Friday, July 4, 2014

WC 2014: 5th July

Argentina v/s Belgium. The main question regarding this Argentina team is what would they be without Messi? From what they've shown so far in this World Cup, a very average team indeed. Di Maria is the only other player who has excelled but the other big names such as Higuain, Aguero, Lavezzi to name a few have been very quiet. They were very laborious in winning by the minimum margin against Switzerland in the last round. I am not sure that this team has further improvement in them.

Although they have an exceptional talent in Hazard in their ranks, Belgium are not reliant on the Chelsea player but rather on a team play that seems to be getting better and better. I can't think of a team with so many star player names but their main strength is their ability to link up properly as a team which makes them dangerous and difficult to beat. Their main challenge will be to stop Messi  and their defence marshalled by Kompany has the ability to do that.

I will go against the grain here and select Belgium to go through. Argentina rely too much on Messi and if their superstar is properly shut down or has an off-day, the Belgians should have more than ample ammunition to breach any resistance that their opponents can muster.

Netherlands v/s Costa Rica. I don't think the overall winner of the World Cup will come from either of these 2 teams. I think Costa Rica have been brilliant so far and gained everyone's utmost respect by playing a well-organized football with flair and intelligence. Everything that is being thrown at them is bonus to them at this point. The Netherlands have not impressed me as they seem to have done to many pundits. Their win against Mexico was controversial to say the least; the Mexicans have good reason to feel hard done by the final result. I still think the Dutch will go through as they are a superior team to Costa Rica but they have to ensure the match goes before the lottery of penalties.

To qualify: Belgium, Netherlands

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