SAO PAULO, Brazil (SportingAlert.com) — The Netherlands and Argentina face-off in semi-final two of the 2014 FIFA World Cup at the Arena Corinthians, here in Sao Paulo on Wednesday.
What: Netherlands vs Argentina
Date: Wednesday, 9 July 4:00 PM ET (17:00 Local time)
Venue: at Arena Corinthians, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Coverages: Watch Live Streaming on ESPN3.com, WatchESPN and ESPN TV Channel.
Up for grab is a place in the deciding game of the tournament against Germany, which hammered Brazil by a stunning 7-1 margin in Belo Horizonte, Tuesday night.
Netherlands vs Argentina
Both teams booked their place in the semi-finals with battling victory, but Holland were forced to play an extra 30-minutes of extra-time to earn their spot.
The tactical substitution of goalkeepers in their match against Costa Rica was the talk of the quarter-finals and many believe that the expertise of head coach Louis van Gaal will see the Netherlands into the final.
Fans are still hoping to see a performance that will match the spectacular start they made to their campaign when beating outgoing defending champions Spain 5-1, but Van Gaal says he would be just satisfy with a victory
Captain and leading forward Robin van Persie is doubtful with a stomach problem, but the likes of Arjen Robben, Wesley Sneijder, Dirk Kuyt, who has been excellent in his new defensive role, as well as Bruno Martins Indi and Georginio Wijnaldum, are all ready to go.
“He (Van Persie) has a stomach problem, an intestinal problem. I don’t know (if he will play),” Van Gaal told his press conference.
“I will decide (on Wednesday). Van Persie is our captain so he is very important to us. In principle my captain always plays, but he has to be fit.”
Tim Krul, the hero in the shootout victory over Costa Rica quarter-finals, will remain on the bench once again, as Jasper Cillessen will continue to start in goal.
It is understood that hard hitting midfielder Nigel de Jong his recovering very well from a groin injury is sustained earlier in the tournament, and could feature. Van Gaal says the AC Milan player will go through a fitness test before deciding whether or not he can play.
He was expected to miss the rest of the World Cup with the problem.
Meanwhile, Argentina head into this World Cup semi-finals full of confidence and warned that they will be no pushovers against the more physical Holland team.
Lionel Messi and company are all primed and raring to battle, as they seek to steal the prestigious trophy from under the noses of their rivals Brazil.
They will have to do this, however, without winger Angel Di Maria, who is expected to miss the rest of the World Cup with the thigh muscle problem he picked up against Belgium.
However, left-back Marcos Rojo returns from a one match ban, while striker Sergio Aguero is available again after recovering from a thigh strain.
History is on the Netherlands’ side, as Argentina has only one victory over them in eight previous meetings in all competitions.
Holland won four and three ended in draws.