Quarter-finals preview: Netherlands v Italy
Seven of the eight quarter-finalists in this World Cup are European. This match between Italy and the Netherlands promises to be a true David vs. Goliath duel. Marie Schulte-Bockum explores each team's chances...
In their first World Cup in twenty years, Italy has been the fairytale team of the tournament so far. After the incredible feat of topping a group with Australia, Brazil and Jamaica and beating China in the round of 16, they must now overcome the Netherlands, winners of Euro 2017.
Miedema, Martens and van Sanden are beloved icons in their country
The Dutch have one of the most formidable attacks in the game. Vivianne Miedema, Lieke Martens and Shanice van Sanden have all proven this summer that they have the individual quality to decide a match.
The trio are beloved icons in their home country. Thousands of Dutch fans wearing orange head to toe are in France this summer. They follow their team to every match and will be there again in Valenciennes, cheering their side forward.
Will Italy dance the Macarena again?
Le Azzurre have conquered Italian hearts in the past few weeks with their joyful and fearless playing style. They celebrated the 2-0 win against China with the whole team dancing the Macarena together in front of their fans.
Juventus's 28-year-old striker Barbara Bonansea leads a fast-paced front-line. At the other end of the pitch, the defence around captain Sara Gama and Atletico Madrid’s Elena Linari has only conceded two goals in the tournament so far, neither of which came from open play.
On paper, everything suggests that the Dutch Leeuwinnen will progress to the semi-final. But if Le Azzurre manage to keep the Dutch attack at bay, then maybe Italian fans will get to witness the Macarena once again after the final whistle.