World Cup Pick: U.S. Faces Tough Battle Against The Netherlands
The U.S. has made it to the round of 16 at the Qatar 2022 World Cup after two winless games saw them overturn the odds and defeat Iran, 1-0. The U.S. is set to face the Netherlands after making relatively easy work of life in Group A with an unbeaten three-game run. The game is set to start Saturday at 10 a.m. ET.
It’s all or nothing for the U.S. as it aims to get to the quarter-finals of the World Cup for the first time in 20 years.
Below is our betting pick for the game.
Pulisic and the Offense Must be at Their Best
Four World Cups have come and gone since the U.S. made it to the quarter-finals by defeating Mexico in the round of 16 at Korea Japan 2002. Landon Donovan and Brian McBridge were the heroes that day for the Yanks, and all attention now falls onto the shoulders of the new stars wearing red, white and blue.
Christian Pulisic did manage to get his first World Cup goal last time out.
His goal from close range gave the U.S. a 1-0 victory over Iran to see it finish above Wales and Iran and behind England. It does now also mean just two goals in three games for the U.S at this World Cup, but except for letting in a goal from the penalty spot against Wales, the U.S. has yet to concede a goal from open play.
It will also be interesting to see who starts now for the U.S. after the first win of the tournament.
Gregg Berhalter has changed around the players in the starting 11 and the formation, too, but we should see Pulisic work alongside Timothy Weah and either Brenden Aaronson or Josh Sargent.
Jesus Ferreira has barely got a chance to shine at this World Cup despite his excellent form with Dallas this season, and he didn't even get a second on the pitch in the win over Iran.
When the ball gets into the offensive lines, Pulisic has to make something work because one of the world’s very best defenders, Virgil van Dijk, awaits him.
Christian Pulisic to score anytime is +480 with FanDuel Sportsbook.
The Netherlands Are Looking Much Better Than Expected
After a struggle at major competitions since finishing third at the 2014 World Cup, the Netherlands has slightly bettered the expectations so far with an unbeaten run. It managed to ease past Senegal with a 2-0 victory in the opening game, as Cody Gakpo and Davy Klaassen scored a goal each.
A 1-1 draw with Ecuador would follow where Gakpo would net another, and the 23-year-old kept up his run towards the Golden Boot with a goal against Qatar. He is now even with Kylian Mbappe and Marcus Rashford in the race for the prestigious top scorer award.
Gakpo is in excellent form right now, and it’s tough to see how the U.S stops him and the Netherlands in this round-of-16 battle.
The Netherlands to win and Gakpo to score first for the Netherlands is +588 at FanDuel.
Best Bet for the Game
Sadly for the U.S., we fail to see how it wins here. Van Dijk has barely put a foot wrong at this World Cup in defense, and the likes of Gakpo in the offense look too hot to handle right now.
We think the Netherlands will win here and do so quite comfortably.
The Netherlands to win 2-0 is +850 at DraftKings Sportsbook.
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