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Netherlands and Argentina H2H record

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At the expense of Australia and the United States, two titans of football will meet for a heavyweight quarter-final bout in the 2022 World Cup.

Argentina, courtesy of goals from Lionel Messi and Julian Alvarez, edged past the spirited Socceroos to earn a 2-1 victory while strikes from Memphis Depay, Daley Blind and Denzel Dumfries gave the Netherlands a comfortable enough 3-1 triumph over the USMNT in the round of 16.

An eye-capturing contest carrying World Cup history between La Albiceleste and Die Oranje now awaits in the last eight, but how have the two nations fared against each other previously?

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These two famous footballing nations have met just nine times in the past, with the Netherlands boasting the better numbers. The Europeans have won four of those nine encounters against Argentina while the South Americans have been triumphant three times, with two draws.

Die Oranje enjoyed early success against the Argentines, winning their first ever meeting – a friendly just prior to the 1974 World Cup – 4-1. When it came to the actual tournament, the two sides met in the second round with the Netherlands enjoying an even more emphatic 4-0 victory over La Albiceleste on their way to the final.

World Cup bragging rights between the two nations would be firmly handed over to Argentina four years later, however. The two sides’ next encounter came in the 1978 World Cup final, in which the South American outfit ran out 3-1 winners after extra time to earn their first global triumph and condemn the eternal bridesmaids to their second of three World Cup final defeats.

The Netherlands would go on to fall to a penalty-shootout defeat to Argentina in a commemorative match to mark the 75th anniversary of FIFA in 1979, although did knock them out of the 1998 World Cup with a 2-1 quarter-final victory – an omen, perhaps?

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After that, a 1-1 draw and a 1-0 Netherlands win in international friendlies set up two more World Cup meetings – the two sides’ most recent clashes.

In 2006, the countries couldn’t be separated as they played out a 0-0 draw in the group stage (both progressed with seven points). Argentina relied on a penalty shootout to knock the Dutch out of the 2014 World Cup at the semi-final stage before losing in the final.

Netherlands vs Argentina H2H record

As you’ve gathered, over half of the meetings between the Netherlands and Argentina have happened at the World Cup. While the numbers are all square – both sides have won two against the other at football’s premier event, with one draw – Argentina certainly boast the more pleasant memories.

Die Oranje can cast their minds back to victories in 1974, when a 4-0 win set them up for their first World Cup final loss, and 1998, when – more positively – the two countries’ only previous quarter-final meeting ended in the Netherlands’ favour.

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Apart from the aforementioned 0-0 draw in Germany, the other encounters between these two giants of football have ended in the Argentines’ favour.

2014 brought with it a semi-final victory courtesy of a 4-2 penalty-shootout win but it will be memories of 1978, when La Albiceleste earned their maiden World Cup triumph courtesy of a 3-1 final triumph over the Dutch, that will particularly spur the country’s current generation on.

There have been more than a few legendary figures to have played in this fixture, with several icons getting on the scoresheet.

While the likes of Dennis Bergkamp, Patrick Kluivert, Gabriel Batistuta and Edgar Davids have all netted in this match-up over the years, however, only two players have managed to bag two.

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Mario Kempes quite memorably got himself a brace in the 1978 World Cup final to break Dutch hearts in that 3-1 triumph while, on the other side, the great Johan Cruyff is the only other player to score twice in this fixture, with both of his goals coming in the Netherlands’ 4-0 thrashing over Argentina in the 1974 World Cup.

It would be rude not to mention that Pleun Strick also found the net twice in this fixture, with his strikes both coming in the two nations’ first ever encounter – one, however, came at the wrong end.



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EPL

RB Leipzig End Liverpool’s Hopes of Early Naby Keita Move

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Naby Keita will not be allowed to ditch Leipzig for ​Liverpool in January, regardless of progression to the knockout stages of the Champions League, according to Leipziger Volkszeitung.

It was announced during the summer that Liverpool had met Keita’s release clause and the Guinean midfielder would move to Anfield at the end of the 2017/18 season. 

However, recent speculation suggested that die Roten Bullen could be persuaded into letting Keita leave the club during the winter transfer window.

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“Even if we should not reach the knockout stages of Champions League, it would make no sense to allow Naby to join Liverpool earlier,” said RB Leipzig sporting director, Ralf Rangnick.

“We want to qualify for Europe again, and we need Naby for that.”

Leipzig have won just one Champions League game this season, with defeats to FC Porto and Besiktas making progression to the knockout stages a difficult task this year.

Following their impressive maiden season in the Bundesliga, in which RB Leipzig finished ahead of Borussia Dortmund, the Red Bulls will be desperate to make sure their Champions League status continues next season.

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The 22-year-old has struggled to replicate the incredible form he showed last year since the announcement of his move next summer. 

Questions about Keita’s disciplinary record have also arisen this season, the midfielder seeing three red cards for club and country in less than one month.



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Man Utd’s fixture list up to Carabao Cup final including Barcelona & Leeds clashes

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Manchester United reached their first final under Erik ten Hag by securing safe passage through the Carabao Cup semi finals at the expense of Nottingham Forest.

