World Cup Semi-Final Betting Preview: Dutch to triumph over Argentina
Louis van Gaal’s Netherlands face Argentina tonight in their World Cup semi-final, needing two more wins to better the runner-up spot they achieved in South Africa in 2010.
The Dutchmen boast a number of hugely talented attacking players, but in the quarter finals they struggled to overcome the resistance of Keylor Navas in the Costa Rica goal, needing a penalty shootout to limp into the semis.
However, while Argentina may be Titan Bet’s 2.40 favourites to make the final, it is the Netherlands, priced at 3.30, who should be backed to progress.
Sergio Romero is an accomplished shot stopper, and though this tournament has been typified by high quality goalkeeping, especially from Tim Howard and Navas, the likes of Arjen Robben and Robin van Persie could cause significant headaches for a ‘keeper who only made three appearances for Monaco last term.
A side containing Ezequiel Lavezzi and Gonzalo Higuain would frighten most defences, but Argentina have been lethargic in front of goal at this World Cup, often relying heavily on star man Lionel Messi to produce the moments of magic required to send them through.
If Dutch defenders Ron Vlaar and Bruno Martins Indi can keep the diminutive playmaker quiet, Argentina could struggle to break the Netherlands down.
This problem has been compounded by a thigh injury to winger Angel di Maria, one of the few players besides Messi to provide Alejandro Sabella’s side with any attacking impetus.
Both sides’ troubles finding the net in the knockout rounds make Bet365’s price of 11/2 on the game being decided in extra time, and 5/1 on penalties, attractive options.