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World Cup Semi Final - Betting Preview and Tips: Netherlands v Argentina
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Wednesday 9th July 2014 17:00 LOC / 21:00 BST / Thursday 10th July 06:00 AEST

Arena de Sao Paulo Sao Paulo, Brazil 


Netherlands Screenshot 2014-06-04 09.13.59

• No new injuries picked up so will just be missing de Jong and probably Fer for the semi-final. • Despite Tim Krul’s penalty heroics Jasper Cillessen will once again start in goal.
• Likely to switch back to 5-3-2 and play predominantly on the counter attack.


De Jong – CM – Injured

Team News


Fer – CM – 10%



Expected Team (5-3-2)

Screenshot 2014-07-09 09.14.12

Netherlands squeezed past Costa Rica in the quarter final, needing extra time and penalties to beat their Central American opponents and Tim Krul was brought on with just two minutes of extra time remaining in order to take part in the shoot-out. Despite his heroics, saving two penalties to send the Netherlands through, Van Gaal has already stated that Cillessen will start the game with Argentina.

After playing a 3-4-3 against Costa Rica the Dutch will switch back to 5-3-2 to combat the Argentina threat going forward. This means that Memphis Depay will be sacrificed and either Darryl Janmaat or Paul Verhaegh will return to the starting eleven. Janmaat has not played since the last group game but should get the nod due to his defensive capabilities.

Due to the lack of midfield cover, with de Jong ruled out of the tournament and Leroy Fer struggling with a hamstring injury, Daley Blind will move into a midfield role and Dirk Kuyt will switch to the left in the same role he played against Chile. He is likely to spend a lot of time marking Messi.

The other option is to play Kuyt at right wing-back, Blind in a more natural left wing-back role and bring de Guzman or Clasie into the midfield – though neither are naturally defensive midfielders so this could force Van Gaal’s hand.

Bench (from): Krul GK, Vorm GK, Verhaegh RB, Kongolo CB, Veltman CB, Clasie CM, de Guzman CM/RW, Fer CM/AM, Depay LW, Huntelaar ST, Lens ST/LW


Tactical Keys to the Game:

  •   How the Netherlands deal with Messi is likely to be key to how they can attack the Argentina team. If Kuyt is playing at wing-back Messi is likely to drift over to his side and although Kuyt is a diligent footballer he may not have the defensive capabilities to deal with the talents of Argentina’s talisman.
  •   Netherlands will revert to a similar style that brought them the victory over Spain in their first group game. They will sit very deep, allowing Argentina to have to the ball and counter attack with direct passes to Robben and van Persie and get them to use their pace behind the Argentina defensive line.
  •   Wijnaldum may have a tough job, as he will be expected to do a lot of work in the middle to try and win the ball back from Argentina’s midfield. With Blind likely to drop to help pick up Messi and Sneijder concentrating on playing higher up Wijnaldum will be solely responsible for pressing in the middle.

    Motivational Keys to the Game:

 After winning their first World Cup shoot-out the Dutch could be forgiven for thinking their luck may have turned in World Cups. After 3 unsuccessful appearances in the final, Van Gaal will want to go out on a major high.


Argentina Screenshot 2014-05-28 07.25.37

• Di Maria ruled out after pulling a thigh muscle against Belgium. Either Perez or Maxi Rodriguez will replace him. • Rojo returns from suspension and will start at left-back in place of Basanta.
• Aguero remains a doubt as he is struggling with a hamstring problem.


Di Maria – LW/RW/AM – Injured

Team News


Aguero – ST/SS – 30%


Rojo – LB – Suspension

Expected Team (4-3-3)

Screenshot 2014-07-09 09.18.28

Bench (from): Andújar GK, Orion GK, Basanta CB, Campagnaro CB, Demichelis CB, Biglia DM, Rodriguez RM/AM, A. Fernandez RW, Alvarez AM, Aguero ST/SS, Palacio ST/LW


Tactical Keys to the Game:

  •   The loss of Di Maria is a huge blow for Argentina. Despite his patchy form during the tournament he is key to how Argentina play as he links the midfield and attack very well. Perez will have to take his place but is not naturally as attacking as Di Maria.
  •   The Argentina team are likely to see much more of the ball than they did against Belgium as the Netherlands look to sit deep and play on the counter. This will mean they will have to be patient and move the ball well in order to create gaps, something they struggled to do against Bosnia, Iran and Switzerland earlier in the tournament.
  •   The pace and direct running of Robben will cause problems for the Argentina back line. Rojo is unlikely to be disciplined enough to stay deep to watch him and its unlikely Garay or Fernandez have the pace to keep up with him. Stopping him from receiving the ball will be crucial to prevent the Netherlands looking dangerous.

    Motivational Keys to the Game:

 Well backed by their travelling fans, Argentina will want to put one over their great rivals Brazil and win the World Cup in the Maracana. Messi has been excellent so far but will want to show that he should be named as the greatest by lifting the World Cup. 



Football Form Labs Betting Preview: Netherlands (1) v Argentina (4)

The Netherlands became the latest European heavyweight to fail to breakdown Costa Rica’s defence in this tournament – after Italy and England – but Luis van Gaal and Tim Krul took the plaudits as the Oranje won their first ever World Cup penalty shootout. If they want to make a second consecutive World Cup Final appearance, however, they will have to improve as they take on the new tournament favourites Argentina.

The Netherlands best two displays so far have come against their highest ranked opponents as they thrashed Spain and then produced a tactically astute performance to see off Chile. They are unbeaten in their last six games against top-10 ranked teams, albeit with four draws, and since 2009 nine of their 17 such matches have finished all-square.

Impressively the Dutch have lost just one of their 20 games against CONMEBOL nations since 1996 but 11 of the matches have been drawn including four of five since 2011, all of which have had fewer than three goals.

Argentina were never really threatened by Belgium in their quarter-final as they extended their unbeaten streak to 11 games with nine clean sheets. It also meant they are unbeaten in 11 consecutive matches against UEFA countries with nine wins. However, in competitive games against UEFA sides since 1998 they are an evenly split W4-D6-L4. Argentina backers shouldn’t be too concerned with the rankings difference here though as they’ve won six of their last nine matches against teams ranked above them, albeit that none of those games were competitive.

There have been 10 World Cup semis since 1986 where just one side had played extra-time in the previous round and that team has a W1-D3-L6 record. Eight of the 10 games were level at half-time – seven goalless – as there were five Draw/Loss doubles and four of the six defeats were 1-0. In Euro and Copa America semis the results are W1-D4-L4 in this situation while in African Cup of Nations these teams have a better record of W5-D7-L9.

We expect a tight game here with the 12 knockout matches so far averaging just 1.33 goals per game. There are plenty of indicators in both teams records against teams from the rival continent that we could get another draw but with the Netherlands fatigue from their quarter-final the longer the match goes on the less likely we rate their chances of success.




HT/FT : Draw/Draw at $4.35 with Screenshot 2014-06-13 14.59.08

HT/FT : Draw/Argentina at $5.50 witScreenshot 2014-05-27 08.55.43







Screenshot 2014-06-13 12.52.23


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