Both Belgium and Argentina required extra-time to progress to the quarter-finals of the 2014 World Cup and both sides will be hoping they don’t have to wait as long to find a winning goal when they meet at Estadio Nacional de Brasilia at 2am (AEST) on Sunday morning.
Belgium were considered dark horses to win the 2014 World Cup by many experts in the lead-up to the tournament and they have progressed through to the quarter-finals without losing a game, but have been far from impressive in each of their four fixtures.
The European side required late goals to record wins over Algeria, Russia and Korea Republic in their three pool games and could not find a way past United States goalkeeper Tim Howard in their Round-Of-16 clash.
While Belgium were able to get in behind the United States defense and created plenty of chances, they lacked the final touch in their attacking third and were unable to get on the score sheet until extra-time.
Belgium are unlikely to receive as many chances to score against Argentina tomorrow morning and they will be punished if they are unable to take their chances against the favored South American side.
Argentina also required extra-time in their Round Of 16 clash and Switzerland may have created a blueprint for other sides to follow when they take on the Lionel Messi-led side.
The Swiss defense swarmed Messi every time that he was in possession of the football and the Barcelona superstar was unable to stamp his mark on the match until the final stages of the 90 minutes, where he created a number of chances that should have been taken by his teammates.
Argentina looked as though they were on their way to penalties against Switzerland, but another moment of Messi magic and a cool Angel Di Maria finish saved them from the lottery that is a World Cup shoot-out.
A couple of moments of brilliance from Messi may be all that Argentina need to defeat Belgium and progress to the semi-finals of the 2014 World Cup, but coach Alejandro Sabella will be looking to see an improved performance from a number of players in his side.
Argentina are clear favourites in the betting market for this match with Ladbrokes.com.au and the price of $2.10 represents fair value as it is difficult to see Belgium ($3.80) being able to breakdown the South American side.
The $3.25 for a draw at the end of 90 minutes may also be worth a play and if you are planning to bet on that option it may be worth coupling it with a bet on Argentina to win in extra time at $10.
The $7 available for a 1-0 Argentina victory is another betting option that is worth considering, while the $11 on offer for Lionel Messi to score from a free kick is a risky bet, but is a good play at those odds.
Leading online bookmaker Ladbrokes.com.au are also offering their special headline offers on this clash. Lionel Messi to score in normal time and Argentina to win in normal time is priced at $2.70, while Eden Hazard to score in normal time and Belgium to win in normal time is available at the lengthy odds of $9.