- Netherlands v USA
- Saturday, December 3, 2022, 10:00 ET
- At the Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan
The USA did well to come out of a tricky Group at the World Cup, but can it go further in the competition at the expense of one of European football’s big guns?
Who do Bettors Favor?
According to the best-rated online sportsbooks the Netherlands is the favorite with bettors to win the first Second-Round game of the tournament. Louis van Gaal’s team is rated at around -105 to win this game in normal time, while the draw is available at +230 and the USA are priced at +330.
|Netherlands v USA|
World Cup Second-Round Betting Briefing
Famously, the Netherlands has never won the World Cup, despite having reached the Final three times and having produced some of the greatest players the world has seen.
Its record at reaching the knockout rounds, however, is impeccable. In ten tournaments, going back to the first in 1934, the Netherlands has never failed to reach the last 16. It also finished as runner-up in 1974, 1978, and 2010 and reached the semi-finals in 1998 and 2014.
The USMNT has also featured in ten World Cups, and its best performance came in its first appearance, in 1930, when it reached the semi-finals, although that involved winning only two games – against Belgium and Paraguay before being thrashed by Argentina.
In the modern era, the USMNT has been a regular at the World Cup, missing one of the last nine tournaments. It has a good record of reaching the Second Round, having done so four times, but has only once gone further, in 2002, when it beat Mexico to face Germany in the last eight, losing 1-0.
Both teams will be focusing on this game, but there is the tantalizing prospect of facing Argentina in the quarter-finals unless Australia can spring a historic surprise.
Netherlands Not Impressive
Compared to the great Netherlands teams of the 1970s, the late 1980s, and the 2000s, this is not a vintage group of international players, though Louis Van Gaal is an extremely accomplished coach.
He has often been criticized for his perceived caution, but in this tournament, there is little that he can do with the hand that he has been dealt. The Netherlands has a world-class array of defenders, but in the midfield and up-front there are fewer options.
Not surprisingly, the Netherlands has not been very impressive thus far, beating Senegal against the run of play, drawing with Ecuador and finally confirming the top spot in Group A with a win over Qatar.
The goals of Cody Gakpo have been a welcome contribution, and Frenkie de Jong, the best midfielder in the squad, also got on the scoresheet against Qatar, but compared to some of the other top squads at the tournament, the Netherlands is lacking in both creativity and goalscoring resources.
USMNT On a Roll
The USMNT is often burdened with an unreasonable burden of hype, but this time it has coped well with the weight of expectation – amplified by the failure to qualify four years ago.
It made a strong start, dominating the first half of its opening game with Wales and then defending resolutely to earn a draw against England. That left Gregg Berhalter’s team with a tricky final Group game, but the players rose to the challenge, winning 1-0 against Iran to remain unbeaten, and are on a roll going into the Second Round.
Defensively, the USMNT has been impeccable, but it is finding things tougher at the other end of the pitch, although Christian Pulisic is a match-winner who would find a place in most World Cup squads.
World Cup Second-Round Match Betting
Stereotypes creep into many areas of our lives, and soccer is no exception. The stereotype of the brilliant, but temperamental Netherlands teams, doomed always to fail at the last, has lingered for many years, but there have been a variety of different Netherlands lineups since the 1970s, and this one bears very little resemblance to the team of Johan Cruyff and Johan Neeskens.
The stars of this team are Virgil van Dijk, Daley Blind, Matthijs de Ligt, Nathan Ake, and Stefan de Vrij, all defenders, and the team has been almost impregnable in defense, conceding only once in the Group stage. The ongoing problems around Memphis Depay’s fitness, however, have depleted the squad’s creative resources at a time when it needs all the attacking flair it can find.
The stats suggest that these two teams are very closely matched. The Netherlands ranks 29th out of 32 in Expected Goals per game, while the USA is 27th. And both are among the strongest defensive teams in the tournament. The current prices are too generous to the Netherlands, and the USA is surely value in the Match Betting market, and we can also count on this being a low-scoring game.