World Cup round of 16: Netherlands vs. USA prediction, preview and team news

The opening match of the knockout stage takes place at Khalifa International Stadium

USA head coach Gregg Berhalter 
USA head coach Gregg Berhalter 
(Image credit: John Dorton/ISI Photos/Getty Images)

After finishing second behind England in group B, United States boss Gregg Berhalter spoke of his pride as his team reached the round of 16 at the Fifa World Cup.

Undefeated in the opening stage, Berhalter has now urged his squad to “go battle” with the Netherlands at the Khalifa International Stadium. “The guys grinded,” Berhalter said after the 1-0 win over Iran. “They gave every single ounce of energy. We are undefeated going into the knockout round. We will move on and we will go battle Holland.”

In 2002 the US reached the World Cup quarter-finals and Berhalter feels it’s a “great opportunity” to do that again. But the US are not going into Saturday’s game “thinking it’s an honour”. Berhalter added that his team “deserve to be in the position we’re in” and “we don’t want to go home”.

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If the US do reach the last eight, it would be a “slightly bigger achievement” than in 2002, said CBS Sports soccer analyst Grant Wahl. Simply, because the Dutch “are a better team” than Mexico were when the US beat them 20 years ago.

‘Total Football’ to ‘total turnoff’?

Louis van Gaal’s Netherlands come into the round of 16 having topped group A with two wins and a draw. Despite the results, has the country that gave us “Total Football” become “a total turnoff?”, asked James Ducker in The Telegraph. Their tactics have “attracted plenty of critics”, and it is certainly “not an exaggeration” to say there has been “a lot more entertainment in observing Van Gaal off the field than his team on it”.

The Dutch media’s criticism of the team’s performances led to the head coach responding in “typical Louis style”, Ducker added. Van Gaal told his critics to go home if they were so “terribly bored”.

While the Netherlands may not have entertained as a team, they do have one of the “breakout” stars of the World Cup in their attack, said Ben Knapton on SportsMole. Against Qatar, PSV winger Cody Gakpo became just the fourth man in Dutch history to score in three successive World Cup matches.

Gakpo has been in “sensational form” at Qatar 2022 and for his club PSV Eindhoven, said Lee Davey on talkSPORT. The 23-year-old has 12 goals and 14 assists for PSV across all competitions this season and former Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes believes he could be a possible replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo at Old Trafford. “The lad at PSV – Gakpo is doing really well for the Netherlands at the World Cup,” Scholes told MUTV’s The Debate. “I think [United manager Erik] ten Hag has been really interested in him before.”

Cody Gakpo (No.8) scored in each group game for the Netherlands

Cody Gakpo (No.8) scored in each group game for the Netherlands
(Image credit: Sarah Stier/Fifa via Getty Images)

Match facts

  • Who: Netherlands vs. USA
  • What: Fifa World Cup round of 16
  • When: Saturday 3 December 2022
  • Where: Khalifa International Stadium
  • Kick-off time: 3pm (all times GMT)
  • UK TV coverage: live on BBC One and iPlayer

Team news

After playing 66 minutes on his return against Qatar, Memphis Depay should feature again for the Dutch. Right-back Jeremie Frimpong has also given Louis van Gaal an injury scare after suffering an ankle knock during training.

Christian Pulisic was the USA hero against Iran, scoring the vital goal in the 1-0 win. He sustained an injury while scoring, and was taken off at half-time, but the Chelsea forward has assured USA fans that he will be fit for the clash against the Dutch. “So proud of my guys,” he posted on social media. “I’ll be ready Saturday don’t worry.”

Possible starting XIs

  • Netherlands: Noppert; Timber, Van Dijk, Ake; Dumfries, De Roon, F. De Jong, Blind; Klaassen; Gakpo, Depay
  • USA: Turner; Dest, Carter-Vickers, Ream, Robinson; McKennie, Adams, Musah; Weah, Sargent, Pulisic


It is not difficult to imagine these two teams “cancelling each other out”, said Marc Mayo in the London Evening Standard. The US are “buoyed by an unbeaten start” and the Dutch are “more talented”, but yet to “fully click” in Qatar. Prediction: A 0-0 draw, USA to win on penalties.

