Louis van Gaal has spotted Lionel Messi’s major flaw ahead of World Cup clash

Dutch boss Louis van Gaal believes they've spotted a flaw in Lionel Messi's game ahead of their World Cup quarter-final clash with Argentina.

Van Gaal's side face a major task to progress to the last four of the tournament with Messi and Co standing in their way on Friday (December 9). The PSG star has scored three goals in Qatar, with only Poland preventing him from finding the back of the net so far.

But the veteran manager, 71, has developed a plan to combat Messi's threat. Speaking to NOS, Van Gaal said: "Messi is the most dangerous creative player, he is able to create a lot and to score goals himself.

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"But when they lose the ball and the opponent has possession he doesn’t participate much, and this gives us chances [to exploit]."

Naturally, he refused to disclose any more information, adding: "You will see on Friday. I won't tell you."

The Netherlands will be looking to avenge their semi-final defeat to Argentina in 2014, which they agonisingly lost on penalties after neither side could find a breakthrough.

What's your score prediction for Netherlands vs Argentina? Let us know in the comments section.

Van Gaal admitted there's a personal element to the game. "We have a pending account with Argentina for what happened two World Cups ago," he continued.

"We still have a bill to pay. I don't like to remember it, because I thought we would win. Messi is a player who can decide a game in an individual action.

"In the semi-final that we played against Argentina in 2014, he did not touch a ball and we lost on penalties. Now we want our revenge."

Having avoided a late scare in their 3-1 round-of-16 win against the USA, Van Gaal has warned his players they must cut out their mistakes.

He added: "Although we were in the lead 2-0, I think they were fantastic goals with beauty and team spirit, in the first half we were dispossessed so much and it was not necessary.

“That’s simply not acceptable at a World Cup. If you play top-notch countries, you simply can’t make those mistakes. I think we have big chances here. We still have three matches to go. I’ve been talking about this for a year that we can become world champions."


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