Netherlands predicted lineup vs United States - World Cup

Grey Whitebloom
Louis van Gaal has never lost a World Cup knockout tie in normal time
Louis van Gaal has never lost a World Cup knockout tie in normal time / ANP/GettyImages

The Netherlands face the United States at the Khalifa International Stadium in the round of 16 on Saturday afternoon.

Two wins and a draw from the opening trio of fixtures ensured that the Dutch have advanced from their first-round group in all nine of their appearances at the men's World Cup finals. No other nation can boast a larger 100% group-stage record.

Here's the XI Louis van Gaal may deploy in the high-stakes realm of the knockout stages.

Netherlands predicted lineup vs United States (3-4-1-2)

Memphis Depay
Memphis Depay was the joint-leading scorer in European World Cup qualification alongside England's Harry Kane / Catherine Ivill/GettyImages

GK: Andries Noppert - It was hardly hubris for Noppert to suggest that his fairytale journey from a free agent to World Cup starter in less than two years could be an “inspiration to children”.

CB: Jurrien Timber - At six years old, Timber and his twin brother Quinten joined Feyenoord's academy over Ajax's because they provided transport to the club via van. Timber's next destination may not be grounded in quite so much practicality.

CB: Virgil van Dijk - The box-set binger has watched Prison Break at least eight times.

CB: Nathan Ake - Since making his debut in 2017, Ake has only lost one competitive international.

RWB: Denzel Dumfries - Always keen to improve his technique, Dumfries identified a specific area to work on when shooting. “My whole family has hard feet," he once bemoaned. "I should have softer feet. It could all be a bit more polished. It looks a bit clunky to me sometimes.”

CM: Marten de Roon - One of football's best social media contributors, De Roon tweeted a photo of the Netherlands celebrating their opening-game victory over Senegal with One Love armbands - which Van Dijk was banned from wearing - photoshopped onto each player beneath the caption: "One love for this victory!"

CM: Frenkie de Jong - Despite enduring a sleepless night with a sore throat, De Jong scored against Qatar in the Netherlands' final group game. Imagine what he can do after a solid eight hours.

LWB: Daley Blind - Denmark's Christian Eriksen isn't the only player at the 2022 World Cup playing on the grand stage with a defibrillator, Blind had one fitted after he was diagnosed with a heart condition in 2019.

AM: Davy Klaassen - The only goal "Mister 1-0" - who has a reputation for opening the scoring - has netted in this tournament made it 2-0 against Senegal.

ST: Cody Gakpo - With three group stage goals, Gakpo has already scored with his right foot, left foot and head.

ST: Memphis Depay - Only Robin van Persie has scored more goals for the Netherlands men's national team than Depay. When the pair met during an Oranje training session, Van Persie scolded Depay for a flamboyant stepover. “Who do you think you are?” the veteran striker screamed. “You’re nothing!”

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