The World Cup has flown by, and we’re turning our attention to the Round of 16 stage, and there will be some mouthwatering games to look forward to. On Saturday, the USA pit their wits against the Netherlands, who are always feared. The Oranje breezed through Group A, yielding seven points from their three games, while the USA did just enough to get over the line in Group B.
Of course, there will be a few talking points, and here are some interesting stats to put you in the picture ahead of this clash:
- The Netherlands are unbeaten in 18 games since Louis van Gaal took charge in August 2021 (13 wins and five draws).
- The USA are winless in 11 straight games against European opposition at the World Cup — they last beat a European nation in 2002 when they overcame Portugal.
- Generally, the USA have been the better team in the first half, putting up 1.97 xG (goals expected) and conceding just 0.68 xGA (goals allowed).
- When these two sides last met in an international friendly in 2015, the USA won 4-3.
As with any World Cup game, there will be a plethora of sportsbooks advertising the best game lines. To ratchet up your excitement levels, we have examined the markets and picked out a few juicy tips for you to sink your teeth into.
Netherlands to seal quarter-final spot
Although the Netherlands missed out on the World Cup in 2018, their history suggests they have some pedigree, and they have been a runner-up on three occasions. While there were times when they were shaky in the group stages, that is now a mere footnote in the competition, and we all know what they are capable of when the pressure cranks up a few notches. The USA, meanwhile, will be hoping that Christian Pulisic will be passed fit for the game after he was rushed to hospital with a pelvic injury following the win over Iran, and he is their main talisman.
You imagine that the USA will sit back against the Netherlands, and look to hit them on the counter when the opportunity presents itself. This may not be a classic, but it will still make for decent viewing, and the Netherlands should run out winners during the regulation 90 minutes. If you wish to check out the Moneyline, then the Netherlands is trading at -110 with FanDuel to advance to the quarter-finals.
Cody Gakpo to continue scoring streak
The World Cup always sees some breakthrough performances, and Cody Gakpo has been in mesmerizing form. By scoring in all three group matches, Gakpo became just the fourth player after Johan Neeskens (1974), Dennis Bergkamp (1998), and Wesley Sneijder (2010) to net in three consecutive matches for the Dutch, so some pretty elevated company he’s joined by. Gakpo has an innate understanding of the game, and he has a knack of being in the right place at the right time.
Perhaps it’s no surprise to see that Manchester United have been linked with a move for him, and the Netherlands have a precocious talent on their hands. Intriguingly, in all three of the Netherlands’ group games, Gakpo opened the scoring. While you might expect him to eventually cool off, his form suggests his hot streak won’t end against the USA. And if you are gravitating towards the Goalscorer Markets, then Gakpo is available at +270 with FanDuel to score anytime against the USA.
Memphis Depay to give the defense a good working over
Despite trying to work his way back to full match fitness, Memphis Depay started and played 60 minutes in the 2-0 win over Qatar. Depay, when in full flow, is a tricky customer and he can shrug off defenders with his dazzling dribbling ability. He is certainly a dangerman, and the USA will have to be fully switched on to snuff him out. He usually has a sharp eye for goal, and if he’s in the mood, he could run the USA defense ragged and fire off a few attempts.
BetRivers usually has no shortage of player prop markets for you to choose from. And if you are so inclined, you can find odds of +145 for Depay to register Over 1.5 shots on target, which may well be worth following up on.