Netherlands vs Qatar predictions: Dutch duel spells difficult end for Qatar
The Netherlands still have work to do as they bid for a place in the last-16 at the World Cup, but they'll be confident of overcoming already eliminated Qatar in Al Khor on Tuesday.
The Dutch got their World Cup off to a winning start against Senegal with a pair of late goals, but faltered in a 1-1 draw with Ecuador on matchday two, meaning that game number three against Qatar becomes an encounter of paramount importance, rather than the dead rubber that many will have expected.
Locked on four points with Ecuador and sharing an identical record with the Latin American nation, the Netherlands could be knocked out if they fail to pick up a point against the Qataris.
Should the host nation win the game, Senegal will go through with a win over the Ecuadorians and could take the South Americans with them if their goal difference betters that of the Dutch.
In the event of a draw in the other game, the Netherlands could go out if their goal difference takes them below Senegal.
But with winless Qatar their opponents, Louis van Gaal's men look set to finish top and set up a knockout tie with the Group B runners-up.
For Memphis Depay of Barcelona, this World Cup has so far meant two starts from the bench as he continues his return from injury.
The former Manchester United man could start in place of Davy Klaassen, but one man who is sure to play a key part is PSV's Cody Gakpo, who has been the shining star for Oranje so far.
Matthijs de Ligt is pushing for a place in defence, currently held by Jurrien Timber.
For Qatar, Mohammed Muntari's goal from the bench against Senegal could be enough to earn him a promotion to the starting side.
The data make grim reading for Qatar; a record of one goal scored and five conceded reflects an underwhelming showing from the Gulf nation.
As for the Netherlands, their record of three goals from two matches has won them four points.
Gakpo's two goals have come from just one shot per game, highlighting a clinical edge that could come to the fore against Qatar.
The hosts' poor results have been mirrored by their indiscipline — seven yellow cards have come their way so far.
Had Gakpo and co managed a win over Senegal last time out, the starting squad picked to face Qatar could have looked quite different, but the pedal has to be to the metal on matchday three with Ecuador and the Lions of Teranga still firmly in with a shout of progressing themselves.
The World Cup has always provided players with a shop window in which to showcase their talents and for Gakpo, whose name was mentioned in connection with Premier League clubs over the summer, this final group game offers him the ideal conditions to bump up his goal tally from two.
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