Netherlands will be looking to secure a place in the round of 16 knowing a win or a draw against Qatar will be enough to progress in the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Oranje have so far picked up a win and a draw against Senegal and Ecuador respectively despite both performances below the norm for Louis van Gaal’s side.
Certain players have faced criticism including Virgil van Dijk who was on the receiving end from Marco van Basten. On a more positive note, Cody Gakpo has been winning the plaudits with his individual performances as the transfer windmill continues to churn in the background.
Head coach Van Gaal stated how he believes side could well win the World Cup this winter but will want to see his side produce a more clinical performance as they aim to progress and expect to face some of the heavyweights in this competition in the later stages. A solid win against Qatar will be the absolute minimum at the Al Bayt Stadium.
Results in the last five matches in all competitions:
Van Gaal has a number of big decisions to make going into the match to ensure a place in the round of 16. First order of business will be to see whether or not to risk Memphis Depay a place in the starting line-up after two appearances on the bench. The Barcelona forward was Oranje’s top scorer in qualifying but has not started a match for club or country since sustaining an injury against Poland in September. Second will be to choose between Jurrien Timber and Matthijs de Ligt at the back as well as the dilemma in midfield between Steven Berghuis and Teun Koopmeiners.
Mohammed Muntari may well start for Qatar after impressing off the bench against Senegal and getting a goal against the African Cup of Nations as well as Abdulaziz Hatem who produce a solid performance in the second-half too.
GBeNeFN | Tom Phillips