Qatar has become the second host nation to be knocked out of the tournament in the Group Phase, and the first to be eliminated with a game still to be played. They didn’t get off to the most auspicious of starts on opening night, with Ecuador having the ball in the net against them after 160 seconds. Although VAR came to Qatar’s rescue, it was only a stay of execution, with two legitimate goals to follow. After that loss, Qatar did manage to record their first World Cup goal but still ended up on the wrong end of a 3-1 scoreline, against Senegal. Two late goals propelled the Netherlands past Senegal before they were held to a draw by Ecuador. Although a draw will be enough to put the Dutch in the last 16, they will be looking for the win to try to secure the top spot in Group A.
Qatar is likely to retain its usual 5-3-2 formation, while Louis van Gaal is likely to continue to adopt a 3-4-1-2 system. The Netherlands will hope to get some more minutes into Memphis Depay, one of their key attacking components, after he managed 30 minutes against Senegal, and played half the game against Ecuador. The match odds reflect the respective FIFA Rankings of these teams, with 42 places separating the Netherlands in eighth from Qatar in 50th. The first meeting between these two nations, and the last appearance in this tournament for Qatar.