Netherlands v Argentina – World Cup 2014 Semi Final
The Netherland were not short of goals in their group stage, patient they scored a total of ten goals in three game and then went on to score two past Mexico in the first KO stage so a total of twelve goals in four games. Then faced the surprise package of this years tournament Costa Rica in the quarter finals and they put up a fight and were the first team to shutout the Dutch with a 0-0 draw, generic the match went to penalties and the Dutch were brave by bringing on Tim Krul in the final seconds for the shootout but it paid off with him saving two penalties whilst the Dutch scored all four of these to progress. The Dutch are currently tied with Colombia on twelve goals for most in the tournament, capsule both Robin Van Persie and Arjen Robben have three goals and Robben is ranked in the top 5 for best players at the world cup (Castrol Index).
Argentina have not really excelled this year but they still find themselves in the semi finals and when you have a player like Lionel Messi who can turn a match on his own then you have every chance of winning. They have won four of their five matches in the ninety minutes and all four of those matches have been by a single goal and even their match which they won in extra-time against Switzerland was by a single goal, they probably have not scored the number of goals which was expected of them but at the same time have kept three clean sheets which was probably not expected either! Messi has scored four of their eight goals, all coming from his left foot and he also have an assist to his name and he has been named Man Of The Match in four of the five games.
The two sides met in the 2006 world cup when it was a 0-0 stalemate and the Dutch are actually unbeaten in their last five matches against Argentina although three of those were friendlies. Angel Di Maria is out of the match with a thigh injury but both Sergio Aguero and Marcos Rojo are back from bans and injuries. News coming through is that Robin Van Persie may miss the match with a stomach complaint although that could just be Louis Van Gaal and his mind games, Nigel de Jong who was expected to miss the entire tournament could be in line for a shock appearance after recovering from his injury.
Darylrogerson Goes with a Argentina win.
Will Both Teams Score? No
When will the match be won? 90 Minutes
Holland were taken all the way to penalties by Costa Rica in the last round, whilst Argentina were dominant against Belgium and should have won by more than the goal they did. You’d expect Argentina to have the fresher legs throughout this game and that’s a big worry for Holland.
During the knockout stages of the last 6 World Cups, teams who were taken to extra-time in their previous match have fared very poorly against teams that progressed in 90 mins. Out of 22 teams that had done so previously, only 2 managed to beat a ‘fresher’ team in 90 minutes with a further three progressing having drawn.
This shows that with the short recovery periods between games, that extra 30 mins ( and penalties) take it’s toll physically.
I would have gone for Argentina anyway, but I’m even keener on them now. Messi has taken up the mantle delivering a proper captains performance so far and in my eyes looks set to cement his place as the greatest of all time. The last half an hour of this match should see Holland’s legs tired and if that leaves too many gaps then Messi will exploit them with ease.
Zipster Goes with a Netherlands win.
Will Both Teams Score? Yes
When will the match be won? 90 Minutes
This is a really tricky one to call, I was expecting Argentina to have won their group more comfortably than they did and then against Switzerland I was expecting better so like Brazil for me they have yet to impress me, all of their wins have come from a single goal and with the attacking power they have you would have expected more goals. Holland came through their group in fine form and it was not an easy group either, they then saw off Mexico before faltering against a stubborn Costa Rica which they eventually won on penalties.
The Dutch went out at this stage in 1998 but they are looking to make their second consecutive final after losing to Spain in 2010 whilst Argentina have not made a final since 1990 when losing to West Germany and this is the furfest that they have got since then.
We have some fascinating match-ups, Messi v Robben, Van Persie v Higuain and I can see Mascherano trying to cancel Sneijder out of the game. I don’t see this game being able to contend with the drama’s of last night but I do see goals, I just cannot see Argentina keeping out the Dutch here and when you have Messi you are more than capable of scoing.
I will be playing Over 2.5 at 2.43 and I will also be playing Netherlands to qualify at 2.25.
Gecko Goes with a Argentina win.
Will Both Teams Score? Yes
When will the match be won? Extra Time
This match has the potential to be great but after last night’s amazing match, it will probably seem like a bit of a let-down – however, they are two good not great sides and if both approach it in an attacking mind, then we could see an entertaining and enjoyable game.
Holland may well take confidence from their fellow European team and take the game to Argentina, hoping to emulate Germany and knock the South Americans out of their stride, but Argentina are a lot more wily than Brazil and I can’t see them collapsing like the hosts did in Belo Horizonte.
Messi is always capable and likely to be more of a threat late on when the Dutch may well get tired (they had a long game against CR) – he is a superb player and capable of turning the game totally. Holland have their stars and Robben, despite being unlikeable, is a talented player and hopefully he will be honest and not look to con his way into an advantage.
RVP may well miss but Holland are capable of scoring against anyone despite their losing their way a bit since the opening salvo against Spain – they do have a habit in major tournaments of looking great and then faltering, often at the final hurdle. I doubt they will win the WC and they may well qualify tonight but I think the overall nous of the Argentinians, along with having their major players on the pitch tonight, means they will find a way although it may take the 120 minutes to resolve this one – BTTS for me with 2-1 being the likely result, in ET or maybe in the allotted 90 if Messi finds a magical winner