Saturday, January 31, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Netherlands vs Argentina: How they compare

By
From page B1 | July 09, 2014 |

RIO DE JANEIRO — When Argentina plays the Netherlands in the World Cup semifinals on Wednesday, it will be a matchup of arguably the two best attacks in the tournament. No less than five of the world’s best forwards could be on the field, which would normally raise expectations of a flurry of goals and end-to-end attacking football.

But there’s too much at stake for either team to push forward relentlessly, meaning that the game in Sao Paulo is about much more than its star strikers.

Here is a look at how the teams measure up in every area of the field:

___

GOALKEEPERS:

Jasper Cillessen was relatively untested internationally going into the World Cup, having made his Netherlands debut last year. But the Ajax goalkeeper has been solid, although not spectacular, in keeping two clean sheets and limiting defending champion Spain to just one goal from a penalty. But he still has a long way to go before joining the ranks of great Dutch goalies like Edwin van der Sar and Hans van Breukelen, and was substituted for Tim Krul for the quarterfinal penalty shootout against Costa Rica.

Sergio Romero was only a backup for his club Monaco this past season but has been the Argentina starter since 2009, and is vastly more experienced than Cillessen. While Argentina’s strength is its attack, the team needed a number of key saves by Romero to keep Iran scoreless in a 1-0 win in the group stage. He has three clean sheets in Brazil, including in both knockout games. With Argentina’s back four seen as the team’s weakness, Romero has helped make sure the team only conceded three goals in five games.

Advantage: Argentina

___

DEFENSE:

Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal surprised many by adopting a five-man defensive line for this tournament, although in truth the two wingbacks have been pushing forward just as much as the midfielders. The strategy has been effective, though, and will likely be used again to neutralize Argentina’s explosive attack. Daley Blind has been one of the World Cup’s best defenders but may again have to fill in for the injured Nigel de Jong in midfield. Dirk Kuyt, normally a forward, has also looked vulnerable defensively in his new role as left back.

Argentina’s defense was seen as its main weakness going into the World Cup, but has grown increasingly solid as the tournament progressed. Switzerland and Belgium were both held scoreless in the knockout stages — the Swiss through 120 minutes — although neither team features an attack as dangerous as the Netherlands. Pablo Zabaleta anchors the back four while his Manchester City teammate Martin Demichelis may again get the nod after performing well against Belgium.

Advantage: Netherlands

___

MIDFIELD:

Both teams are without a key piece to their midfield, although the respective effects will be vastly different. Nigel de Jong has long been the Dutch team’s bruiser, a tough tackler who shores up the defense and disrupts the other team’s play — often by any means necessary. His absence because of a groin injury will likely give Lionel Messi more room to maneuver, which could easily prove decisive. Another problem for the Dutch is that Wesley Sneijder — one of the best players at the 2010 World Cup — has looked well past his prime in Brazil.

For Argentina, Angel Di Maria has been one of the team’s best players going forward, constantly using his pace to take on defenders and help create chances for the forwards. With Di Maria sidelined with a thigh injury, Ezequiel Lavezzi will have to take on a bigger role on the wing. Argentina does have a strong foundation in the middle with Javier Mascherano playing in front of the back four and providing both leadership and hard tackles.

Advantage: Argentina

___

ATTACK:

This is the area where both teams field world-class players. Dutch duo Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben tore defenses apart in the group stage, scoring three goals each, but have been kept fairly quiet in the knockout rounds. Van Persie was also struggling with a stomach complaint on the eve of the game.

An even bigger problem for the Netherlands is that Argentina’s front line is even more intimidating. With Lionel Messi playing alongside Gonzalo Higuain and the fit-again Sergio Aguero, Argentina has an attack that is unrivaled in international football. Aguero may not start, though, having missed the last two games with a thigh injury. While Argentina has won three of its games by 1-0 scorelines in Brazil, Messi has shown repeatedly that he can provide a winning goal when his team needs it the most.

Advantage: Argentina

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Recent Articles

  • Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • .

    Solano News

     
    Solano County confirms 1st local case of measles

    By Staff and wire reports | From Page: A1

     
    SPCA begins caring for more than 100 rescued dogs

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

    Top workers, top students – and succulent crab

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

     
    Life sentence in 2011 execution-style killing

    By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A3

    Partial Fairfield freeway road closure starts Monday

    By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3

     
    DUI patrols set for Super Bowl Sunday

    By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3

    Armijo students savor catered Fuddruckers lunch

    By Susan Hiland And Susan Winlow | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Fairfield police log: Jan. 29, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

    Suisun City police log: Jan. 29, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

     
    Another trip to Texas reminds me how lucky I am

    By Murray Bass | From Page: B10

    .

