Argentina will face the Netherlands in the quarter-finals of the 2022 FIFA World Cup on Friday (December 9) and head coach Lionel Scaloni could make one change to his lineup that beat Australia.
The Sky Blues defeated the Socceroos 2-1 in the Round of 16 to book their place in the last eight.
Ahead of their crucial encounter with the Oranje, Scaloni is planning to replace Alejandro ‘Papu’ Gomez with Angel Di Maria in the wings.
Di Maria missed their Australia win after suffering a muscle overload on his left foot. The Juventus winger is facing a race against time to be fit to face Louis van Gaal’s Dutchmen.
⏱️ Full time score:
Argentina 2-1 Australia
However, if Di Maria isn’t passed fit, there could be a change in the formation too.
TyC Sports journalist Gaston Edul reported on Twitter:
“The Argentine National Team trains at 12 (Arg). It is the first post-victory training against Australia. Scaloni’s plan A is to put Di María back for Papu Gómez. It’s better. If Di María is unfit, a formation change is possible. Can add a midfielder/defender.”
Gomez started on the left of Argentina’s three-pronged attack and could start once more if Di Maria indeed misses the quarter-finals.
Leandro Paredes could come into the midfield should Scaloni choose to tweak that area, with Paredes being an unused substitute in their last game.
La Selección Argentina se entrena a las 12 (Arg).
Es el primer entrenamiento post victoria vs Australia.
El plan A de Scaloni es volver a poner a Di María por Papu Gómez. Está mejor. Si Di María va al banco, es factible el cambio de esquema. Puede agregar un volante/defensor
Exequiel Palacios and Guido Rodriguez are gunning for a start in midfield too.
Argentina face the Netherlands at the Lusail Stadium on Friday.
Argentina and the Netherlands compete to reach the 2022 FIFA World Cup semi-finals
Ironically, the last time Argentina and the Netherlands reached the semi-finals, the two sides faced each other in that round at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
Although there was no separating the sides after 120 minutes, playing out a 0-0 draw, Lionel Messi and co. prevailed in the penalty shootouts.
Their upcoming encounter could be an intense one, with both teams impressing so far in Qatar.
NETHERLANDS VS. ARGENTINA IN THE QUARTERFINALS 🍿
Argentina recovered from their embarrassing 2-1 loss to Saudi Arabia to win their next three games, including the 2-1 ouster of Australia in the Round of 16.
The Netherlands, meanwhile, are unbeaten in their last 19 games, and clinically dispatched the USA by a 3-1 margin in the last round.
The two nations have met each other five times in World Cup history, with each team picking up two wins, including the South American outfit’s penalty shootout triumph.
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