Netherlands predicted lineup vs Argentina - World Cup quarter-final

Louis van Gaal has steered the Netherlands into the World Cup quarter-finals for the second time in his career
Louis van Gaal has steered the Netherlands into the World Cup quarter-finals for the second time in his career / Stefan Matzke - sampics/GettyImages

The Netherlands will line up against Argentina in their World Cup quarter-final on Friday night.

This will be the sixth World Cup game between the Netherlands and Argentina - the most frequent opponent for the Oranje in the history of the competition. Before successive 0-0 draws in 2006 and 2014, the last goal scored in this fixture at the World Cup was Dennis Bergkamp's mesmeric 90th-minute winner in the 1998 quarter-final.

Here's the XI Louis van Gaal may deploy against familiar foes.

Netherlands predicted lineup vs Argentina (3-4-1-2)

Virgil van Dijk
Virgil van Dijk has made more blocks than any other Dutch player at the World Cup / Richard Sellers/GettyImages

GK: Andries Noppert - Scarcely a household name in his own household before the tournament, the 56th senior appearance of Noppert's career will come in the World Cup quarter-finals.

CB: Jurrien Timber - The legendary Dutch player Ruud Gullit (who never won a World Cup match oddly) has shown some reticence over Timber's capabilities. “I think he is a very good footballer," Gullit said, "but I have my doubts about whether he is a good defender.”

CB: Virgil van Dijk - His life motto - “You have to step on to the pitch without fear” - will be particularly tricky to adhere to in the biggest international match of his career against one of the game's greatest ever players.

CB: Nathan Ake - The Manchester City defender conceded that his Argentinian club-mate Julian Alvarez is "very difficult to mark even in training".

RWB: Denzel Dumfries - Against the US, Dumfries became the first Dutch player to directly contribute to three goals (one goal, two assists) in the same men's World Cup match since Rob Rensenbrink and Johan Cruyff from the golden orange generation of the 1970s.

CM: Frenkie de Jong - John de Jong - Frenkie's father - argues that Johan Cruyff is the greatest player of all time because he enhances the performances of his teammates. De Jong's argument for his upcoming quarter-final opponent (and former Barcelona club-mate) is simple: “Maybe, but Messi doesn’t need the others.”

CM: Marten de Roon - ''I am no Frenkie de Jong, I know that,'' the endearingly self-deprecating De Roon conceded. “But I can add something when Frenkie is not there and also when he is, to defend a lead."

LWB: Daley Blind - The 32-year-old has started every match in each major tournament the Dutch have qualified for since his debut.

AM: Davy Klaassen - The former Everton midfielder suffered a "culture shock" during his desperately unsuccessful year on Merseyside. "If it’s not going well there, they hoof the ball forward," he said.

ST: Cody Gakpo - He may be his nation’s leading scorer at the tournament, but no player has created more chances without registering a single assist at this World Cup (nine).

ST: Memphis Depay - If Van Gaal is nothing else, he is a man of principles. But Depay is is above even his rules. “This is a player that is quite extraordinary [so] I’ve set aside my principles because I believe he is incredibly important to us,” Van Gaal admitted last month.

Harry Symeou hosts Scott Saunders, Sean Walsh, Ali Rampling and Brian Goldfarb to look back on the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil - join us!

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