The World Cup is getting closer and closer to crowing its 2022 champion. Now, some teams have already advanced to the quarterfinals, cementing their names as one of the world’s top eight teams. This means it is time for some Netherlands vs Argentina bold predictions.
Oranje is coming off a 3-1 victory against the United States in the round of 16. The Netherlands team was undefeated in the group stage, leading Group A with seven points on two victories and a draw.
On the other hand, La Albiceleste had a challenging group campaign. Lionel Messi and Argentina opened their World Cup with an upset 2-1 loss to Saudi Arabia. Then, they followed with two 2-0 wins against Mexico and Poland. In the round of 16, Argentina defeated Australia 2-1.
It is win or go home for both sides, so it should be a battle until the final whistle. With that being said, here are four bold predictions as the Netherlands and Argentina play in the 2022 FIFA World Cup quarterfinals on Friday.
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4. Cody Gakpo scores his fourth World Cup goal
After failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, the Netherlands went through a big rebuilding process. Dutch stars such as Arjen Robben, Robin van Persie, and Wesley Sneijder retired from the national team, opening the doors to a new generation of talent.
One of them is Cody Gakpo. The PSV Eindhoven winger is making his name known worldwide as he is shining for the Netherlands in the tournament. The 23-year-old is performing so well that he has been linked to Europe giants such as Manchester United.
In his first World Cup, Gakpo already has three goals, scoring in all group-stage matches, becoming the first Dutch player to do so.
As teammate Memphis Depay seems to be fully recovered from his injury, Gakpo should have a lot of help on Friday. With the Barcelona forward getting most of the attention, Gakpo should have more opportunities. The bold prediction is that he will score his fourth World Cup goal against Argentina.
3. Game will be tied at halftime
In its group, the Netherlands entered halftime with a draw against Senegal, scoring twice only past the 80th minute. Argentina had 0-0 ties versus Mexico and Poland by halftime.
Based on what both teams showed in their previous matches, they are used to deciding the game in the final 45 minutes. While it should be a back-and-forth outing, it is difficult to imagine no team scoring in the first half.
Fans should expect a lot of chances in the first half by both the Dutch and Argentinians. As they go to the locker room at halftime, the score could likely be 1-1.
2. Lionel Messi goes off, scores once and assists another
There is no secret that Argentina’s hopes of winning its third World Cup title depend on how well Lionel Messi is playing. The Paris Saint-Germain star was often criticized for his performances at the international level, but his 2022 World Cup is showing he is ready to finally take home the trophy.
In four games, Messi has three goals and one assist. This is just the second time in his World Cup career that he has scored more than once. He found the net four times in 2014, all in the group stage, as the Argentinians lost to Germany in the final. His goal against Australia in the round of 16 was his first goal in a knockout contest in the World Cup.
With Messi playing some of the best international soccer in his career, this should continue in the quarterfinals. The bold prediction is that he will go off for Argentina on Friday. He should score once as well as assist another, likely giving him the Man of the Match award. Should that happen, Argentina will be in a great position to advance to the final four.
1. Argentina wins 3-1, advances to the semifinals
While both teams have momentum on their sides after important victories, Argentina has the biggest résumé. The team has experience playing huge World Cup games, while most of the Netherlands roster is making its debut in the tournament.
Additionally, only Argentina has a player at the level of Messi. He is playing his fifth World Cup, plus he has many UEFA Champions League titles under his belt.
In the end, Argentina has one of the best players in the history of the sport. If there is a guy who needs one play to decide the game, that is Messi. Any team with him on the roster should be at the very least in the conversations for a title.
The bold prediction is that Argentina will win 3-1 versus the Netherlands. This will mean that Messi and La Albiceleste will advance to the semifinals for the second time in the last three World Cups. Then, Messi will be closer to finally winning the only major title missing in his career.