Netherlands vs. Argentina: Updated Form Analysis for 2014 World Cup Semi-Final

Rory MarsdenFeatured ColumnistJuly 7, 2014

SALVADOR, BRAZIL - JULY 05:  Arjen Robben of the Netherlands looks on during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Quarter Final match between the Netherlands and Costa Rica at Arena Fonte Nova on July 5, 2014 in Salvador, Brazil.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Argentina and the Netherlands are just one game away from the 2014 World Cup final in Brazil and will clash in the last four in Sao Paulo on Wednesday.

Respectively beating Belgium and Costa Rica in the quarter-finals, neither victory was convincing as the Dutch won on penalties and Alejandro Sabella's side prevailed 1-0.


However, there is little doubt that the two sides will up their game as they look to get one step closer to World Cup glory.

Read on for a look at both teams' form in the competition so far and an indication of who will make it through on Wednesday.


Netherlands Have Overall Edge

SALVADOR, BRAZIL - JULY 05:  Head Coach Louis van Gaal of the Netherlands looks on prior to the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Quarter Final match between the Netherlands and Costa Rica at Arena Fonte Nova on July 5, 2014 in Salvador, Brazil.  (Photo by Dean
Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Based on overall form in the World Cup so far, Louis van Gaal's side hold the edge over Argentina going into their semi-final match.

They put in one of the performances of the tournament when they beat Spain 5-1 in their group opener and have consistently found the net—except in their 0-0 draw with Costa Rica—against some strong teams.

They put three past Australia, two past Chile and grabbed a very late double to overturn Mexico in their last-16 tie.

SALVADOR, BRAZIL - JUNE 13:  Robin van Persie of the Netherlands scores the team's first goal with a diving header in the first half during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group B match between Spain and Netherlands at Arena Fonte Nova on June 13, 2014 in
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Goals have come from all over the squad, with Arjen Robben and Robin van Persie both bagging three so far and Memphis Depay picking up two as the Dutch have scored 12 in the competition.

On the contrary, Argentina have somewhat laboured to their victories, are yet to win by more than a single-goal margin and rely heavily on the inimitable Lionel Messi, who has four of their eight tournament goals. 

They face a huge test in a Dutch side who have seen off strong opposition on three or four occasions in Brazil, while Argentina have struggled against weaker sides like Iran, Switzerland and Nigeria.

They will also be without one of their best attacking options in Angel Di Maria, per InsideWorldFootball, although Sergio Aguero will return:

They have yet to go behind in a World Cup game, per's Ali Tweedale, thus, unlike the Netherlands, they are not used to being on the back foot:

They may well be rocked back by the Dutch front men and will then be in uncharted territory—which could prove disastrous. 

If they are chasing the game, their weak defence could be exposed by the likes of Robben, Van Persie and Wesley Sneijder. 

However, their victory over Belgium was a vast improvement on their previous four performances and may indicate that Argentina are growing into this World Cup.

They will most certainly need to improve again to see off the Netherlands, as based on overall tournament form, the Dutch should be seen as favourites to reach the final for a second consecutive World Cup.