The FIFA World Cup 2014 second semifinals match between Argentina and Netherlands will kick off tonight at Arena de Sao Paulo. The winner of the match will meet Germany, who humiliated Brazil with seven goals, in the final on 13 July.
Argentina are unbeaten in the competition, topping Group F after beating Bosnia-Herzegovina 2-1, Iran 1-0, and Nigeria 3-2. They beat Switzerland in the knockout round with Angel Di Maria scoring the lone goal in the extra time. They went on to book a place in the semifinals by beating Belgium 1-0.
Alejandro Sabella's men will miss midfielder Di Maria, who has been ruled out of the crucial semifinals match due to a thigh injury.
The Netherlands are also unbeaten in the competition, beating Spain 5-1, Australia 3-2 and Chile 2-0 to top their group. They went on to beat Mexico 2-1 in the round of 16 before sending Costa Rica off on penalties in the quarterfinals.
In what could come as a big blow to the team, coach Louis van Gaal has said that team captain Robin van Persie and defender Daryl Janmaat are doubtful for the semifinals match due to "stomach and intestinal problems."
Argentina will expect Lionel Messi to give the magic touch, while the Dutch will rely heavily on Arjen Robben to take them to the finals.
The teams have met in four World Cups with Netherlands winning in 1974 and 1998, and Argentina winning 1978. The encounter in 2006 World Cup group stage ended in a draw.
Argentina vs Netherlands Match Prediction
Cortana, digital assistant on Microsoft's Windows Phones, has predicted that Argentina will beat Netherlands on Wednesday to Germany in the final for the title. Predictions were made after evaluating several factors of the teams like performances in the qualification matches and other international encounters, proximity, weather, grould surface etc.
It may be mentioned that Cortana has been enjoying 100 percent successful predictions this tournament, correctly predicting that Argentina, Brazil, Germany and the Netherlands would qualify for the semifinals and Germany would beat Brazil to reach the final.
Search giant Google, which uses Cloud Dataflow, BigQuery and Compute Engine for match predictions, has also predicted that Argentina will beat Netherlands in their semifinals encounter.
Google gave Germany 59 percent chance to beat Brazil in their first semifinals match on Tuesday and 61 percent for Argentina to win the match against Netherlands.
Google correctly predicted the outcome of the Round of 16 before going wrong in quarterfinals encounter between Germany and France. They have correctly predicted 11 of 12 matches starting from knockout round.
Interestingly, bookmakers too are in favour of Argentina against Germany in the final. Here is what several betting platforms have to say on the semifinals match between Argentina and Netherlands according to Betting Dictionary:
|LIST||Paddypower||William Hill||Ladbrokes||Betfred||Bet365||Betfair||Betvictor||Winner||Sky Bet|
Argentina vs Netherlands match will be telecast live in India on Sony Six & Sony Six HD at 01:30am IST (3:30 p.m ET / 12:30 p.m. PT on ESPN. You can also check out complete TV quide of the ongoing World Cup HERE.