The Netherlands and the USA battle for a place in the World Cup quarter-finals on Saturday. The kick-off is at 15:00 BST.

The Netherlands performances may not have been great so far in Qatar but Louis van Gaal’s side managed to top the group thanks to a 2-0 victory over Senegal, a 1-1 draw with Ecuador and a 2-0 win against hosts Qatar.

Van Gaal’s side has not been the most exciting to watch in those matches and where arguably second best in two of those group-stage clashes. However, they are through and they remain on a current 18-match unbeaten run going into the last 16 of the tournament.

Standing between Oranje and a place in the last eight is the USA, who came second in their group behind England. However, they are so far unbeaten, having drawn 1-1 with Wales and 0-0 with England before defeating Iran 1-0.

Coached by Gregg Berhalter, the USA are on a four-game unbeaten streak and will be looking to make the last eight for the first time since 2002.

The winner of this clash would meet either Australia or Argentina in the quarter-finals.

Team News

Stefan de Vrij and Jeremie Frimpong both had issues earlier in the week but both are fit again and will be on the bench for the clash against the USA.

Van Gaal may not make any changes to the eleven that defeated Qatar with Memphis Depay completing an hour of that match. Cody Gakpo has three goals in three games and is likely to start again up front.

Possible Netherlands line-up: Noppert, Dumfries, Blind, Van Dijk, Timber, Ake, De Jong, De Roon, Klaassen, Gakpo, Memphis

The USA are monitoring the fitness of both Christian Pulisic and Josh Sargent after they picked up injuries in the win over Iran. If fit, both are likely to start in the attack.

Dutch-born right-back Sergino Dest is likely to start while former Heracles Almelo midfielder Luca de la Torre is also in the squad.

Possible USA line-up: Turner, Dest, Robinson, Carter-Vickers, Ream, McKennie, Adams, Musah, Weah, Pulisic, Sargent

Odds

Netherlands 9/10 draw 23/10 USA 10/3

Head to Head

This will be the first competitive fixture between the two nations with the previous five being only friendlies.

The Netherlands has come out on top in four of those matches, but the last meeting went to the USA in 2015. The USA left Amsterdam with a 4-3 victory.

Can the Netherlands reach the Quarter-Finals?

We are yet to see the best of the Netherlands at this World Cup and the performances so far have been sloppy at times. However, the Netherlands are in the last 16 which is not what you can say about Germany or Belgium.

The USA are a tricky side to pay against and their energy and pace will no doubt cause issues for the Netherlands. The clash could end up like the one against Ecuador if Oranje does not take control of the midfield.

The USA defend well and it may not be the most thrilling of games on Saturday. Extra time and penalties could come into it to decide who marches on to a likely tie against Messi and Argentina.

Let’s hope the Netherlands finds its spark before it is too late.




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