This past Tuesday, we finally saw the first four teams confirm their place and position in the FIFA World Cup Round of 16 from Groups A & B.

While Qatar, Ecuador, Wales and Iran waved goodbye to the tournament for another four years at least, the Netherlands, Senegal, England and the United States all moved through into the Knockout Phase of the tournament.

Furthermore, we now know that Saturday at 3pm will see the Netherlands facing the United States in the first game of the Round of 16, while England will be taking on Senegal in the fourth game of the Round of 16 on Sunday (7pm kick off).

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With the teams that will contest Games 2 and 3 in the Round of 16 to be decided today (Wednesday 30th November) from Groups C and D in the tournament, let’s now look ahead to both these big Round of 16 games coming up this weekend.

Remember, betting is available on every World Cup game throughout the tournament at bet365 Sport, and you can also enjoy plenty of great In Play betting on each game when it kicks off with the site too.

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Let’s now preview those two games this weekend starting with the game on Saturday.

FIFA World Cup 2022 – Round of 16

Game 1 – Netherlands v United States

  • Stadium – Khalifa International Stadium
  • Date – Saturday 3rd December
  • Kick Off – 3pm (UK Time)
  • Last Match – Netherlands 3-4 USA (June 2015 – International Friendly)

This will be the opening game of the Round of 16 and pits the winners of Group A, the Netherlands against the team that pipped Iran to top spot in Group B, the United States.

World Cup 2022 Performances

Netherlands

  • Netherlands 2-0 Senegal (Gakpo 84, Klaasen 90+9)
  • Netherlands 1-1 Ecuador (Gakpo 6)
  • Netherlands 2-0 Qatar (Gakpo 26, De Jong 49)

Netherlands scored 5 goals, conceded one and finished top of Group A with 7 points from 3 games.

Star ManCody Gakpo (PSV Eindhoven) – The PSV attacker/midfielder has been the standout performer for the Dutch with three very well taken goals, one in each of the three group games.

Strengths – Netherlands have some excellent defenders and have conceded just one goal so far in the tournament. They also retain the ball well in midfield with de Jong a class act.

Weaknesses – The Dutch do lack a top quality striker with Memphis Depay not fully fit and his absence is being keenly felt in the team.

Historical Record – Netherlands v United States

  • Games Played – 5
  • Netherlands Wins – 4
  • USA Wins – 1
  • Draws – 0
  • Netherlands Goals –10
  • USA Goals – 5

United States

  • United States 1-1 Wales (Weah 36)
  • United States 0-0 England
  • United States 1-0 Iran (Pulisic 38)

The United States scored two goals, conceded one and finished second in Group B with 5 points.

Star ManChristian Pulisic (Chelsea) – Scored the winner against Iran and hit the bar against England. The USA’s best player but he is a slight doubt for the game with an abdominal injury.

Strengths – A fit, strong and fast team that has pace all over the field. Their midfield trio has been one of the best at the World Cup and defensively, they look solid and well-organised.

Weaknesses – Scoring goals has been a problem against the top teams for a while and they will need to find a greater attacking threat than they have shown so far in the World Cup from now on.

Probable Teams

Netherlands – (3-4-3) – Noppert (GK), Timber (DRC), Van Dijk (DC), Ake (DLC), Dumfries (DMR), Blind (DML), De Room (DMC), De Jong (DMC), Klaasen (AMC), Gakpo (AC), Depay (AC)

United States – (4-3-3) – Turner (GK), Dest (DR), Robinson (DL), Ream (DC), Carter-Vickers (DC), Adams (MC), Musah (MC), McKennie (MC), Weah (AMR), Pulisic (AML), Sargent (AC)

Match Prediction

I think the United States are going to push the Netherlands hard here, and I think this will be a closer game than the bookies odds suggest with the Netherlands 10/11 for the win and the USA 7/2.

I’d actually back the draw here which is a 12/5 shot but I feel that the Netherlands may do enough to clinch the win in extra time.

Game 2 – England v Senegal

  • Stadium – Al Bayt Stadium
  • Date – Sunday 4th December
  • Kick Off – 7pm (UK Time)
  • Last Match – The two teams have never met previously.

This will be the opening game of the Round of 16 and pits the winners of Group A, the Netherlands against the team that pipped Iran to top spot in Group B, the United States.

World Cup 2022 Performances

England

  • England 6-2 Iran (Bellingham 35, Saka 43,62, Sterling 45+1, Rashford 71, Grealish 90)
  • England 0-0 United States
  • England 3-0 Wales (Rashford 50,68, Foden 51)

England hit nine goals, conceded two and finished top of Group B with 7 points from 3 games.

Star ManJude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund) –  England have had some great performances from players but 19-year-old Bellingham has excelled in midfield and looks a huge asset for the team.

Strengths – England have not found goals difficult to come by in this World Cup, the game against the US apart. Defensively they’ve looked solid in their last two games too. Great squad depth.

Weaknesses – There are still concerns about England’s defence. The goals conceded against Iran were avoidable and the lack of consistency, such as against the USA is also a worry.  

Historical Record – England v Senegal

  • Games Played – 0
  • England Wins – 0
  • Senegal Wins – 0
  • Draws – 0
  • England Goals –0
  • Senegal Goals – 0

Senegal

  • Senegal 0-2 Netherlands
  • Senegal 3-1 Qatar (Dia 41, Diedhiou 48, Dieng 84)
  • Senegal 2-1 Ecuador (Sarr 44(p), Koulibaly 70)

Senegal scored five goals, conceded four and finished second in Group B with 6 points.

Star ManKalidou Koulibaly (Chelsea) – With Sadio Mane absent the Chelsea defender is the rock in defence for Senegal and also pops up with key goals at opportune moments.

Strengths – Physically strong, powerful and pacy down the flanks. Well organised defensively and the midfield has bundles of energy. Can create chances without much possession.

Weaknesses – With Sadio Mane out, Senegal’s main attacking threat has been nullified and they are likely to find goals harder to come by against better quality opponents as they did the Netherlands.

Probable Teams

England – (3-4-3) – Pickford (GK), Trippier (DR), Shaw (DL), Stones (DC), Maguire (DC), Rice (MC), Bellingham (MC), Henderson (MC), Saka (AMR), Kane (AC), Rashford (AML)

Senegal – (4-2-3-1) – Mendy (GK), Sabaly (DR), Jakobs (DL), Diallo (DC), Kolulibaly (DC), P.Gueye (DMC), P.Ciss (DMC), Gueye.I (MC), I.Ndiaye (AMR), Sarr (AML), Dia (AC)

Match Prediction

England head into this game on Sunday night as the big favourites to win through here and on paper, that should be the case, especially with Senegal missing their one true World Class attacking talent in Sadio Mane.

However, Senegal have showed in this tournament, and others that they cannot be underestimated. They are African Champions for a reason and I expect them to give England a tough game but I still feel England will do enough to claim the win here.