Welcome to the preview of the second half of the Quarter Finals for Brazil 2014. With Germany and Brazil through to the Semi’s to face off next, we now have 2 more games to decide who else will make it through. First up is Argentina taking on the tournament dark horses Belgium in what is perhaps the toughest game to pick thus far in these Quarter Finals. It will be followed up with the Netherlands taking on Costa Rica who will be pushing to keep their dream alive and given the sides they have beaten thus far it isn’t beyond them.
**Odds from betfair as at 5th July
Argentina ($2.16) versus Belgium ($4.1), Draw ($3.3)
- Grp – Argentina 2 – 1 Bosnia
- Grp – Argentina 1 – 0 Iran
- Grp – Argentina 3 – 2 Nigeria
- L16 – Argentina 1 – 0 Switzerland
- Grp – Belgium 2 – 1 Algeria
- Grp – Belgium 1 – 0 Russia
- Grp – Belgium 1 – 0 South Korea
- L16 – Belgium 2 – 1 USA
Argentina take on Belgium first up in what is a battle of the best defence against one of the better offensive sides at this World Cup. Argentina haven’t been dominant on the scoreboard but their stats show they have been certainly dominant in their games. They’re averaging 20 shots per game, just 0.8 behind Belgium, they lead in possession (65%) and 2nd behind Italy for pass accuracy (87.3%). Perhaps their most important stat though is held by Messi who leads they’re scoring with 4 goals and is perhaps the form player of the World Cup along with James Rodriguez. He’ll need to be at his clinical best though if they are to break down this strong defensive unit in Belgium. Belgium have conceded just the 2 goals, 1 of which was a penalty against Algeria. I think they key here for Argentina is to score early. It’s an easy statement to make that a team needs to score early but I think it’s important for Argentina’s chances here. Belgium have scored their 6 goals all beyond 70 minutes and if Argentina can manage an early goal it will heap the pressure back on Belgium early in the game. If this one still remains scoreless as we push to the final 15 of the second half Belgium will surely feel confident they can get the job done having won all their games late so far. I’m just not sure if they can keep Messi and co at bay for that long whilst also ensuring they too are piling on offensive pressure. This is going to be a tight game with perhaps just a goal in it or even through to penalties. I think Argentina may just get the result they need, however it’s not something I’m overly confident about here.
Predicted score (Normal time): Draw 1-1
Best Bet (Normal time): Under 2.5 goals at $1.68 (75%)
Next Best: Half time Draw at $2.08
Netherlands ($1.55) versus Costa Rica ($7.8), Draw ($4.3)
- Grp – Netherlands 5 – 1 Spain
- Grp – Netherlands 3 – 2 Australia
- Grp – Netherlands 2 – 0 Chile
- L16 – Netherlands 2 – 1 Mexico
Costa Rica’ run:
- Grp – Costa Rica 3 – 1 Uruguay
- Grp – Costa Rica 1 – 0 Italy
- Grp – Costa Rica 0 – 0 England
- L16 – Costa Rica 1(5) – 1(3) Greece *on Penalties
The Netherlands take on Costa Rica in their Quarter Final and will be hoping to end their run with a solid win. The Dutch have had a really good run in this World Cup with 4 straight wins and some really strong performances particularly over Spain in their first game. Whilst on paper this looks like a Dutch win, they’ll need to be sure no complacency creeps into their mindsets as Costa Rica are certainly capable of an upset as they’ve shown throughout their 4 games. They’ll be playing with no fear and a nothing to lose attitude as well which could complement an open game. An open game won’t faze the Dutch though as they are brilliant on the counter and with Van Persie and Robben up front they have all the firepower they need to get the win here. A blow for Costa Rica here is the suspension of Oscar Duarte who has been a key figure in their defence at this World Cup where they have conceded just the 2 goals. The Dutch struggled to get on the scoreboard against Mexico who had been as equally strong in defence and the absence of Duarte could spell danger for Costa Rica here as they reshuffle their defensive line-up. I don’t doubt the ability here of Costa Rica’s attacking threat but I think the Dutch will end up taking this one out and push through to the Semi-finals.
Predicted score (Normal time): Netherlands 2-1
Best Bet (Normal time): Both teams to score – Yes at $2.3 (70%)
Next Best: Over 2.5 goals at $2.22
All of the above are the opinions of the author and are not recommendations or advice. The author may not be taking every bet listed above. Bet at your own risk.
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