The Red Devils have enjoyed a brilliant run of form after their infamous defeats to Brighton and Brentford to start the season. They’re firmly in the Champions League qualification mix and remain alive in the FA Cup and Europa League.

However, their commitments in cup competitions means Ten Hag faces a tough February as he tries to balance the playing time of a squad that has recently been struck by injuries to key players.

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Here’s United’s truncated schedule leading up to the Carabao Cup final, including some juicy derbies and European fixtures.

Michael Olise, David De Gea

Olise denied Man Utd with a late free kick last time out / Justin Setterfield/GettyImages

Fresh from sealing their spot in the Carabao Cup final against Newcastle, United are back into Premier League matters when they host Crystal Palace at Old Trafford on Saturday 4 February in a 15:00 GMT kick off.

The two sides duked it out earlier a few weeks ago in their first meeting of the season as a late Michael Olise free-kick earned Palace a point after Bruno Fernandes’ strike just before half time.

Manchester United and Leeds are fierce rivals and the tension between the two teams has risen again following Leeds’ promotion to the Premier League.

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The Red Devils have scored 15 goals in the four meetings in that time, only failing to win once when they were held to a goalless draw in April 2021. The fixture was originally postponed following Queen Elizabeth II’s death in September and will take place on Wednesday 8 February at 20:00 GMT.

Fred, Anthony Elanga

Fred and Elanga struck at Elland Road last season / Shaun Botterill/GettyImages

That fixture rearrangement means the two Uniteds will face each other twice in four days.

In this fixture last season, two headless chickens went at it as Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds were downed 4-2 by Ralf Rangnick’s Man Utd. Goals from Harry Maguire and Bruno Fernandes had the visitors 2-0 up before two goals in two minutes from Rodrigo and Raphinha squared things up.

Substitutes Fred and Anthony Elanga gave the Red Devils all three points. However, they would win only three more league games before the end of the season.

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The stakes are really upped in mid February when Man Utd travel to Barcelona to face the Catalan giants at Camp Nou in the Europa League knockout play-off round.

It’s Barça who hold the edge in recent meetings, having won the past four games between the two sides.

Once they return home from the trip to Catalonia, United have a home game against Leicester to contend with.

The Foxes have endured some turbulent form this season but have mostly been a mess at the back, though the sides were only separated by Jadon Sancho’s strike they met back in September.

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Lionel Messi

A lot has changed since United and Barça last met in 2019 / Etsuo Hara/GettyImages

The return leg of the Europa League knockout play-off round will determine who between United and Barça continue in the continent’s secondary club competition.

United’s last win over Barça came at Old Trafford in 2008 when Paul Scholes scored the only goal of a Champions League semi final tie to send his side to final in Moscow.

Two of the most improved sides this season meet in the Carabao Cup final in late February when Newcastle face Man Utd.

Both sides are eyeing up Champions League qualification and each sit in the top four currently and this meeting could be an opportunity to land a significant psychological blow.

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Player ratings as Catalans pull clear in La Liga

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Barcelona survived a late scare against Real Betis to secure a 2-1 win and at least temporarily extend their lead at the top of La Liga to eight points before Real Madrid play on Thursday night.

Barça went into the game at Benito Villamarin knowing they had the opportunity to start pulling away from their fierce rivals in Madrid. But it took until well into the second half for the breakthrough to come, with Raphinha and later Robert Lewandowski eventually netting.

An own goal from Joules Kounde in the closing stages threatened to make it a difficult end for Xavi’s team, but they managed to see it out. Betis midfielder William Carvalho, who had already been substituted with an hour played, was then sent off for dissent at the game’s conclusion.

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Betis were actually the first to threaten in the contest, seeing Luiz Henrique only narrowly miss an early chance when his shot was deflected just wide by Alejandro Balde.

Pedri had a chance for Barça at the other end not long after, but his touch in the penalty area wasn’t sharp enough and Rui Silva in the home goal got down to pick the ball off his toe.

Silva again denied Pedri after the restart, but Raphinha broke the deadlock in the 65th minute. The Brazilian, whose debut season hasn’t been a rip-roaring success, tapped in from close range after excellent work from Balde down the left flank.

Lewandowski’s ultimately decisive second was from only a little further out, pounced on by the Pole after Ronald Araujo flicked on Raphinha’s cross.

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That cushion was enough for Barça and ensured that Kounde’s own goal mattered little in the end.

GK: Silva (6); RB: Ruibal (7), CB: Pezzella (6), CB: Felipe (6), LB: Abner (6); CM: Rodriguez (6), CM: Carvalho (5); RM: Henrique (7), AM: Fekir (6), LM: Canales (6); ST: Iglesias (6)

Subs: Guardado (6), Juanmi (6), Rodri (6), Jose (5), Sabaly (6)

GK: Ter Stegen (6); RB: Kounde (6), CB: Araujo (7), CB: Chistensen (7), LB: Balde (8); CM: De Jong (7), CM: Busquets (8), CM: Pedri (7); RW: Raphinha (8), ST: Lewandowski (7), LW: Gavi (7)

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Subs: Fati (5), Torres (N/A), Kessie (N/A)

Player of the match – Alejandro Balde (Barcelona)



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