Updated 06:54 AM EDT, Wed, Jun 23, 2021

Argentina vs. Belgium at the 2014 World Cup: Watch Live Stream, Start Time, TV Schedule, Lineups & Predictions, En Vivo on Univision

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Belgium and Argentina arrived in Brazil World Cup final favorites. Neither has played like one.

Lionel Messi scored in every group stage game and twice at the end of games to lead Argentina into the Round of 16. Outside of Messi, Los Cafeteros don't have much to be proud of. The Argentinians unconvincingly advanced in a group containing Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iran, and Nigeria; on paper, teams they should have dominated.

A stiff Swiss defense held Argentina scoreless through 117 minutes before Messi split the defense and found an open Angel Di Maria for a game-winner. It was a last-second effort that a star-studded Argentinian team is becoming too familiar with.

Thanks to Marcos Rojo's two yellow cards, he'll be out of action against Belgium, and Sergio Aguero isn't healthy enough to play. Ezequiel Lavezzi most likely takes his placed, despite a subpar outing against Switzerland.

Belgium has its own share of injury woes. Defensemen Anthony vanden Borre and Laurent Ciman are out of the tournament due to injury. Still, their key forwards and midfielders remain intact; the same group that wore out the United States late in their meeting last Tuesday.

With the likes of Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku, and Adnan Januzaj on their side, les Diables Rogues expected to own Group H play. They won each group stage match but won each game by one goal, giving Russia the chance to win outright.

Lukaku's late goal against the U.S. came after the Americans ran out of steam. Belgium put together a coherent offensive attack but only after they felt pressured to do so. The tournament's dark horse can't depend on late-game heroics from one of their strikers when facing a potent Argentinian offense.

When: Saturday, July 5, 2014

Where: Estadio Nacional, Brasilia

Kick-off: 4:00 p.m. ET

Live Stream: Watch ESPN, Univision Deportes

TV: ESPN2, Univision

What to Watch For:

Messi vs. Belgium's defensemen - Argentina's star striker accounts for four of his team's seven goals, three of them coming outside the box. Messi collected his fourth successive Man of the Match award after Tuesday's extra-time win over Switzerland, carrying an otherwise mediocre offense.

Messi is the sole obstacle standing between Belgium and a semifinals appearance. Look for the Belgians to implement a style similar to what Switzerland used: pack the defensive line back and wait for a counter-attack opportunity. The Swiss held Messi in check all day, aware of his company's ineffectiveness. Don't be surprised if Belgium does the same

Breakout game from Eden Hazard - Hype surrounding Eden Hazard's first world cup appearance has simmered as the 23-year-old midfielder searches for his first goal.

Opportunities abound against the United States last Tuesday. Hazard took four shots, three on target, but never got in rhythm. Surprisingly, it was striker Romelu Lukaku who came off the bench to score a decisive goal against the U.S. With an offense built around Hazard's skillset, it's his turn to lead.

Belgium specializes in creative attacks and heavily depends on Hazard to head their efforts. That won't be easy facing an Argentinian defense that limited the Swiss to seven shots on goal and five corners. For Belgium to succeed, Hazard needs to step up.

Prediction - Di Maria and Ezequiel Lavezzi will take enough focus off Messi to hit Belgium with multiple counter-attacks. Argentina 3-1

Projected Lineups:

Argentina (4-3-3): Sergio Romero, Jose Basanta, Federico Fernandez, Ezequiel Garay, Pablo Zabaleta, Javier Mascherano, Fernando Gago, Ezequiel Lavezzi, Lionel Messi, Angel Di Maria, Gonzalo Higuain

Belgium (4-2-3-1): Thibaut Courtois, Jan Vertonghen, Vincent Kompany, Daniel van Buyten, Toby Alderweireld, Axel Wistel, Mousa Dembele, Kevin Mirallas, Kevin De Bruyen, Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku

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