Netherlands v Argentina - Match Preview: Manchester City star could feature

Sergio Aguero - Suisse vs Argentina

Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero could return to the Argentina starting line-up for their World Cup semi-final clash with the Netherlands in Sao Paulo on Wednesday.

To be played on Wednesday 9th July 2014 at 21:00. Venue: Arena de Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo.

Odds: Netherlands 11/5, Draw 11/5, Argentina 7/5

Preview & injury news

Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal surprised everyone when he replaced goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen with Tim Krul just moments before the penalty shootout with Costa Rica in the quarter-finals. However, the Dutchman is expected to start Cillessen against Argentina in a team that is likely to be the same one that beat Costa Rica on penalties.

Argentina go into the semi-final tie full of confidence and on the back of a 1-0 victory over Belgium. They will be keen to continue their good form against European countries when they take on the Netherlands, after previously knocking out Switzerland 1-0 in the round of 16. 

La Albiceleste head into the match in Sao Paulo without Di Maria, who is unlikely to feature due to picking up an injury in the win against Belgium. Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero should be fit for the last-four clash.

Key stats

1) Argentina have beaten the Netherlands twice out of 10 times of playing them, drawing two and losing four.

2) The Netherlands have won 11 of their last 12 World Cup matches, with the only blip in this run being their 2010 final defeat against Spain.

3) Argentina are 26 matches unbeaten in normal time, winning 18 of them.

Five players to watch

Lionel Messi - The Argentina talisman may not have got himself on the scoresheet during the quarter-final victory over Belgium, but his performance was superb. The Barcelona forward will once again be crucial for the South American giants.

Arjen Robben - The Bayern Munich winger was outstanding against Costa Rica. Featuring in a Netherlands team that is likely to play on the counter-attack against Argentina, his style of play will suit that - he will be key for the Dutch's chances in this one.  

Javier Mascherano - Mascherano will need to be at his best to stop Wesley Sneijder and Robben from causing his defence a number of problems on the counter-attack.

Wesley Sneijder - The creative midfielder was superb against Costa Rica. He hit the woodwork twice, crafted a great cross for Robin van Persie and faced a goalkeeper at the top of his game. Will be determined to keep up his good form.  

Martin Demichelis - The centre-back may not be quick, but his positional play is outstanding, something he proved against Belgium. The Manchester City player will be hoping to continue that against the Netherlands, as he is expected to start ahead of Federico Fernandez again. 

Last time they met

Netherlands 0-0 Argentina. Frankfurt, Germany. 21st June 2006. 

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