Netherlands vs USA
After a lot posturing, the Netherlands now must ship whether it is to fulfil its personal prophecy on the World Cup, beginning with the opening conflict of the knockout stage in opposition to america on Saturday.
There was a lot discuss — all from the Dutch camp — of the group’s potential to go all the best way within the event in Qatar, principally from veteran coach Louis van Gaal, who enjoys just a little psychological coaxing and sparring.
However though it received its first spherical group, there was little proof to again up its self-confidence because it stuttered by in opposition to Senegal, Ecuador and the Qatari hosts.
Spherical of 16, matchday 1 timings
Netherlands vs USA – December 3, 8:30 PM IST – Khalifa Worldwide Stadium
Argentina vs Australia – December 4, 12:30 AM IST – Ahmad bin Ali Stadium
That may supply hope to the People, who will likely be underdogs for his or her last-16 conflict however who’ve already provided up some proof of their potential in an unbeaten run in Group B, with attracts in opposition to England and Wales and a gritty win over Iran to make sure their progress.
Whereas the U.S. sweat on the health of star participant Christian Pulisic — he has a pelvic damage and is being assessed each day, stated the US Soccer Federation — coach Gregg Berhalter stated his group would haven’t any inferiority advanced on the Khalifa Worldwide Stadium on Saturday.
For the Netherlands, key will likely be to get Memphis Depay firing in assault and Frenkie de Jong extra influential within the center. Van Gaal has described them each as indispensable to the Dutch trigger however they haven’t but proven that.
Depay says he’s over his hamstring damage, having made two substitute appearances and began their final group sport.
Argentina vs Australia
Argentina is a sizzling favorite to beat Australia on Saturday in pursuit of Lionel Messi’s dream of profitable a primary World Cup, but it surely greater than anybody has realized to not underestimate an underdog, particularly the hard-battling Socceroos.
Argentina suffered one of many greatest upsets in World Cup historical past with its opening defeat to Saudi Arabia, however recovered its poise to swagger previous Mexico and Poland into the final 16.
Australia, ranked 35 locations under Argentina, has already surpassed expectations in profitable twice to earn its place at Qatar’s Ahmad bin Ali Stadium this weekend for one of many greatest video games in its historical past.
Argentine striker Angel Di Maria was taken off as a precaution in its final sport in opposition to Poland however needs to be match to play alongside Messi once more, although Scaloni has loads of choices to throw in opposition to the Australians.
Reaching the quarter-finals can be dreamland for Australia, however for Argentina it’s a naked minimal nationwide expectation because it seeks a 3rd World Cup trophy.
Messi, on his fifth and closing quest to win the World Cup and match his nice predecessor Diego Maradona within the No. 10 shirt, is having fun with a concord with followers like by no means earlier than and will likely be relishing the prospect to thrill them additional in opposition to Australia.
(With inputs from Reuters)