As the USA and Netherlands get ready, Pulisic returns to training

Dec 6, 2022

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DOHA, Qatar – According to manager Gregg Berhalter, Christian Pulisic should be cleared to play for the United States against the Netherlands in the 2022 World Cup’s round of 16.

One of the US’s most important players, Chelsea winger Pulisic, injured his pelvis while scoring the game-winning goal against Iran on Tuesday, sending his team into the round of 16.

According to Berhalter, there are promising signals that Pulisic will be able to play against the Netherlands. The US team has been cautiously enthusiastic about this.

The manager informed the team that they would see him on the practice field today. We’ll need to watch him play today on the field to corroborate my assessment that it looks fine.

As the United States participated in a final practice before facing the Netherlands, Pulisic did indeed work out with his teammates at the Al-Gharafa SC Stadium.

Prior to their match at Khalifa International Stadium, the Netherlands also practiced on the field at Qatar University, and manager Louis van Gaal anticipates a challenging contest.

Van Gaal added, “The USA has shown that it has a great team, I would even say one of the best teams, a team that is fine-tuned (but) it’s nothing we can’t overcome.

“The USA is a very dynamic team with physically strong players, and you can tell by their results that they are tough for any opponent. But we will do everything we are able to succeed and also to beat the USA, that’s about it.”

Visit the photo gallery above to see the most memorable images from the training sessions between the Netherlands and the USA. Click the arrows to advance to the next image, or swipe on a mobile device.

There is more to Poland than just Lewandowski

The majority of the conversation leading up to France’s match against Poland in the round of 16 has centered on how Les Bleus would manage Robert Lewandowski, but the reigning champions are well aware that the Poles are much more than their star striker.

Though Poland is a fairly compact team with goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny, who has already saved two penalties, at the other end of the field, they do have a lethal weapon in Lewandowski, who is a dangerous force up front.

Szczesny has saved 26 of 87 penalties in his career, so it is safe to assume that France will be eager to avoid a shootout on Sunday at the Al Thumama stadium.

At a news conference on Saturday, coach Didier Deschamps said, “They’ve had to defend a lot in the group stage and they defended extremely well. In fact, they relish it, but they’re not simply a defensive club – just look at who they have up front.

They have such a core group of players with extensive international experience, like Kamil Glik, Piotr Zieliski, Grzegorz Krychowiak, as well as some young players who have proven themselves capable and deserving of being in this position.

In their three games, Poland only managed five shots on goal, but Lewandowski was responsible for three of them and needed just a half-chance to score.

The best case scenario for France will be to hold the Barcelona striker in check and prevent penalties from being used to end the game, which are undoubtedly not Hugo Lloris’s cup of tea.

Lloris, who will match Lilian Thuram’s record of 142 caps for France on Sunday, has only stopped 16 of the 108 penalty kicks he has faced in his career. This deficiency cost France dearly in the European championship last year when they were eliminated on penalties by Switzerland in the round of 16.

The France captain stated, “We’ve been discussing penalties with the analysts, but there is a psychological element that comes into play, as well as how the penalties are taken.

But Lloris noted that if France remained concentrated the entire game, they had a chance to defeat Poland in regulation.

“We must have the killer instinct,”  he said, adding that while some keepers are superior at penalties, if we are fully focused from start to finish, “we have the tools to win it before we get there.”

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