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Argentina v Belgium: Devils primed to dump Messi and co out

| 04.07.2014

This most majestic of World Cups has reached the quarter-final point and for one of Argentina and Belgium the tantalising prospect of the semis awaits. We’re predicting somewhat of a shock victory for the Europeans.

Brazil v Argentina may be the grandest finale to World Cup 2014 on paper, but in reality aside from Lionel Messi’s skin-saving heroics, this Argentine team do not look like an outift worthy of that slot.

Instead, as part of our three best bets for the contest, we foresee Belgium matching their best ever performance at a finals, by qualifying for the last four.

Belgium to qualify @ 6/4

Both these teams came to the tournament with squads rammed full of stars and expectations swollen as a result.

However, neither have played with any swagger, grinding out results to this point and both requiring extra-time in their first knock-out matches. But of the two nations Belgium’s last-16 performance was the more convincing – they just happened to find USA keeper Tim Howard in awe-inspiring form.

Still, the Devils’ dominance was finally rewarded with two goals in the added period, whereas a disjointed Argentina team were two minutes away from penalties against Switzerland.

Result after 60 minutes – draw @ 5/4

This bet would have landed in three of Belgium’s four matches in Brazil and in two of the four that Argentina have played out.

Whereas the group games were ablaze with goals, the knock-out phase has been far cagier and we predict another tight one here.

There were no goals until extra-time in their respective second-round matches.

Romelu Lukaku to score last @ 8/1

The Chelsea man made up for two disappointing showings in the group stages by setting up Kevin De Bruyne before notching what ultimately proved to be the winner in extra time.

Lukaku’s impact from the bench was so stark that Marc Wilmots will more than likely keep the powerful striker in reserve again against Lionel Messi and co.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Christian Crowther

Give Christian a sport with anything remotely spherical in it and he’ll happily while away the hours watching it on the box. However, he’d much prefer writing about, playing or betting on golf, football, cricket, tennis, snooker.... you get the picture.