Argentina go up against the Netherlands in the second World Cup semi final today, with a place against Germany in the final at stake.
The action starts 12 p.m ET (21:00 BST), and is being streamed live online on ESPN (subscription required) and ITV. ITV coverage is free, but may require you to enter a valid UK postal code if the site cannot verify your location.
For those of you who would prefer to listen to the match, live online audio streams are available. Both ESPN and the BBC are streaming commentary online, and US listeners can also tune-in to their local ESPN Affiliate station for radio coverage.
Yesterday saw Germany thrash host nation Brazil in a shocking 7-1 victory, and while it’s not likely today’s match will be as high scoring it should still provide some thrills and spills.
Both teams have performed strongly throughout the tournament so far, with the only real danger to either being Holland’s nail biting game against Costa Rica in the quarter finals.
The star of the Argentina line up is undoubtedly forward Lionel Messi, and the South American squad will be relying heavily on him today. His performance could be all the more important, as the Argentinians will be without one of their other big names.
Midfielder Angel di Maria is missing the match due to a thigh injury. Argentinian coach Sabella will have to make some careful adjustments to the squad to try and compensate, but Maria’s absence might just give the Netherlands an edge in midfield.
On the Dutch side, it will be Arjen Robben who will be trying to make the most of any weakness in midfield. Robben is a powerful and inspiring figure for the Dutch squad, and may well become a target for a very physical Argentine team.
Argentine defender Martin Demichelis outlined how the South Americans plan to deal with Robben.
“Because he doesn’t like physical contact, you have to make him feel it,” Demichelis said. “You have to get under his skin.
“We have to be aggressive, to make the Dutch feel the passion of the Argentine player, especially to Robben.”
While it’s clear that at least some players are planning an aggressive game, they would be wise to beware of referee Cuneyt Cakir. The Turkish official taking charge of today’s game has developed a reputation for being hard on any transgressions, having issued a total of nine yellow cards in the tournament so far.
I expect that it will be a tight match today, but think that Argentina will come out on top. The game may well go into extra time, and my prediction is a 2-1 win for Sabella’s team.
Who do you think will go through to the final? Can either of these teams beat Germany?
Let us know what you think in the comments section.