World Cup quarter-final: Netherlands vs. Argentina prediction, preview and team news

Virgil van Dijk and the Dutch are ready to take their ‘opportunity’ at the World Cup

Netherlands captain Virgil van Dijk and Argentina skipper Lionel Messi 
Netherlands captain Virgil van Dijk and Argentina skipper Lionel Messi 
(Image credit: Fifa via Getty Images)

Fifa World Cup encounters between the Netherlands and Argentina have produced some of the most iconic moments in football history. Mario Kempes’s brace and the ticker-tape celebrations after Argentina’s 3-1 victory in the 1978 final have gone down in folklore. As has Dennis Bergkamp’s legendary late winner in the last eight in 1998.

If Friday’s quarter-final clash at the Lusail Stadium can be half as good as those meetings, then we’ll be in for a cracker. However, the two previous World Cup meetings, in 2006 and 2014, “failed to produce a goal”, said Sporting News. And the last competitive goal scored in this fixture was Bergkamp’s 24 years ago.

At the semi-final stage in Brazil in 2014, Argentina progressed on penalties after the match ended goalless. Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal said that his team have got “a score to settle” with Argentina “for what happened two World Cups ago”.

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‘It’s not the Dutch vs. Messi’

One of the big storylines at Qatar 2022 has been about Argentina skipper Lionel Messi, who is playing in his fifth and final World Cup. In the round of 16 Messi played his 1,000th career match and scored in the 2-1 win over Australia. Now 35, the brilliant No.10 has lifted the Copa América with his country, but is still to emulate the great Diego Maradona by winning the World Cup.

While the star forward is La Albiceleste’s captain and talisman, this match is “not the Dutch vs. Messi”, said Netherlands skipper Virgil van Dijk. “It’s the Dutch against Argentina.” Liverpool defender Van Dijk acknowledged that Argentina are a “fantastic team”, but his country also has “hunger and dreams” for World Cup success. “We are in the quarter-finals and we could be three games from glory,” he said. “We want to leave it all on the pitch and get some success. This is our opportunity.”

The winners of this match will play Croatia or Brazil in the World Cup semi-finals.

Match facts

  • Who: Netherlands vs. Argentina
  • What: Fifa World Cup quarter-final
  • When: Friday 9 December 2022
  • Where: Lusail Stadium, Al Daayen
  • Kick-off time: 7pm (all times GMT)

How to watch on TV in the UK

Friday’s quarter-final clash between the Netherlands and Argentina will be shown live in the UK on BBC One and iPlayer. TV coverage begins at 6.30pm and the match kicks off at 7pm.

Team news

Netherlands boss Van Gaal had everyone fit for the round of 16 win over the USA and that should be the case for Friday, too. He is expected to name the same starting XI.

Argentina have concerns over winger Angel Di Maria. He missed the win over Australia because of a thigh injury and is a doubt to face the Dutch. Papu Gomez came off against Australia with an ankle sprain and is also a doubt.

Possible starting XIs

  • Netherlands: Noppert; Timber, Van Dijk, Ake; Dumfries, De Roon, De Jong, Blind, Klaassen; Gakpo, Memphis
  • Argentina: Martinez; Molina, Romero, Otamendi, Acuna; De Paul, Fernandez, Mac Allister; Di Maria or Gomez, Alvarez, Messi


“Stalemates” between the Dutch and Argentina have been “commonplace” at the World Cup, said Ben Knapton on SportsMole. And we “do not expect that theme to change here”. Lionel Scaloni’s side “may have to rely on their penalty-kick prowess” to set up a semi-final clash with Croatia or Brazil. Prediction: Netherlands 2 Argentina 2 – after extra time, Argentina to win on penalties.

The Dutch are the “most skilled” side Argentina will have faced in Qatar, said Forbes. Memphis Depay, Virgil van Dijk and Frenkie de Jong will look to be “the spoilers” in this fairy-tale run for Lionel Messi and Co. This match-up “could end in a draw”, resulting in penalty kicks to decide the winner. “Look for either Depay or Messi to have some brilliance to tie this game up.”

This is “a terrible match-up” for Argentina, who are a side that “do not overwhelm in attack” and can be “thwarted by a team that takes its chances”, said Kyle Bonn on Sporting News. That’s “exactly” what the Netherlands do: “excel at snatching their opportunities”. It might only be a draw, but the Netherlands “will fancy their chances on penalties”. Score prediction: Netherlands 1 Argentina 1.

The most likely outcome of this match is an Argentina win with “a probability of 37.09%”, according to SportsMole’s data analysis. A win for the Netherlands has “a probability of 35.68%” and the draw “27.2%”. The most likely scoreline for an Argentina win is 1-0 with a probability of 10.6%.

According to “our supercomputer”, the Argentina odds of a victory are “44.2%”, said Jon Fisher on Opta Analyst. The Netherlands are rated at a “27.1% chance” with a draw coming in at “28.7%”.

The stadium

The 80,000-seater Lusail Stadium is the centrepiece of the Qatar World Cup and will host the final on 18 December. Located nine miles north of Doha, six group games and the round of 16 clash between Portugal and Switzerland have so far been held at the stadium. This quarter-final between Netherlands and Argentina, one semi-final and the final will also be hosted here.



  • 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: Lionel Scaloni
  • Key player: Lionel Messi
  • One to watch: Julian Alvarez
  • Goalkeepers: Emiliano Martinez (Aston Villa), Franco Armani (River Plate) and Geronimo Rulli (Villarreal)
  • Defenders: Gonzalo Montiel (Sevilla), Nahuel Molina (Atletico Madrid), German Pezzella (Real Betis), Cristian Romero (Tottenham Hotspur), Nicolas Otamendi (Benfica), Lisandro Martinez (Manchester United), Juan Foyth (Villarreal), Nicolas Tagliafico (Olympique Lyonnais), Marcos Acuna (Sevilla)
  • Midfielders: Leandro Paredes (Juventus), Guido Rodriguez (Real Betis), Enzo Fernandez (Benfica), Rodrigo De Paul (Atletico Madrid), Exequiel Palacios (Bayer Leverkusen), Alejandro Gomez (Sevilla), Alexis Mac Allister (Brighton & Hove Albion)
  • Forwards: Paulo Dybala (AS Roma), Lionel Messi (Paris Saint-Germain), Angel Di Maria (Juventus), Nicolas Gonzalez (Fiorentina), Joaquin Correa (Inter Milan), Lautaro Martinez (Inter Milan), Julian Alvarez (Manchester City)

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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.