Saturday’s early match pits Argentina and Belgium, two teams that required extra time to overcome their round of 16 opponents. Both come into this quarterfinal matchup on very little rest, but I do not expect to see much alteration in either team’s starting lineup, as neither team has any injury problems. Argentina are necessitated into one change as Marcos Rojo has received his second yellow card, and I expect Jose Basanta to replace him, as he did against Switzerland.
Otherwise, I expect Argentina to roll out their usual 4-3-3, with Lionel Messi, Gonzalo Higuain and Ezequiel Lavezzi up top, Angel Di Maria, Fernando Gago and Javier Mascherano trying to clog Belgium in the middle and a back four of Basanta, Ezequiel Garay, Federico Fernandez and Pablo Zabaleta to try and snuff out the quick Belgian attack. If Argentina find a need to chase the game, expect Sergio Aguero or Maxi Rodriguez to be introduced to try and change the game.
Belgium, I also expect to use an almost unchanged lineup, as they have kept nearly the same lineup throughout the tournament (with the exception of the match against South Korea). However, I expect Lukaku to regain his place in the team, as his aerial threat could cause problems for a weak Argentinian back line. He has also started to regain form as evidenced by his goal against the USA. Otherwise, they should line up in a 4-3-3 with Lukaku, Eden Hazard and Dries Mertens up top, