The second of the semi-finals at the 2014 World Cup is about to get underway between Argentina and the Netherlands.
Argentina will be without Angel Di Maria who picked up a thigh injury in the Belgium game. It will be a big loss and his absence was felt when he came off the field in the quarter final encounter but Argentina managed to hold out the fight Belgium put up late on.
There are stars all over the park in this one and the Netherlands will no doubt be looking to limit the impact that Messi has on the game. The Dutch attacking threat could definitely pose problems for Argentina although it has to be said that defensively Alejandro Sabella’s men were a solid unit that looked difficult to crack.
This is without a doubt the toughest test for the Netherlands so far in the tournament. Whilst the Dutch put Spain to the sword in their first group game, it would probably be accurate to say that Spain’s dominance has come to an end.
The game will be won in the middle of the park and although Argentina seem to have done just enough to control the possessional game and win their games, they should be also strong at the back. If they can manage to get an early goal, they won’t want to just sit back and protect such a small lead, which Mexico fell victim to in their game against the Netherlands. When Robben is given space he can be lethal and expose any defensive frailties, and Argentina will definitely be looking to close him down quickly.
Expect Argentina to win in a close one. Coral is offering 13/10 for Argentina to win. Lionel Messi to score in the anytime goalscorer betting market is also worth a punt on. You can get 6/5 at Bet365 for Messi to score.