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Fri 04/07/2014 - 23:46 EDT

World Cup Betting: Argentina vs Belgium Quarter-Final Preview

Lionel Messi will look to carry Argentina into the semi-finals against Belgium’s ‘Golden Generation’, led by Eden Hazard. Despite being handed one of the easier groups, the South American’s haven’t lived up to pre-tournament hype and will be looking to make a statement in Brasilia.

  

Agentina vs Belgium

Friday, July 5th – 12:00 PM ET

Odds: Argentina +2.02, Belgium +3.84, Draw +3.41

Total: 2.5  Over 2.35, Under 1.57

 

Argentina struggled to break down a determined Swiss side in the Round of 16. Once again, they were over-reliant on Lionel Messi and barely escaped a penalty shootout, which might have seen them sent home earlier than expected. Marcos Roja is suspended after picking up his second yellow card, so expect either Hugo Campagnaro or José Basanta to start in his place. Sergio Agüero is still a doubt and despite his poor performances in this World Cup, will be missed if he can’t make the starting lineup.

 

Belgium dominated their Round of 16 match against the USA but were thwarted time and time again by Time Howard. They are suspension and injury free. Marc Wilmots may choose to start Romelu Lukaku instead of Divock Origi, and Kevin Mirallas may start in place of Dries Martens who was subbed at the hour mark against the USA.

 

Argentina are the clear favourites to win this match and should have to skill and quality to top Belgium, but nothing is guaranteed. Belgium has a great back line lead by Vincent Kompany, and in Thibaut Courtois, one the best young keepers in the game. Belgium won’t be intimidated by the Argentineans and it will be up to Messi’s supporting cast to step up and carry La Albiceleste to Victory.

 

Handicapping The Total

 

Both these teams had trouble breaking down their previous opponents in the Round of 16 and were goal-less in regulation. While Belgium will pressure and attack the Argentines more than any other previous opponent, don’t expect the Red Devils to allow much space for Messi and co. to control the outcome.

 

Prediction: Argentina +2.02, Under 2.5

 

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