Oranje and the Albiceleste meet in Sao Paulo for Wednesday's World Cup semi-final and our tipster, Hugh Wilson, backs the tie to come to life after the half-time intervalNetherlands and Argentina face off in the second semi-final in Brazil on Wednesday, with Oranje looking to go one better than four years ago, when they lost in the final, and the Albiceleste looking to lift the trophy for the first time since 1986.
Alejandro Sabella’s men have reached the last four for the first time since 1990, where they went onto beat Italy before losing in the final to West Germany.
Argentina are favourites for the tournament but will not be counting their chickens yet as they face a tough match against Netherlands and, although they are the shortest price with the bookmakers, there appears to be little to choose between the sides.
Sabella’s men beat Belgium in a tight contest in the quarter-finals, with Gonzalo Higuain’s goal the difference with the South Americans winning 1-0. Paddy Power price them at 7/5 (2.40) to be victorious against Oranje in normal time.
Netherlands kicked off their World Cup in Brazil in style with a 5-1 win over defending champions Spain. Since that result, however, Louis van Gaal’s men have not played to their true potential, struggling past Australia in the group stage then beating Mexico with two late goals in the last 16 before needing penalties to get past Costa Rica in the quarter-finals.
The Dutch have not lost to Argentina in their last four encounters, winning two and drawing two. Paddy Power price them at 9/4 (3.25) to make their second successive World Cup final. The same firm prices the draw at 11/5 (3.20).
Apart from netting three goals against Nigeria, Argentina have not looked deadly in front of goal, with only Lionel Messi making an impact on the scoresheet regularly.
Netherlands, however, are the highest scorers in the competition, scoring 12 goals so far. Despite this, they missed numerous chances against Costa Rica in 120 minutes and failed to score. Expect a tight match in Sao Paulo but the price of 1/2 (1.50) for under 2.5 goals is far too skinny to touch.
Instead it is worth looking at the highest-scoring-half market. Netherlands have come alive in the second half of their World Cup matches so far in Brazil, with 80 per cent of their goals being scored in the second period. Just under half of the goals that they have netted have come between the 75-90 minute mark.
With Argentina scoring over 60% of their goals in the second half of their World Cup matches, the price of the second 45 minutes to have the most goals at 6/5 (2.20) is the play with Paddy Power.
|Second half to be the highest scoring half at 6/5 (2.20) 2pts stake with Paddy Power|
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