Netherlands (3-4-1-2):Â Cillessen, Vrij, Vlaar, Indi, Kuyt, Guzman, Wijnaldum, Blind, Sneijder, Van Persie, Arjen Robben
The Netherlands defeated Costa Rica in a penalty shoot-out after a 0-0 draw to reach the semi-finals, with coach Louis van Gaal praised for his decision to substitute first choice goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen for Tim Krul for the spot kicks. Nigel de Jong will miss the clash with an injury, which will allow a place for Georiginio Wijnaldum in central midfield. If Van Gaal does revert to a more narrow 3-4-1-2, expect Arjen Robben to start up front with Robin van Persie.
Argentina (4-3-1-2):Â Romero, Zabaleta, Garay, Demichelis, Rojo, Perez, Mascherano, Gago, Messi, Higuain, Aguero
A solitary Higuain strike was enough for Argentina to see off Belgium to book their place in their first World Cup semi-final appearance since 1990, with Lionel Messi trying to replicate the heroics of Diego Maradona back in 1986 to captain his nation to football’s most prestigious trophy. They will however have to see off the Europeans without Angel di Maria, who scored the vital 118th minute winner against Switzerland in the Round of 16. Manchester City forward Sergio Aguero could come back to take his place, but still has fitness concerns so could start with either Rodrigo Palacio or Ezequiel Lavezzi instead.
Netherlands & Argentina have met 8 times previously with the Dutch having won 4, lost 1 and drawn 3 matches. #TeamOranges
â Sheik Ishmel Bamusa (@Ishmelbamusa) July 9, 2014
I think Netherlands will beat Argentina tomorrow.The European side are far more organised and have a better balance throughout their team
â The Football Front (@ReviewFootball) July 9, 2014
The only tiny little bit of consolation for Brazil would be to beat Argentina in the 3rd place play off should they lose to the Netherlands. â Marcus Speller (@MarcusSpeller) July 8, 2014
Well sorry to Brazil but congrats to Germany let’s hope Argentina beats the Netherlands so they can slay you bye
â Common Latina Girl (@iCommonLatina) July 8, 2014
The Netherlands were a man down in the 1998 World Cup semi-final against Argentina but an amazing Dennis Bergkamp finish sent the Dutch through to the semi-finals in a 2-1 victory.
Netherlands vs. Argentina: An Alternative Preview
Argentina have reached their first World Cup semi-final since 1990, when they went on to finish runners-up to West Germany.
La Albiceleste have progressed from all three of their World Cup semi-finals.
These teams have met four times in the World Cup, with Netherlands winning twice and Argentina once, with one draw.
Argentina’s victory, in the 1978 final, is their only win against Netherlands in eight meetings overall (L4 D3).
Argentina have lost just one of their last 16 World Cup games (W12 D3, not including penalty shoot-outs).
Netherlands have lost two of their 12 World Cup games against South American teams, not including penalty shoot-outs (1978 final v Argentina and 1994 quarter-final v Brazil).
10 of the Netherlands’ 12 goals in this tournament have come after half-time.
Netherlands’ last four goals in this tournament have come after the 75th minute.
Netherlands made 692 passes against Costa Rica, the most they’ve recorded in a single World Cup match (1966-2014).
Lionel Messi (29), Arjen Robben and Angel Di María (both 25) are the players with most completed dribbles in this tournament.
Messi has also created the most goalscoring chances in this World Cup: 19.
Against Costa Rica Wesley Sneijder recorded the 10th instance of a player hitting the woodwork twice in a World Cup match (1966 – 2014). He is the first Dutchman to do so.
Against Costa Rica, Netherlands recorded the 11th instance of a team hitting the woodwork three times in a World Cup match (1966 – 2014).
Argentina have won both their knockout stage games in this tournament 1-0; they have twice before won by this scoreline in the knock out stages of the World Cup (1986 and 1990).
Netherlands’ 0-0 draw against Costa Rica was their first goalless draw in World Cup knockout stages. This ended a run of 11 World Cup knockout stage matches for the Dutch without a clean sheet.
This is the first time Argentina have reached a World Cup semi-final in a tournament when great rivals Brazil have also done so.
Argentina are yet to trail for a single minute of the 2014 World Cup.
Argentina have scored with 11% of their shots from outside the box, the best rate at the 2014 World Cup.
Argentina have made 86 unsuccessful crosses, more than any other side.
Netherlands are the only team to concede more than one penalty at the 2014 World Cup.