The Netherlands “may not work the goalkeeper that much”, but the “ruthlessness” of Gakpo and the rest of Van Gaal’s “crop” still makes them a “highly formidable” foe, said Ben Knapton on SportsMole. “We can only envisage Oranje marching on to the quarter-finals.” Prediction: Netherlands 2 USA 0.

Van Gaal’s team “may not be playing well”, but the “supercomputer expects their winning habit to continue”, said Ben Spratt on Opta Analyst. They are “51.9% favourites” for this one. The USA prediction is at a “22% chance”, while a draw that would spell penalties has a “26.1% likelihood”.

According to the bookies, USA are the “underdogs” for this knockout tie, said Tom Viera on Oddschecker. He doesn’t see an “abundance of goals” and likes the odds of a draw at the end of full-time. Viera expects this match to be “decided in extra time”.

The stadium

Originally built in 1976, the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha was redeveloped for the World Cup. Six group games were played at the 45,416-capacity venue as well as this round of 16 fixture and the third/fourth-placed play-off match.



  • Head coach: Louis van Gaal
  • Key player: Frenkie de Jong
  • One to watch: Cody Gakpo
  • Goalkeepers: Justin Bijlow (Feyenoord), Andries Noppert (Heerenveen), Remko Pasveer (Ajax)
  • Defenders: Nathan Ake (Manchester City), Daley Blind (Ajax), Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool), Denzel Dumfries (Inter Milan), Jeremie Frimpong (Bayer Leverkusen), Matthijs de Ligt (Bayern Munich), Tyrell Malacia (Manchester United), Jurrien Timber (Ajax), Stefan de Vrij (Inter Milan)
  • Midfielders: Steven Berghuis (Ajax), Frenkie de Jong (Barcelona), Davy Klaassen (Ajax), Teun Koopmeiners (Atalanta), Marten de Roon (Atalanta), Xavi Simons (PSV Eindhoven), Kenneth Taylor (Ajax)
  • Forwards: Steven Bergwijn (Ajax), Memphis Depay (Barcelona), Cody Gakpo (PSV), Vincent Janssen (Antwerp), Luuk de Jong (PSV), Noah Lang (Club Brugge), Wout Weghorst (Besiktas)


  • Head coach: Gregg Berhalter
  • Key player: Christian Pulisic
  • One to watch: Sergino Dest
  • Goalkeepers: Ethan Horvath (Luton), Sean Johnson (New York City), Matt Turner (Arsenal)
  • Defenders: Cameron Carter-Vickers (Celtic), Sergino Dest (AC Milan), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls), Shaq Moore (Nashville), Tim Ream (Fulham), Antonee Robinson (Fulham), Joe Scally (Borussia Monchengladbach), DeAndre Yedlin (Miami), Walker Zimmerman (Nashville)
  • Midfielders: Brenden Aaronson (Leeds), Kellyn Acosta (Los Angeles), Tyler Adams (Leeds), Luca de la Torre (Celta Vigo), Weston McKennie (Juventus), Yunus Musah (Valencia), Cristian Roldan (Seattle)
  • Forwards: Jesus Ferreira (Dallas), Jordan Morris (Seattle), Christian Pulisic (Chelsea), Gio Reyna (Borussia Dortmund), Josh Sargent (Norwich), Tim Weah (Lille), Haji Wright (Antalyspor)

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Mike Starling is the digital features editor at The Week, where he writes content and edits the Arts & Life and Sport website sections and the Food & Drink and Travel newsletters. He started his career in 2001 in Gloucestershire as a sports reporter and sub-editor and has held various roles as a writer and editor at news, travel and B2B publications. He has spoken at a number of sports business conferences and also worked as a consultant creating sports travel content for tourism boards. International experience includes spells living and working in Dubai, UAE; Brisbane, Australia; and Beirut, Lebanon.