FIFA World Cup Today Matches


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World Cup Match Preview: Netherlands vs. Argentina (A Step Closer To The Final)

World Cup Match Preview: Netherlands vs. Argentina (A Step Closer To The Final)

Match Date: 09 July 2014 (local time)

Venue: Sao Paolo

 

After failing to lift the trophy in 2010, Netherlands has some unfinished business to settle in this tournament. However, it has been a while since Argentina stepped into the World Cup limelight and they too, are unwilling to throw the white towel easily.

 

Netherlands

Netherlands bled during its quarter-final faceoff against Costa Rica. The squad was forced to endure a 30-minute ordeal before finding the right opportunity during a dramatic penalty shootout. For the second time around, the Oranjes found themselves a match away from the World Cup final.

 

Certainly, Louis van Gaal will be the main man for Netherlands. The semis is yet another stage for the tactician to have a spectacular display of his managerial acumen. Once again, the world will look forward to seeing him bring another miracle into the pitch.

 

An area that will readily test van Gaal’s proficiency is covering for Nigel de Jong’s absence. The Rossoneri man incurred an injury, which sidelined him in the competition. As a result, this has partially affected Netherlands’ attacking department.

 

Nevertheless, despite de Jong’s absence, Netherlands has managed to survive and this is because of the unprecedented rise of its players. First on the list is the Bayern Munchen winger, Arjen Robben.

 

Robben’s importance in the Dutch squad is akin to that of Lionel Messi. His age may easily betray him. But his performance has been superb. Robben still has the strength and agility of a 20-year old. He carries the ball with much confidence and he can also score at any given time.

 

Although Netherlands has not been on their usual scoring rampage, the squad has nonetheless, remained consistent.

 

Argentina

La Albiceleste’s long wait is over. Entering into the semis has propelled the country’s name into the list of football elite.

 

Pitted against Belgium during the quarter-finals, Argentina has successfully halted the attacking threats of Eden Hazard and Kevin de Bruyne. Belgium was an opponent filled with class and technique and overcoming them is already an achievement.

 

Clearly, Alejandro Sabella has orchestrated Argentina’s journey to victory. Under this tutelage, he transformed a Messi-reliant squad into a team overflowing with self-confidence.

 

Just recently, Gonzalo Higuain proved why he is included in Argentina’s player list. He put a stop to his goal drought and scored the winning goal against Belgium.

 

Likewise, Javier Mascherano has been a formidable defence wall for La Albiceleste. As for Messi, the squad’s captain does not only score, he has also engineered incredible plays and delivered crucial assists.

 

However, Argentina will be missing Angel di Maria in the semis because of an injury. Di Maria scored a late goal against Switzerland to send his team into the quarter-finals.

 

Prediction

Argentina’s victory over Belgium is a definite boost to their squad’s morale whilst the thrilling penalty shootout might drain the Oranje’s energy.

 

At any rate, considering that both Netherlands and Argentina are top-notched squads, the possibility of extending into another 120-minute match is high. The same thing holds true when it comes to the probability of ending in a penalty shootout.

 

Nevertheless, Argentina is still pegged as the favorite of world cup odds. Sharing an Asian handicap of 0-0.5 they are 12BET’s top pick, with odds valued at 1.86. 12BET’s outright odds also see Argentina as World Cup winner with odds pegged at 3.35.

 

Image Source: Mid-Day

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