Two of the most impressive teams in the 2014 FIFA World Cup clash on Wednesday with an opportunity to meet Germany with the Cupo del Mundo trophy on the line. The match pits the greatest player in the world in Lionel Messi, against the Dutch big three in Arjen Robben, Robin Van Persie and Wesley Sneijder.

Messi has been without a sidekick thus far in the World Cup, but the closest player to that has been Angel di Maria who scored the game winning goal in the round of 16 against Switzerland and assisted on the winning goal in the quarterfinal against Belgium. Di Maria is expected to miss the match versus Netherlands however with a thigh injury.

Wednesday’s matchup will be a rematch from the 1978 World Cup Final in Argentina where the host nation defeated the Dutch to win their first ever World Cup title. Netherlands on the other hand, is trying to be get over the final hurdle and win their first ever world cup title this year.

In order to achieve their dream, the Dutch must shut down the best soccer player in the world in Messi. “We have to cut the supply line to Messi” said Dutch defender Bruno Martins. Netherlands coach, Louis Van Gaal had a slightly different stance on how to handle the superstar:

“I’m not thinking about individual players, I’m thinking always that we have to play against a team, but Messi is a very important player. But we also have very important players in our team: Van Persie, Robben and Sneijder, they may have never won the FIFA Balloon d’Or, but they are very good players who can decide a game, like Messi.”

Netherlands will be without midfielder Nigel de Jong who will sit out a third straight game with a torn groin muscle. His back up, Leroy Fer, has a hamstring injury and is a question mark for the match as well. Additionally, Oranje star, Robin Van Persie is battling stomach flu and is doubtful to play against Argentina as well.

Argentina is without Real Madrid’s Angel Di Maria but is hopeful that Sergio Aguero will be able to return from a similar thigh injury. Marcos Rojo will return from suspension for Argentina as well.

Holland arguably has the better of the two team’s offensive attack, especially without di Maria playing. Argentina might have the better defense though, as they have kept a clean sheet through the knockout rounds so far. I expect both teams to get opportunities on the offense with Messi and Robben able to find holes in each team’s defense. I believe the match will come down to which star plays better and in turn, which defense plays better against each star.

Even without Di Maria, I expect Argentina will be able to get on the scoreboard. Netherlands certainly has the fire power to score, but they have struggled in their previous matches with Mexico and Costa Rica, respectively. I keep reminding people that before the tournament I predicted the best player in the world would lead his team to the World Cup Final against Germany, and I can’t back down now. I believe Messi will lead Argentina to a tight, tension filled victory against the Dutch.

My Prediction: Argentina wins 1-0.

Betting Odds courtesy of

Argentina: Pick Em’ (-140)   //   +140 Moneyline
Netherlands: Pick Em’ (+115)   //   +200 Moneyline
Draw: +230