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World Cup Predictions: Netherlands vs USA

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Netherlands and the USA will get the World Cup 2022 knockout stage going when they meet in their Round of 16 clash at the Khalifa International Stadium.

Oranje were heavily favoured to win Group A before the group stages began.

They lived up to expectations and clinched the top spot with two wins and a draw.

The USA also had an unbeaten run in their group as they drew against both of their British opponents, England and Wales, before beating Iran in the final group stage match.

Netherlands kept intact their brilliant record of making it to the Round of 16 in all of their World Cup campaigns since 1934; a feat not even Brazil can match.

However, their playing style in this World Cup has drawn widespread criticism.

The Netherlands have managed only eight on-target shots in Qatar, but thanks to Cody Gakpo’s red hot scoring form, the Dutch have managed to convert five of those in goals.

Louis van Gaal has been the architect of the Netherlands’ renaissance following their disappointing Euro 2020 campaign.

The veteran tactician has overseen an unbeaten streak that exceeded to 18 matches when Netherlands beat Qatar in their final group match.

Van Gaal is on the brink of a personal milestone ahead of Saturday’s match. If the Netherlands win, Van Gaal will match Luiz Felipe Scolari’s record of staying unbeaten in 12 successive World Cup games.

The United States have played an exhilarating brand of football at times in this World Cup. But the results do not reflect that.

Gregg Berhalter’s side dropped points against Wales and England, despite being the best team in both matches for prolonged periods.

A win against Iran did bring them to the Promised Land of the knockout stages, but they need to be wary of their struggles in front of the opposition goal.

USA won only one of their last six matches in all competitions.

They also failed to get the better of European sides at the World Cup since 2002. The Star and Stripes must end that dismal run to make their first World Cup quarterfinal appearance in 20 years.

Team News

Louis van Gaal heaved a sigh of relief when Jeremie Frimpong overcame an injury scare to take part in training.

The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager will likely field the same line-up that brought the Dutch a 2-0 win over hosts Qatar on Tuesday.

Christian Pulisic collided with Iran goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand while scoring the winner in the do-or-die clash against Team Melli.

He was hospitalised with a groin injury, but he announced on social media that he will be fine to return on Saturday.

Josh Sargent picked up an ankle injury against Iran. Weston McKennie is another player who is doubtful for Saturday.

Our Prediction

The Netherlands’ playing style did not win over critics, but they have been incredibly clinical.

Cody Gakpo might become the first player in the history of the Netherlands to score in four successive World Cup games and lead them to the quarterfinals.

The fitness issues of several key USMNT players also make the Dutch favourites to come out of this clash alive.

We say, the Netherlands 2-0 USA.

Date: 3 December

 Kickoff: 8:30 PM IST

 Venue: Khalifa International Stadium.

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WATCH: Cristiano Ronaldo performs obscene gestures as fans chant Lionel Messi’s name

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Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi

During the Saudi Pro League game between Al Shabab and Al Nassr, Nassr skipper Cristiano Ronaldo was seen making obscene gestures towards rival fans. The Shabab fans were chanting Ronaldo’s biggest rival Lionel Messi’s name. Not for the first time though, some Saudi football fans do prefer Messi over the Portuguese player. Meanwhile, during the game on Sunday, the Portugal international crossed all the limits as he made some obscene gestures.

Watch the video here

Talking about the game, the Yellow Brigade, Nassr won against Shabab. Ronaldo gave his team as he made the most of the penalty in the 21st minute of the game. However, in the injury time of the first half, Yannick Carrasco scored an equalizer before going into the break. In the first minute of the second half, Anderson Talisca gave a lead to Nassr. In the 67th minute, Carlos scored the equalizer for Shabab, and the game looked like ending in a tie before Talisca scored the match-winning goal in the 86th minute.

Meanwhile, the former Real Madrid player is set to face disciplinary action. As per the Saudi writer and television host, the disciplinary committee might take action.

