Argentina vs Netherlands
July 9, 9PM Arena Corinthians, São Paulo
Arguably the two best entertaining sides of the 2014 FIFA World Cup will know their reward should they progress to the final, with the first finalist decided the night before.
Should the hosts go through, Argentina will have an added incentive to break the hearts of the local rivals they have toiled with for so many years, however first they must overcome what can only be described as football’s greatest under-achievers.
Holland have performed as well as anybody in recent World Cups, however it has been a case of “always the bridesmaid” for Oranje. Most recently Spain in South Africa were the last side to pip them to top spot, having finished second a further two times against Germany and Argentina.
They have outplayed their semi-final opponents so far across the tournament, despite a small stumble in the last round against Costa Rica, where substitute goalkeeper Tim Krul starred despite not featuring in normal time.
Lionel Messi has shown his class throughout the Argentine games, bailing his side out in the last minute against Iran in the group stages, while Angel di Maria’s 118th minute strike brushed them through past Switzerland.
The fact that the Argentines beat a highly fancied young Belgium side in the last round will work wonders for the squad’s confidence, especially seeing the Dutch forced to play an extra half an hour against Costa Rican minnows.
The Dutch will be desperate not to falter again at the highest level, however first they need to figure out how to stop the magician himself.
Betting tip: Argentina to qualify @ 1.80 with Bet365