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FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022: Messi and Argentina take on Netherlands in battle of heavyweights

The burden of historical past rests on the shoulders of immediately’s inheritors of the orange jersey and that of the blue-and-white striped shirts. Previous gamers of the three-time finalist and the two-time champion have clashed in lots of World Cup classics, and Argentina towards the Netherlands once more guarantees to be a cracker of a recreation. 

A wiser Louis van Gaal, again on the Dutch helm, had bolted shut the creativity of Lionel Messi, then at his peak, once they final met within the semifinals of Brazil 2014. Messi was subdued, however Argentina nonetheless went by as Wesley Sneijder and Ron Vlaar missed their penalties. 

His group, van Gaal insists, is prepared for all eventualities. “We assist gamers in a scientific technique to practise penalties and we hope we could have a minor benefit if now we have to take penalties,” he stated in his pre-match press convention. 

READ: Netherlands in penalty shootouts at FIFA World Cup – Records, stats, saves and goals

The Argentines, although, had didn’t win the 2 earlier conferences – in 1998 and 2006 – Lionel Scaloni, the youngest supervisor right here, doesn’t need the sport to go all the way down to the uncertainties that shootouts carry. “We are able to’t take into consideration penalty shootouts from now as a result of then our focus can be misplaced. We must always first have a look at 90 minutes and win the sport,” he stated. “A very powerful is how we attempt to injury the opponent and never get broken ourselves. We have now analysed the Dutch group and can set our group accordingly.” 

A six-day break after an emotional round-of-16 win over the Aussies has helped the Argentines because the group utilised the free time to chill out and rejuvenate with their households. “Moments with members of the family are vital to unwind and benefit from the World Cup. Until the Australia recreation we had performed 4 matches in 11 days, however now we’re rested and prepared, bodily and mentally,” Alexis Mac Allister, who scored towards Poland, stated. 

Angel Di Maria’s left-side runs and fixed altering of positions was missed in the course of the Australia recreation, however Scaloni expects the veteran to be out there and assist disrupt Holland’s plan of utilizing Denzel Dumfries and Daley Blind by the wings. 

ALSO READ: Argentina vs Netherlands, FIFA World Cup Quarterfinals – Three key battles to look out for

Holland had been comparatively untested in group-stage wins over Qatar and Senegal earlier than dealing with moments of hassle towards the USA. Whereas Memphis Depay steadily improves his health and recreation, a younger Cody Gakpo has been its breakout star with three objectives from 4 video games. For Argentina, Messi has benefited from the introduction of a extra cellular Julian Alvarez and has already tried 4.8 photographs on objective per recreation – the second most at this World Cup after Kylian Mbappe’s 5.3 – and performed 3.3 key passes (essentially the most per recreation).  

Van Gaal has been combative in regards to the media’s notion of the Dutch below him adopting a adverse recreation, shifting away from the rampant free soccer of Johan Cruyff. 

He was angsty once more when requested about his 3-5-2 system. “My imaginative and prescient has advanced; I used to be head coach of Ajax with a really offensive DNA and in Barcelona I learnt you can’t at all times pursue that. After which, I began excited about soccer otherwise and in World Cup 2014, you’d have seen that imaginative and prescient and extra groups at the moment are utilizing that. Soccer is evolving and it’s not straightforward to play the offensive approach Ajax used to play. We additionally press, push and do it in different methods, and never simply defend. Brazil can also be doing nearly the identical factor because the Dutch,” he stated. 

The Dutch supervisor has an axe to grind towards Di Maria as properly. The Argentine winger had known as his former Manchester United boss “the worst coach of my profession”. 

“I’m very sorry that Ángel Di María as soon as stated that I’m the worst coach he has ever had. Right here subsequent to me sits Memphis. He was additionally in Manchester. And now we kiss on the mouth,” the oldest supervisor at this World Cup stated. “We didn’t see eye to eye then however now we work collectively, and I wish to kiss him on the mouth, however appears to be like like now he doesn’t need that.” 

Van Gaal’s jokes could also be somewhat stale, however his Netherlands group will hope to be recent and able to scuttle the ceremonial ‘Leo Messi final dance’ that this World Cup is quick changing into.  

Get all the outcomes for the FIFA World Cup 2022 right here: Full list of all matches, scores, results, goalscorers

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