Belgium vs Argentina World Cup Preview
Date: Saturday 05/07/2014
Time: 5pm (British Summertime)
Belgium and Argentina are performing very similarly this World Cup. They both won all their group stage matches in an unconvincing way. Argentina succeeded thanks to their magician Messi, while Belgium did it using their golden substitutes. In the last 16 fixture, they were both held to a goalless 90 minutes before winning the game during extra time. Beating USA, the Belgium team showed finally showed what they can do – having more attempts on target than any other team in this World Cup with no less than 32 shots. USA goalkeeper Tim Howard was named Man of the Match for his talismanic performance where he was impossible to beat during the 90 minutes.
Below: Tim Howard saves Italian Chiellini from Suarez bite
After the group stages, Wilmots is getting a better indication of his strongest starting 11. But the big question remains is whether to start Origi again or give Lukaku back his starting position. Against the USA, Origi proved once again to be from the first minute very comfortable on the ball and very fast, while Lukaku succeeded to do what Origi failed, being decisive.
Belgium vs Argentina Probable Line-up
Argentina Line Up against Belgium
The Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella has been criticised for failing to find a strong formation. He has been switching it around but he will most likely opt to go for a 4-3-3.
One thing is sure, Sergio Romero cannot do a Tim Howard. He is probably the worst goalkeeper in the quarter finals so we can safely assume that it will be easier to score against the Argentines than against Howard.
The Argentines defence has showed to be quite fragile this World Cup. The central duo of Garay and Fernandes is quite strong, especially in the air. The leftback Marcos Rojo is injured and his replacement Ricardo Rodriguez is quite slow and currently plays at a low level club in Mexico. Manchester City right-back Pablo Zabaleta is a defender who loves getting forward but that means Belgium must try to exploit the backs with their fast and skillful wingers.
Stopping Lionel Messi will be the first thing on Manager Marc Wilmot’s mind but he will feel confident that Messi failed to score in 6 matches against Courtois in the La Liga this season. Messi has finally found his form for his country and his consistency to score the winning goal in each game is putting him in the same light of legend Diego Maradona. What’s most remarkable is how he can have a moment of magic to change the game (think Bosnia, Iran and Switzerland). Angel Di Maria is another dangerous player, shooting with his left foot from any angle. Sergio Aguero who was highly regarded to be golden boot winner is injured and Higuain is still looking for his form so they might opt to go for Inter Milan player Palacio.
Belgium vs Argentina Prediction
Overall Belgium has a stronger team than Argentina and provided that Thibaut Courtois can withhold the Argentine wizard for the eighth time in a row of hitting the nets, Belgium stand a firm chance to win the game.This will be the first game that the Belgian Devils will not be favourite and this can work in their advantage. It takes all the pressure off Belgium and piles it onto Messi.
Our prediction: 2-1 Belgium
Belgium are 8/1 to win 1-0
Kevin De Bruyne is 10/1 to be the first goalscorer
On Saturday the Belgians will be keen on adding a nice piece of Argentine steak to their portion of Belgian fries. In the meantime we can all sing ORIGIGI ORIGIGO!
Long live Belgium! Vive la Belgique! Leve België!
By Roy Skop
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