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Netherlands World Cup 2022 squad, predicted quarter-final line-up vs Argentina and star players

4:24 PM EST 12/3/22
Memphis De Jong Van Dijk Netherlands
Who will get the nod from head coach Louis van Gaal as the Dutch try to seal a place in the semi-finals?

The Netherlands are back at the World Cup after missing the 2018 edition and head coach Louis van Gaal will be confident they can spring a surprise and go far.

They have made it to three World Cup finals in the past, but have yet to lift the coveted trophy as they have fallen at the final hurdle each time.

Could this be the time they finally leave that pain behind and go all the way?

They navigated their way past hosts Qatar, Ecuador and Senegal in the group stages, finishing top of Group A with seven points from three games.

Van Gaal's side then beat the USMNT 3-1 in the last 16 to book their place in the quarter-finals.

Here are the 26 players Van Gaal has picked for the tournament proper and how they could line up in the next round against Argentina.

  • Noppert Senegal Netherlands

    GOALKEEPERS

    Arguably the weakest link of the Dutch squad.

    Justin Bijlow (pictured) seemed to be sitting in pole position to wear the No.1 jersey, only for Van Gaal to somewhat surprisingly go with Andries Noppert instead and bench the Feyenoord man.

    That was not the first surprise Van Gaal sprung, though.

    Previous first-choice Jasper Cillessen was left out altogether, while another alternative in Mark Flekken didn't make the cut either.

    Remko Pasveer made his Netherlands debut during the September international break and was picked as their third option between the sticks.

    Name

    Club

    Justin Bijlow

    Feyenoord

    Remko Pasveer

    Ajax

    Andries Noppert

    Heerenveen

  • Virgil van Dijk Netherlands 2021-22

    DEFENDERS

    The Netherlands have traditionally not been spoilt for choice at the back, but the current group of players seems to have most of its high-profile names acting in defence.

    There's Virgil van Dijk at Liverpool, Matthijs de Ligt at Bayern Munich, Nathan Ake at Manchester City, Stefan de Vrij and Denzel Dumfries at Inter and Tyrell Malacia at Manchester United.

    And that's not even taken into account the next generation coming through.

    Jurrien Timber snubbed a move to Man Utd in favour of a prolonged stay at Ajax and is arguably one of the best young defenders around in the game.

    Name

    Club

    Denzel Dumfries

    Inter

    Jeremie Frimpong

    Bayer Leverkusen

    Matthijs de Ligt

    Bayern Munich

    Jurrien Timber

    Ajax

    Virgil van Dijk

    Liverpool

    Stefan de Vrij

    Inter

    Nathan Ake

    Manchester City

    Daley Blind

    Ajax

    Tyrell Malacia

    Manchester United

  • FRENKIE DE JONG NETHERLANDS

    MIDFIELDERS

    Long gone are the days of Wesley Sneijder and Rafael van der Vaart, but that doesn't mean Oranje are short of quality in midfield.

    Frenkie de Jong remains one of the best around on his day, regardless of his struggles at Barcelona, which seemingly have little to do with his ability and are more about the club's financial situation.

    Atalanta duo Teun Koopmeiners and Marten de Roon might not be the most spectacular players around, but know what's expected at the highest level following their Serie A exploits.

    And then there's promising Eredivisie youngsters such as Kenneth Taylor and Xavi Simons, who are both selected.

    Simons in particular has been in stunning form in recent months and has that special X-factor that has convinced Van Gaal to include him.

    Donny van de Beek's lack of playing time at Man Utd cost him, while Roma midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum didn't make it to Qatar due to a leg fracture.

    Bayern Munich's Ryan Gravenberch also got dropped from the 26-man squad.

    Name

    Club

    Frenkie de Jong

    Barcelona

    Kenneth Taylor

    Ajax

    Teun Koopmeiners

    Atalanta

    Marten de Roon

    Atalanta

    Steven Berghuis

    Ajax

    Davy Klaassen

    Ajax

    Xavi Simons

    PSV

  • Memphis Depay Netherlands 2022

    ATTACKERS

    Memphis Depay might have to settle for a bit-part role at Barcelona following the arrival of Robert Lewandowski, but he remains an undisputed starter for Van Gaal if fit.

