Netherlands are back at the World Cup in Qatar this year having missed out on qualification for the 2018 tournament in Russia.
In the recent editions that they were able to qualify for, the Dutch have an impressive record. An Andres Iniesta winner in extra-time broke their hearts in the final against Spain in South Africa in 2010 before they came third in Brazil four years later.
Anything less than progression to the knockout stage will be deemed a monumental failure for Louis van Gaal’s talented side as they are the overwhelming favourites in Group A alongside Qatar, Ecuador and Senegal. In fact, whenever they have qualified for the World Cup, the Netherlands have never failed to progress past the group stage.
There is plenty of quality for Van Gaal to choose from with the likes of Virgil van Dijk, Frenkie de Jong, Memphis Depay and Cody Gakpo in his ranks. A couple of those players are struggling for form heading into the tournament, however, so it will be up to Van Gaal to extract their best levels in Qatar.
A big blow for the Netherlands, however, was dealt months before the World Cup even started, with Roma’s Georginio Wijnaldum sustaining a devastating leg injury which ruled him out of the tournament.
Netherlands team guide: A rock-solid defence, but uncertainty in goal
Netherlands’ World Cup squad
Goalkeepers: Justin Bijlow (Feyenoord), Andries Noppert (Heerenveen), Remko Pasveer (Ajax);
Defenders: Nathan Ake (Manchester City), Daley Blind (Ajax), Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool), Denzel Dumfries (Inter Milan), Jeremie Frimpong (Bayer Leverkusen), Matthijs de Ligt (Bayern Munich), Tyrell Malacia (Manchester United), Jurrien Timber (Ajax), Stefan de Vrij (Inter Milan);
Midfielders: Steven Berghuis (Ajax), Frenkie de Jong (Barcelona), Davy Klaassen (Ajax), Teun Koopmeiners (Atalanta Bergamo), Marten de Roon (Atalanta), Xavi Simons (PSV Eindhoven), Kenneth Taylor (Ajax);
Forwards: Steven Bergwijn (Ajax), Memphis Depay (Barcelona), Cody Gakpo (PSV), Vincent Janssen (Antwerp), Luuk de Jong (PSV), Noah Lang (Club Bruges), Wout Weghorst (Besiktas).
Monday, November 21: Senegal 0-2 Netherlands
Friday, November 25: Netherlands vs Ecuador
Tuesday, November 29: Netherlands vs Qatar
Netherlands squad analysis
After a fallow period that included the failure to qualify for Euro 2016 or the 2018 World Cup, and a disappointingly early exit from Euro 2020, the Netherlands head to Qatar with a balanced team and an experienced manager — the straight-talking Louis van Gaal…
For a full analysis of Netherlands’ chances in Qatar, click here.
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