After missing out on qualification altogether in 2018, Netherlands return to familiar territory as they successfully reach the knockout stages of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Louis van Gaal will be setting his side up for a difficult clash against USA – who qualified after finishing runners-up thanks to Christian Pulisic’s winner against Iran.
Oranje have been knocked out in the round of 16 twice in their last six World Cup appearances – the other four times they reached the semi-final at least. The last time they were at the World Cup under Louis van Gaal was back in 2014 in Brazil where he guided the side to third place.
Results in the last five matches in all competitions:
Netherlands defender Jeremie Frimpong suffered an injury scare with his ankle on Wednesday but has been training since Thursday although it is unlikely the Bayer Leverkusen is to get the nod ahead of Denzel Dumfries who has been consistent throughout the group stages.
Van Gaal will keep an eye on how to deal with Matthijs de Ligt and Nathan Ake as both defenders are a yellow card away from a suspension in the quarter-final if they beat the USMNT.
For the USA, main man Christian Pulisic is being monitored daily after suffering a pelvic injury while scoring the winner against Iran despite the Chelsea forward offering his reassurances to his fans on social media.
GBeNeFN | Tom Phillips