    His lack of recent game time due to injury heading into the tournament was not ideal, though, and he didn't start in Netherlands' opening two matches.

    However, Memphis was back in form in the last 16, finishing off a brilliant team move to bag his 43rd goal for the Netherlands.

    Cody Gakpo has also impressed at the World Cup for the Oranje. The PSV sensation has three goals in four games and will be hoping to add to that tally in the quarter-finals.

    Alternatives include Steven Bergwijn, who has revived his career at Ajax after an underwhelming spell at Tottenham, and strikers Vincent Janssen, Luuk de Jong and Wout Weghorst. The trio may not be the most refined options, but offer something else and every one of them also made the cut.

    Name

    Club

    Memphis Depay

    Barcelona

    Steven Bergwijn

    Ajax

    Cody Gakpo

    PSV

    Luuk de Jong

    PSV

    Vincent Janssen

    Antwerp

    Wout Weghorst

    Besiktas

    Noa Lang

    Club Brugge

  • Cody Gakpo Netherlands 2022

    NETHERLANDS STAR PLAYERS

    The Dutch have a long tradition of producing attacking superstars, but it's their defence that is arguably their strongest area these days.

    Virgil van Dijk remains a key figure at Liverpool and is arguable one of the best defenders of the past decade or so. Matthijs de Ligt is another big name at the back, but the Bayern Munich man is not even a starter any more, which says a lot about Netherlands' defensive power.

    Frenkie de Jong is arguably their only world-class option in midfield, with the Barcelona man a joy to watch with the ball at his feet.

    Memphis Depay started the tournament as Oranje's star man in attack, but he has been outshone by Cody Gakpo, with the PSV forward netting in each of his side's group-stage encounters.

  • PREDICTED STARTING XI VS ARGENTINA

    Van Gaal's preferred No.1 goalkeeper was possibly one of the world's best kept secrets heading into the tournament.

    Earlier this year Bijlow seemed to be sitting in pole position ahead of Cillessen and Flekken, before Pasveer all of a sudden started in the Dutch's final pre-tournament friendlies seemingly from out of nowhere.

    Cillessen and Flekken were then somewhat surprisingly left out of the final squad altogether and Noppert started vs Senegal to officially become Oranje's new No.1.

    In defence, Van Gaal seems determined to play three centre-backs, flanked by attacking wing-backs.

    That means Timber, Van Dijk and the left-footed Ake could feature through the middle, with De Ligt once again having to settle for a place on the bench.

    Dumfries and Blind are the wide options and seem to be certain starters at this stage. The Inter defender scored and picked up two assists against the USA last time out, while Blind was also on the scoresheet.

    De Jong will be one of two central midfielders, with Steven Bergwijn and Marten De Roon the candidates to partner the Barcelona midfielder.

    Gakpo started the tournament as the No.10, but has since been moved higher up the pitch to accompany Memphis in attack, with Klaassen now Oranje's most advanced midfielder.

    Predicted Netherlands XI (3-4-1-2): Noppert; Timber, Van Dijk, Aké; Dumfries, De Roon, De Jong, Blind; Klaassen; Gakpo, Memphis

  • Wijnaldum Roma 2022-23

    NOTABLE ABSENTEES

    There are always players who are expected to feature, but miss out due to tactical reasons, injuries or other unforeseen circumstances and the 2022 World Cup is no different.

    Roma midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum suffered a fractured leg in training and will consequently have to watch on from the sidelines.

    Player

    Club

    Reason

    Georginio Wijnaldum

    Roma

    Injury

    Donny van de Beek

    Manchester United

    Tactical

    Ryan Gravenberch

    Bayern Munich

    Tactical

    Jasper Cillessen

    NEC

    Tactical

    Sven Botman

    Newcastle United

    Tactical