Updated 10:26 PM EST, Wed, Jan 20, 2021

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

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To say Holland's dominance of Argentina is one-sided would be generous.

The Dutch have won seven of eight meetings between the two, memorably taking a 1998 World Cup quarterfinal in France. They've made the World Cup final on three occasions only to walk away empty handed. The second of those losses came against Argentina, the CONMEBOL squad they face Wednesday afternoon.

With captain and star striker Robin van Persie out due to a stomach virus, the Oranje may have a tough road ahead. They needed penalty kicks to defeat dark horse Costa Rica and narrowly escaped the Round of 16 with a 2-1 win over Mexico; all with a healthy van Persie.

Manager Louis van Gaal's off-the-cuff tactics have led the Netherlands to the semifinals, despite injuries to key midfielder Nigel de Jong and defenseman Ron Vlaar. Van Gall sent reserve goalkeeper Tim Krul late into extra time with the Ticos; a wise move given that Krul saved two penalty shots.

He'll need a bold strategy facing arguably the best striker in the world.

Messi is the heart and soul of the Argentinian offense. He's the cog that makes manager Alejandro Sabella's formation work, even if other strikers aren't pulling their weight. Unfortunately for Messi, he'll be without winger and key set-up man Angel di Maria, who is out with a thigh injury.

Still, La Seleccion rolls into Sao Paulo on a team record five match winning streak in the World Cup. They've shut out three of five opponents, including Switzerland and Belgium in knockout stage tiffs. Goalkeeper Sergio Romero hasn't been spectacular-allowing two goals to Nigeria and one to Bosnia-Herzegovina- but he's underappreciated nonetheless.

Argentina will need anyone not named Messi to step up if they are to reach their first final since 1990.

When: Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Where: Arena Corinthians, Sao Paulo

Kick-off: 4:00 p.m. ET

Live Stream: Watch ESPN, Univision Deportes

TV: ESPN, Univision

What to Watch For:

Pressing Messi - Leaving Carlos Tevez off the World Cup roster signified Argentina's plethora of solid strikers. In retrospect, Sabella's decision may not have been for the best.

Di Maria and Aguero's injuries beam even more attention on Messi, who accounts for half of La Albiceleste's goals. Di Maria especially will be missed for his speed, versatility, and ability to distract defenders long enough to give Messi open chances.

With both sidelined-Aguero is a game-time decision- Gonzalo Higuain is next in line to back up Barcelona's superstar. Higuain started four World Cup matches thus far and delivered the only goal of the match against Belgium. He's not as explosive as a di Maria or Aguero, but can be a difference-maker if he moves the ball rather than wait for Messi to work his magic.

They face a Dutch defense that shut out Costa Rica and limited Mexico to one goal in knockout stage matches. Van Gaal's knee-jerk reaction changes have worked. He replaced Daryl Janmaat with Paul Verhaegh-who only held two international appearances-against El Tri and it worked like a charm.

There isn't a tournament team depending more on a player than Argentina depends on Messi and Holland aims to exploit it.

How Van Persie's injury affects the Dutch attack - The duo of Van Persie and Robben led Holland to a World Cup-leading 12 goals. With the most influential part of the tandem missing, they'll be hard pressed to duplicate the success.

Above Van Persie's deep-threat ability, the Netherlands will miss his leadership. He has three goals in Brazil and scored in penalty shootout victory over Costa Rica last weekend. In Group B play, the Dutch captain commandeered a 5-1 thrashing of defending champion Spain before netting the equalizer against Australia days later.

De Jong may be back from a groin injury in time for Wednesday's semifinal, but he doesn't come near replacing Van Persie's productivity.

Psychologically, Argentina knows their chances are better with Van Persie on the bench. Not that Robben is a slouch at winger, but the lethal 1-2 combo Holland possessed is gone.

Prediction - It's Messi's time to shine. The Netherlands limps into a faceoff with the tournament's most dangerous striker while their own sits on the bench. Argentina 3-2

Projected Lineups:

Argentina (4-2-3-1): Romero, Zabaleta, Garay, Demichelis, Rojo, Perez, Mascherano, Gago, Messi, Aguero, Higuain

Netherlands (3-4-1-2): Cillessen, de Vrij, Vlaar, Martins Indi, Kuyt, de Guzman, Wijnaldum, Blind, Sneijder, de Jong, Robben

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