    US / World

    Stanford University to get $50 million to produce vaccines

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

     
    Man charged in California family’s deaths will be own lawyer

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

    Yosemite park fee hikes coming in March

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

     
    San Francisco coroner says human remains are from 1 man

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

    PG&E releases thousands of emails with state regulators

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

     
    Balloon crew makes history crossing Pacific Ocean

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    Murder trial begins 35 years after 6-year-old vanished in NY

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Judge: Funeral home wrongly sold Lee Harvey Oswald’s casket

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    Jordan awaits proof hostage is alive after swap deadline

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Judge expresses doubt about constitutionality of no-fly list

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    French fracture laid bare as 8-year-old praises terrorists

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    Africans open new front in war on terror to fight Boko Haram

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    US mulls Middle East-North Africa category for 2020 Census

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    New lottery tickets come with a side of bacon – scent

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

     
    .

    Opinion

    Solano College news makes me sick

    By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

     
    Editorial Cartoon: Jan. 31, 2015

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    .

    Living

    Community Calendar: Jan. 31, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

     
    Today in History: Jan. 31, 2015

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Horoscopes: Jan. 31, 2015

    By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B7

     
    My recently widowed mother is already thinking about re-marrying

    By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B7

    Five ways 3D-printed food will change the way we eat

    By The Washington Post | From Page: B10

     
    .

    Entertainment

    List: 10 Super Bowl ads you’ll be talking about

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

     
    Rod McKuen, mega-selling poet and performer, dies at 81

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

    Miranda Lambert leads ACM Awards with 8 nominations

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

     
    Shakira gives birth to 2nd baby with Spanish football star

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

    Ex-rap mogul ‘Suge’ Knight arrested in deadly hit-and-run

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

     
    .

    Sports

     
    Mustangs ride away from Indian’s home court with 66-60 victory

    By Marcus Lomtong | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Hayward, Utah Jazz upset Golden State Warriors 110-100

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

    LeBron returns, Love, Irving team for 44, as Cavs top Kings

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Kings’ Cousins to replace Kobe Bryant in All-Star game

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Blackhawks Hall of Famer Stan Mikita has brain disorder

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Ko takes lead at LPGA opener, closes in on golf history

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Laird leads as Tiger shoots 82 and misses the cut

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Seau, Warner, Pace first-time Hall eligibles

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    N.H. Speedway general manager faces lewdness charge

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Djokovic beats Wawrinka to reach fifth Australian Open final

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Judge: Jury can watch Super Bowl unless Hernandez mentioned

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Carroll says decision is Sherman’s if baby arrives early

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

    NFL’s Goodell seeks to look past ‘tough year,’ to future

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

     
    This date in sports history for Jan. 31, 2015

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

     
    .

    Business

    US consumer confidence at highest level in a decade

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

     
    Companies steering clear of Super Bowl name

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

    .

    Obituaries

    Joe Lambert Robinson

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

     
    Otilia (Tela) Quinn

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

    Danica Gojkovich Ryder

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

     
    WillIiam “Bill” Hunter

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

    Garry A. Britton

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

     
    Anneliese Edith (Luckner) Fraser

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

    Anthony Neal Hunley

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

     
    Frank Z. Perez

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

    .

    Comics

    Rose is Rose

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

     
    Baby Blues

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

    Sally Forth

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

     
    Get Fuzzy

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

    Wizard of Id

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

     
    For Better or Worse

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

    Beetle Bailey

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

     
    Pickles

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

    Blondie

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

     
    Zits

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

    Garfield

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

     
    Peanuts

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

    B.C.

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

     
    Dilbert

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

    Frank and Ernest

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

     
    Baldo

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

    Sudoku

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

     
    Crossword

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

    Bridge

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

     
    Cryptoquote

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

    Word Sleuth

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

     
    .

    Home Seller 1/31/2015

    Quirky add-ons a common feature of celebrity homes

    By The Associated Press | From Page: HSR2

    5 ways to make a kitchen more germ-free

    By The Associated Press | From Page: HSR3

    Average US rate on 30-year mortgage rises to 3.66 percent

    By The Associated Press | From Page: HSR3

    Real estate transactions for Jan. 31, 2015

    By Daily Republic | From Page: HSR3