngster Xavi Simons could be a potential wildcard to open up the USA. The Americans also have options in the form of wingers Gio Reyna and Brenden Aaronson. Both are very young and exciting, and there have been calls for one or both to start. They are attractive weapons to introduce.
Netherlands Key Players
Frenkie de Jong
He is struggling with a cold, but de Jong will likely be available to start in the Netherlands vs USA game. The Dutch midfielder hasn’t perhaps lit up the tournament as expected. However, he will be integral to the Netherlands if they are to progress very far in the knockout phase. De Jong will be responsible for getting on the ball, trying to control the game, and setting the tempo for the Dutch. His passing, dribbling, and press resistance are some of his greatest assets. He must put them to full use here against a talented and energetic American midfield. He must also deliver the ball wide to Dumfries and come further forward to link up with Klaassen, Depay, and Gakpo by finding cute little passes into the front men. Make no mistake; de Jong is integral tactically in this game.
Gakpo aims to become the first player since Spaniard David Villa in 2010 to score the opening goal at four different World Cups. Gakpo’s all-round game could have been more impressive at times in the group stage. However, he was clinical, scoring three goals from four shots. The Dutch will hope that Gakpo has his shooting boots on again against the USA. The match will likely be short on chances, so Gakpo and Depay must take them when they arrive. He has to improve his link-up, too. Indeed, against a good team, he must combine well with Depay, de Jong, Klaassen, and Dumfries to open up the space against an organised American side.
USA Key Players
Adams is a young, energetic, and talented midfielder who impressed in the group stage. He, McKennie, and Musah ran the game in the first half against Wales. They were even more impressive against England and Iran. Adams is capable of controlling this game for the USA through his intelligent positioning, dynamism, and clever passing. He can keep the game ticking over and link up well with McKennie and Musah to try to feed the ball into the front three. As captain at such a young age, coach Gregg Berhalter clearly trusts and respects him. He must be careful, though, as he was booked in the previous game against Iran and is a suspension risk for a potential quarter-final. He must not allow this to inhibit his game.
Pulisic has been a star in European football since a young age and is the talisman of this USA team. He must use his pace, trickery, dribbling, and passing ability in this game to try to disrupt the Dutch shape and open up their wing-backs and defenders. Pulisic will play in that wide left channel for the USA, looking to exploit the spaces that Denzel Dumfries leaves and come inside to face Jurrien Timber. He will look to play little through balls behind the defence for Haji Wright. He can also go either way himself to get to the byline to cross or come inside to shoot. Pulisic is an intelligent winger with good decision-making and exemplary technique. He is capable of creating magic moments, and the Dutch will be wary of his considerable threat.
Netherlands vs USA Prediction
Netherlands vs USA is a challenging game to predict. Truthfully, the Netherlands have yet to be tested and have not looked particularly impressive. Their toughest match was against Ecuador, where the South Americans played with a back three. The USA will likely play a back four. However, they have similar threats out wide to Ecuadorians Pervis Estupinan and Gonzalo Plata, who had much success against the Dutch. If the Netherlands can hit form, they could win this game, but we like what we have seen from the USA so far. They keep possession well and have one of the tournament’s most talented and dynamic young midfields. We can see them giving the Netherlands a very challenging match and getting joy on counter-attacks. This match might be an attritional one. The Dutch are the favourites, but the USA can produce a slight upset and eliminate them. So far, this has been a World Cup of shocks, and the Americans knocking out the Dutch would be one of the less surprising ones. The prize for the winner is a quarter-final meeting with Argentina or Australia.
Beat the Bookmaker Verdict:
1-1, 1-2 AET
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