FIFA 2014 Quarter-Finals Predictions: Match #59 Argentina vs. Belgium

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By Sounak Mukhopadhyay | July 2, 2014 2:08 PM EST

Final Score

Argentina 1 Belgium 0

REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker
Argentina's Lionel Messi walks on the pitch during their 2014 World Cup round of 16 game against Switzerland at the Corinthians arena in Sao Paulo July 1, 2014.

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Overview

Match number 59 is the third quarter final match. Both Argentina and Belgium won in the extra-time to enter the quarter finals.

Teams

Argentina: Argentina started the tournament as one of the strongest teams on paper primarily because of the presence of Lionel Messi. However, there were speculations that the team was overdependent on its captain. Messi, who was able to save his country in all the group matches, was restricted against Switzerland in its "Group of 16" match.

There were several occasions when Argentina seemed to have failed to match Messi's brilliance with enough support from other players in the team. Several of Messi's touches went astray, and Argentina failed to score in 90 minutes. The match was on the brink of a penalty shoot-out when it was Messi again who saved his country with a magic pass to Di Maria who scored the winner at the 118th minute of play.

The Swiss raised several questions about the defensive capabilities of the South American team in the first half. The attacking team consisting of Gonzalo Higuain, Ezequiel Lavezzi and Sergio Aguero (injured) failed to perform until now. Belgium, which has played brilliantly so far, will challenge the Argentine force.

Belgium: Belgium, just like Argentina, won every match it played so far. Its "Group of 16" match against the United States went down to the wire but the European team managed to come out as the better team of the two one more time. Belgium played stunning football as continued to attack the U.S. goal innumerable times throughout the match. It was the resilience of the U.S. defence and the brilliance of its goalkeeper Tim Howard that it was able to prevent Belgium from scoring in normal time.

As the match went to the extra-time, Kevin De Bruyne scored at the 93rd minute and then Romelu Lukaku scored another at the 105th minute. Even though 19-year-old Julian Green made it more interesting by scoring a goal for the United States at the 107th minute, Belgium always looked to be the more convincing side of the two.

Head to Head

These two teams played 4 times against each other before. Argentina won 3 and Belgium 1. There were 14 goals scored in total. Argentina scored 10 of those and Belgium 4.

Key Players

Argentina: Lionel Messi and Angel Di Maria

Belgium: Romelu Lukaku and Marouane Fellaini

Date, Time & Venue

Brazil's time zone is UTC/GMT -3. The match starts at 1 pm (local time) on July 5, which means it is 2 am on July 6 in New South Wales, Australia. The match will be held at Estádio Nacional Mané Garrincha in Brasília.

Prediction

It will be highly competitive contest between the two as both the teams will prefer scoring goals to securing its defence. Argentina's advantage will still be the presence of Messi. Argentina will make it 3-2 at the last moment and go to the semi-finals

Contact the writer: s.mukhopadhyay@IBTimes.com.au

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(Photo: REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker / )
Argentina's Lionel Messi walks on the pitch during their 2014 World Cup round of 16 game against Switzerland at the Corinthians arena in Sao Paulo July 1, 2014.
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