2022 World Cup Preview, Predictions and Lineups: Netherlands vs Argentina

The Netherlands and Argentina go head-to-head on Friday at the Lusail Stadium in the quarter-finals of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. The Dutch are undefeated this winter and Louis van Gaal’s side will be feeling they have every chance of defeating La Albiceleste in a cracking matchup between two international heavyweights.

However, Lionel Messi and co. have turned things around since their tournament opener – a surprise 2-1 defeat against Saudi Arabia – and have gone on to win all three games since. Below is our Netherlands vs Argentina preview, predictions and potential lineups for their World Cup quarter-final clash.

Netherlands vs Argentina Preview

The Netherlands have looked very strong in Qatar so far and have come away from all four of their matches unscathed. However, they are yet to face some of the stronger opposition at this year’s tournament and Argentina are expected to be a step up. Ultimately, the Oranje cruised through their last 16 tie against the USA after a wonderful performance by Inter’s Denzel Dumfries, helping them to a 3-1 victory.

The Dutch have finished as finalists at the World Cup three times in their history but are yet to go on and become victorious on the biggest stage. The Netherlands also suffered defeat in the 1978 final against hosts Argentina after extra time. Encounters between the two always seem to be close so it wouldn’t be a surprise if the game goes the full distance here.

The world was in awe of the Saudis upset over Lionel Scaloni’s men, which seems like forever ago, but Argentina have looked a lot stronger since. Solid 2-0 victories over both Mexico and Poland in Group C meant that they even managed to top the group and hand them a round of 16 matchup against Australia, rather than France. Although the Socceroos put in a valiant effort, goals from Messi and Julian Alvarez ensured victory.

Argentina have been crowned world champions twice in their history but last did so back in 1986. They’ve finished as runners-up twice since then – in 1990 and most recently in 2014. After a round of 16 exit in Russia against France, pressure is on for La Albiceleste to deliver another chance at winning the competition for Messi as he plays at his last World Cup.

Team News

Without suffering any injury issues through four games, the Netherlands are fully fit and raring to go against Argentina. Van Gaal isn’t expected to change much ahead of the game, with the usual 3-4-1-2 system in place. Jurrien Timber, Virgil van Dijk and Nathan Ake are likely to continue as the three-man defense, whilst Bayern Munich’s Matthijs de Ligt has been preferred on the bench.

Depay headed into this year’s World Cup with a hamstring injury and was only able to make an appearance off the bench in the tournament opener against Senegal. The Barcelona forward came on at half time against Ecuador, before getting 65 minutes against Qatar. However, he appeared to be back at his best against the USA, scoring the opener. Himself and Cody Gakpo are set to lead the line in a strong attack for the Netherlands.

Angel Di Maria could be in line for a return to the team after he was left out of the round of 16 match against Australia. It was thought it was just a precautionary measure to ensure he was fit for the latter stages and so he could replace Alejandro Gomez who suffered an injury himself against the Socceroos. 

Manchester City forward Julian Alvarez has started the last two games for La Albiceleste and has also got on the scoresheet in each. He is expected to keep his spot in the starting lineup, leaving Inter’s Lautaro Martinez on the bench. Martinez started the first two World Cup games for Scaloni but has struggled at this year’s competition, failing to find the back of the net and also being wasteful with his chances in front of goal.


In a rematch of the 2014 World Cup semi-final, many will be hoping that there is not a repeat of the same scoreline. After going through 120 minutes of action without a goal, Argentina eventually went through on penalties after misses from both Ron Vlaar and Wesley Sneijder for the Dutch.

The game prior to that finished 0-0 too back in 2006, also at the World Cup. A cagey affair could be in order once more but Messi will be hoping he can add to his tally of three goals at this year’s tournament, whilst Gakpo will also be hoping to do the same for the Oranje.

Despite a history of dull affairs, both sides have been full of life in front of goal in Qatar and have scored in every World Cup match so far. Their round of 16 clashes saw 3+ goals each, with both teams also conceding. A goalless contest is less likely this time around.

Potential Lineups:

The Netherlands (3-4-1-2): Andries Noppert; Jurrien Timber, Virgil van Dijk, Nathan Ake; Denzel Dumfries, Marten de Roon, Frenkie de Jong, Daley Blind; Davy Klaassen; Cody Gakpo, Memphis Depay

Argentina (4-3-3): Emiliano Martinez; Nahuel Molina, Cristian Romero, Nicolas Otamendi, Marcos Acuna; Enzo Fernandez, Rodrigo de Paul, Alexis Mac Allister; Julian Alvarez, Lionel Messi, Angel Di Maria

Final Prediction

The Netherlands 2-1 Argentina (AET)

We’re anticipating a close match up here and could easily see this one going the full distance. History suggests that the game will be tight and neither side has shown enough at this year’s World Cup to gain much of an advantage heading into this one.

Van Gaal’s side have been well-drilled and organised and the quality that they have throughout the squad is strong. Their talent also seems to be a little more spread out across more areas of the pitch than in recent major tournaments. However, Messi magic could prevail once more and the strong Argentinian presence in Qatar, especially like at their round of 16 game against Australia, could push them through.

It may even take penalties to decide who goes on to face either Croatia or Brazil in the semi-finals but we’re predicting the Dutch to just about edge out Argentina in extra time. Either way, it’s going to be a fascinating and enthralling contest.