Having hit a 5/1 anytime goalscorer winner last night, Phil Kitromilides takes a look at some of the markets involving Argentina's star man for tonight's semi-final clashIf the pressure had been on Brazil's Neymar to deliver the hosts a sixth World Cup, then his Barcelona team-mate Lionel Messi can sympathise with carrying the weight of a nation's expectations.
Neymar may have been powerless to prevent Brazil's semi-final capitulation because of injury but Messi is very much available and ready to help Argentina reach their first final in 24 years.
While he was quiet in the quarter-final win over Belgium, the forward has shown flashes of genuine brilliance during the tournament and the stage is set for him to shine once more against Holland.
William Hill offer him at 13/10 (2.30) to get on the scoresheet at any time which in itself looks a sensational price, but those odds jump to a monumental 4/1 (5.00) for new customers, surely an offer that few will be able to resist. To claim this offer new customers will have to open a new account and use the code MESSI4.
The Barcelona man has scored five times in his last six games for the Albiceleste, while the Dutch have not been the most solid at the back conceding twice to Australia in the group stages.
Backing him to get on the scoresheet makes a lot of sense and William Hill have drawn up a number of markets which allow punters to do just that.
Indeed there is a special Messi v Robben market whereby the Argentine can be backed at 15/8 (2.88) to outscore his Dutch counterpart in the game, while Robben is offered at 11/2 (6.50) to score more than Messi. This looks like an excellent bet given the respective goal threats posed by both men.
Robben is deadly on the counter but his wide starting position means that he does not necessarily get as many clear cut chances on goal as Messi. Furthermore the threat posed by Messi from free-kicks and the penalty spot means there is every chance that he will find the back of the net.
|Messi to out-score Robben for a 2pt stake at 15/8 (2.88) with William Hill|
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