Argentina v Belgium

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    • Quarter-finals: Saturday, 5 July, 2014 - 17:00
    • Venue: Brasilia
    • TV Channel: BBC1

    Match Preview

    Former double World Cup winners Argentina take on well-equipped dark horses Belgium in their quarter-finals clash at Brasilia on Saturday afternoon, with an enviable display of talent taking to the pitch for both sides.

    The pair will face each other for the fourth time, with Argentina holding the upper hand in the statistics with three wins compared to Belgium's one. Argentina head into the game as 23/20 favourites with Bet365, while an equally strong Belgium are a longer 29/10 to win with Boylesports.

    Argentina have looked solid but certainly unspectacular so far in the 2014 World Cup, with their biggest performances coming largely from star man, Lionel Messi. His fantastic solo effort against Bosnia was the deciding factor in their first Group F game, while a curling effort from distance was the winning goal after 93 minutes in a relatively average 1-0 win over Iran.

    A competitive 3-2 game with Nigeria saw Messi bag two more goals, but the second round fight against Switzerland was unspectacular as Angel di Maria won the contest late in extra time for the team that last won back in 1986.

    Belgium are tipped as potential underdogs to lift the trophy meanwhile, and also topped Group H with three victories. A late comeback sealed a 2-1 win over Algeria thanks to substitutes Marouane Fellaini and Dries Mertens, before simple 1-0 victories against Russia and Korea Republic put them into the last 16.

    The real battle came in a thrilling contest against the USA in the second round, which came alive in extra time. Kevin de Bruyne struck first before Romelu Lukaku's first World Cup goal looked to have sealed the deal, but late USA pressure meant they had to fight to earn their quarter-finals place with a 2-1 triumph.

    In terms of goalscorer betting, you can't help but be drawn towards Messi to be the game changer for Argentina at 7/2 to score first with Coral, Messi finally showing what he can do at International level and not just for Barcelona. Sergio Aguero's injury may see him miss the tie, while Gonzalo Higuain has been very quiet on the goalscoring front so far.

    In a team full of talented individuals meanwhile, Belgium have seen six goalscorers so far with only de Bruyne having scored more than once in the tournament with two. He has impressed most of all with two assists also and is 14/1 to score first with Ladbrokes, although Lukaku and Eden Hazard have known quality and will be eager to display that more so when it matters.

    2014 World Cup Matches

    Argentina W W W W      Belgium W W W W

    2014 World Cup Goal Scorers
    Messi –  4 (0 Penalties, 2 First Goalscorer)
    Rojo – 1 (0 Penalties, 0 First Goalscorer)
    Di Maria – 1 (0 Penalties, 1 First Goalscorer)

    De Bruyne - 2 (0 Penalties, 1 First Goalscorer)
    Fellaini - 1 (0 Penalties, 0 First Goalscorer)
    Mertens - 1 (0 Penalties, 0 First Goalscorer)
    Origi - 1 (0 Penalties, 1 First Goalscorer)
    Vertonghen - 1 (0 Penalties, 1 First Goalscorer)
    Lukaku - 1 (o Penalties, 0 First Goalscorer)

    2014 Word Cup Goal Assists
    Higuain - 1
    Lavezzi – 1
    Messi - 1

    De Bruyne - 2
    Hazard - 2

    Argentina v Belgium

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