Without ever really producing a stunning performance Argentina have fashioned a route to the World Cup semi-finals and Alejandro Sabello’s troops are now tipped by bookies to continue their run by defeating a Netherlands side that required a penalty shootout to eliminate a spirited Costa Rica side in the last eight.
La Albiceleste are Skybet’s 6/4 favourites to overcome the potentially leg-weary Dutch, BetVictor’s 23/10 chances, in normal time, and it’s 11/5 courtesy of bet365 to be all square after 90 minutes, a result that would be in no way surprising given how close the pair’s knockout games have been.
Indeed, plenty of punters have already given their financial backing to a goalless encounter, now just 13/2 at BetVictor while betway mark a generous 11/4 against a stalemate in which there are fewer than 2.5 goals.
Those seeking to cover themselves in the event of an inconclusive affair can back a Lionel Messi-inspired Argentina at 4/6 via Stan James in the ‘Draw No Bet’ market, where BetVictor chalk Louis van Gaal’s side up at 13/10 and with outstanding attacking players at both ends of the park, Winner.com’s 11/2 about a 1-1 scoreline isn’t without appeal.
Inevitably, it’s the irrepressible Messi, fresh from an influential quarter final showing against Belgium, that heads the first scorer market, Stan James chalking the Barcelona man up at 4/1 to break the deadlock. Manchester United’s Robin van Persie is a 7/1 shot at Paddy Power to grab that opener while bet365 price both Gonzalo Higuain and Arjen Robben at 7/1.
Teams to draw and less than 2.5 goals in the match – 11/4 (betway)