“The disciplinary committee is facing the biggest test. We will wait and see. Everything has its limits, no matter how famous you are. This is how the major leagues are” Waleed Al Farraj, a prominent Saudi writer and television host, said on X.

Cristiano Ronaldo faced disciplinary action during his stint with Manchester United

A few months before the FIFA World Cup 2022, he threw a fan’s phone when he was part of the English club, Manchester United. He was banned for a few games which meant that he missed a few games for his current club, Nassr. However, the ban didn’t apply in the World Cup as he was available for selection during the tournament, in which his team lost the Quarterfinal to Morrocco.

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Virgil Van Dijk’s late strike in extra time helps Liverpool beat Chelsea in Carabao Cup final

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Liverpool emerged victorious in the Carabao Cup final in 2024. In a thrilling game which was full of twists and turns, Liverpool managed to beat Chelsea to clinch the cup. Jurgen Klopp’s men were awarded with the winner’s medal as they edged out Chelsea in a low-scoring thriller that went to extra time. The defence of both sides was good to watch.

The match had many edge-of-the-seat moments. In the first half, Liverpool attempted a lot of shots over Chelsea. While some were out of target, some were in the target, but stopped by the goalkeeper. Cody Gakpo was unlucky to find the ball hit the goalpost. The strike of the youngster went in vain as the first half did not witness any goal.

Liverpool’s skipper was brilliant in the game. He martialed his troops well and got the coordination going for a long time. He in fact nearly had a goal in the first half, only to be ruled out by the VAR, which was highly controversial. There is a debate for the legitimacy of the goal which was not given despite the help of the technology. Liverpool did not get carried away with the moment.

Captain brilliant Virgil Van Dijk steps up in crunch moments

Klopp deployed younger players as substitutes in the 2nd half. It helped Liverpool a lot as they were able to not just put pressure on Chelsea but also create a lot of chances. While none of them were converted to goals in the second half, they ensured that Chelsea’s players were in check. At one stage, the absence of Mohammad Salah in the middle was felt.

The match went to the extra time, where things got a bit closer. Chelsea attempted to score goals but ended up giving more advantage to Liverpool. The younger legs marked well and provided good assists to the forwards. The moment came in the 118th minute of the game, when Van Dijk netted the goal and helped Liverpool to win the prestigious title.

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Virat Kohli picks his ‘Sporting GOAT’

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Virat Kohli was asked to pick his ‘Sporting GOAT’ in a recent interview. The star cricketer was interviewed by Team Blue Rising who asked him to name the greatest sportsperson of all time. “Who is your Sporting GOAT?” asked the host to the star batter. Kohli did not hesitate to take the name of one of the greatest Football players as his pick for the question.

The Indian batter claimed Cristiano Ronaldo to be the greatest Football player of all time. “For me, it’s Cristiano Ronaldo,” said Virat in the interview. It came as no surprise to the fans, as Virat has always been a huge admirer of the star Footballer. Even in the past, the 35-year-old has expressed his admiration for the star player from Portugal.

In many instances, the Indian batter has claimed Ronaldo to be his favourite player. Ronaldo has been one of the best players the sport has ever seen. Many claim him to be arguably the greatest Sportsperson of all time. Virat has joined the list of those to claim him to be the greatest athlete in the sports world. Ronaldo has some records to back his claim for the title.

Legacy of Cristiano Ronaldo and Virat Kohli

The Portuguese Footballer has the greatest number of goals for an international team. He also has the greatest number of international caps for a player. The star player is the only player to win four major cups with two different clubs. He did it with Manchester United and Real Madrid. Cristiano has the second most number of Ballon d’Or titles (Five) after Lionel Messi.

Virat, on the other hand, is a great cricketer. He has the greatest number of hundreds for a batter in ODIs. Virat has the greatest number of hundreds in ODIs while chasing. He is also the highest run scorer for India in T20Is. Kohli has the most runs for a batter in the IPL. He has the greatest number of POTT awards for a player in the T20 WC and the ODI WC.

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