The Netherlands and Argentina will go head-to-head in a heavyweight clash in the 2022 World Cup quarter-finals.

It will be the third time they’ve faced one another in five World Cups, with their previous two meetings in 2006 and 2014 ending 0-0 and Argentina prevailing on the latter occasion to reach that year’s final.

As was the case in both of those clashes, both nations will have a number of top players at their disposal in Qatar, and we’ve gone through all of them to pick a combined XI.

GK: Emiliano Martinez – Andries Noppert has been one of the revelations of this World Cup, but we still can’t justify putting a man with only a handful of senior appearances to his name ahead of a Premier League stalwart in Martinez, who hasn’t been bad himself.

RB: Denzel Dumfries – Dumfries was unstoppable against USA last time out, getting a goal and two assists, and the Inter man will fancy his chances of dominating his side of the pitch again against Argentina.

CB: Cristian Romero – Romero has been solid in defence for Argentina and is one of the most reliable defenders at the tournament.

Virgil van Dijk

VVD is one of the best around / Richard Sellers/GettyImages

CB: Virgil van Dijk – He might not have had a great season with Liverpool to date, but he’s looked as good as ever for his country.

LB: Nathan Ake – Ake has been the Netherlands’ best defender in Qatar, and neither they nor Argentina have a great left-back, so we’re sticking him here.

CM: Enzo Fernandez – Fernandez has played his way into his nation’s starting XI after being on the bench in the first match, scoring against Mexico and getting an assist against Poland. The 21-year-old is an exciting talent.

CM: Frenkie de Jong – Quite comfortably better than any other central midfielder in either squad, De Jong could run the show in the quarter-final if able to get on the ball.

Lionel Messi

Messi scored in the round of 16 / MB Media/GettyImages

RW: Lionel Messi – Just about makes it into our team ahead of Steven Bergwijn. It was a close one.

(It wasn’t.)

CAM: Cody Gakpo – One of the most exciting players of the World Cup, Gakpo will be aiming to close the gap to Kylian Mbappe in the race for the Golden Boot against the Argentines.

LW: Memphis Depay – After not being match sharp in the group stages having only just returned from injury, Memphis looked back to his best against USA and is his nation’s biggest attacking threat.

ST: Julian Alvarez – Has two goals in two starts at this World Cup, looking comfortably better than Lautaro Martinez.

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!

If you can’t see the podcast embed, click here to download or listen to the episode in full!


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