India vs Netherlands
13th December, Thursday, 19:00 IST
Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar
The 4th and final quarterfinal will be played between India and Netherlands.
Hosts India were the toppers in Pool C and got a direct ticket to the quarterfinals. Two big wins (5-0 against South Africa in the first game and 5-1 against Canada in the 2nd game) and a 2-2 draw against Belgium helped the Men in Blue grab the top spot. Harendra Singh’s troops finished with 7 points from their 3 matches and a goal difference of +9.
Mandeep Singh, Akashdeep Singh, Simranjeet Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Harmanpreet Singh, Chinglensana Singh Kangujam, and Amit Rohidas are the Indian players who have found their name on the scoresheet and the Dutch will need to be wary of them.
The Indian players have been convincing and pressed high, forcing the opposition to make mistakes and lose out on possession. They will be high on confidence going up against Netherlands in the quarterfinal match.
The Netherlands, on the other hand, also had two massive wins in the league stage (won 7-0 against Malaysia in the first game and 5-1 against Pakistan in the 2nd game). However, a 1-4 loss to the mighty Germans in the 2nd game meant that they will end up finishing 2nd in Pool D and have to compete against Canada in the crossover match.
They had an emphatic win against Canada, defeating them 5-0 in the crossover match. The Dutch are dangerous as they are yet to bring their A game to the fore and have still won so convincingly.
Penalty corner conversion is one area where Maximiliano Caldas’ boys have struggled and this can act as an advantage for the hosts India.
The Men in Blue cannot afford to give much space to the Dutch strikers in the circle as they have still scored so many goals from open play.
Jeroen Hertzberger, Mirco Pruijser, Mink van der Weerden, Robbert Kemperman, Thierry Brinkman, Valentin Verga, Jorrit Croon, Thijs Van Dam are some of the Dutch players who have been firing goals and the Indian team will need to keep a close check on them.
The upcoming quarterfinal between the World Number 4 Netherlands, and World Number 5 India is to be an intense match. Even the head to head record (since 2013) is perfectly balanced with both sides winning 4 matches and 1 game being drawn out of the 9 times they have clashed.
Form Guide (most recent to oldest, pre-season):
India: W D W W W (Excellent form)
Netherlands: W W L W W (Excellent form)
Head to Head (since 2013):
Won by India: 4
Won by Netherlands: 4
Probable Starting XI:
PR Sreejesh (Goalkeeper), Harmanpreet Singh, Varun Kumar, Kothajit Khadangbam, Amit Rohidas, Chinglensana Kangujam, Manpreet Singh, Sumit, Akashdeep Singh, Simranjeet Singh, Lalit Upadhyay
Pirmin Blaak, Mink van der Weerden, Sander Baart, Lars Balk, Robbert Kemperman, Billy Bakker, Jorrit Croon, Jeroen Hertzberger, Seve van Ass, Valentin Verga, Thierry Brinkman
My Dream XI
Goalkeeper: Sreejesh Parattu
The Indian custodian has been a busy man. The 32-year-old has over 200 caps for the national team and will make his experience count under the helmet in the all-important quarterfinal match.
Defence: Mink van der Weerden, Lars Balk, Harmanpreet Singh, Varun Kumar
Mink van der Weerden is a big match player and is expected to bring out his best against the Men in Blue in the all-important quarterfinal match. The versatile player can cause a handful of problems if he gets going. The 30-year-old scored one goal against Malaysia and also found the back of the net against Pakistan.
Lars Balk, Netherlands’ 22-year-old defender, was highly impressive in the crossover game against Canada. He scored the team’s first goal in the match with a deflection. With Sander de Wijn injured, the youngster can have an important role to play against the Men in Blue.
Harmanpreet Singh is India’s best bet from a Penalty corner. The lethal drag-flicker will need to bring out his best against the Dutch and control the backline. The Punjab-born player has scored once in each of India’s two previous matches against Canada and Belgium, and will be filled with confidence.
Varun Kumar has kept things in check at the back. The 23-year-old from Jalandhar has made quite a few vital interceptions and tackles during the league matches.
Sander Baart in place of Mink van der Weerden
Amit Rohidas/Kothajit Khadangbam/Surender Kumar in place of Varun Kumar
Midfield: Robbert Kemperman, Jorrit Croon, Sumit
Robbert Kemperman is the 2nd most experienced player for the Dutch (after Jeroen Hertzberger). The 28-year-old has over 200 caps to his name. Kemperman scored one goal against Malaysia and also found the back of the net in the crossover match against Canada. India will need to keep a check on the veteran midfielder as he also possesses impeccable passing ability and has an excellent vision of the game.
Jorrit Croon brings young blood and dynamism to the Netherlands’ midfield. The 20-year-old is a smart operator and always cool and composed with the ball. He found the back of the net once in the 5-1 win over Pakistan.
21-year-old Sumit, who hails from Sonipat, had a terrific match against Canada in India’s last group match. Sumit did all the hard work in the match and was the architect behind two of the five goals India scored. He also fulfilled his defensive duties extremely well and is a player who believes in giving his 100% on the field.
Chinglensana Kangujam/Billy Bakker in place of Jorrit Croon
Manpreet Singh in place of Sumit
Forward: Jeroen Hertzberger, Lalit Upadhyay, Thierry Brinkman
After the hat trick in the first game against Malaysia, Jeroen Hertzberger, Netherlands’ most experienced player has not been able to find the back of the net. The 32-year-old is also considered as a big match player and is sure to bring out his A game against the Men in Blue.
Lalit Upadhyay has found his form in the 2018 World Cup. The 25-year-old from Varanasi scored one goal against South Africa in the opener and a brilliant brace against Canada in the 3rd league match. Simranjeet, despite performing well in the first two games, looked a bit out of touch against Canada. The onus will be on Lalit to produce the goods for the Men in Blue.
Thierry Brinkman has contributed well in all 4 of Netherlands matches. The 23-year-old has one goal against Malaysia, Pakistan, and Canada, respectively. The young forward will be rearing to add to his tally and help his team make it through to the semifinal stage.
Seve van Ass/Thijs van Dam/Valentin Verga in place of Thierry Brinkman
Akashdeep Singh/Simranjeet Singh/Mandeep Singh in place of Lalit Upadhyay
Must not include: Sander de Wijn as he had suffered an injury during the crossover game against Canada and has withdrawn from the competition.
Captain: Robbert Kemperman
Vice-captain: Harmanpreet Singh
Player to watch out for: Thierry Brinkman
The young Dutch forward has been in sublime form and will make India pay if they give him space in the circle.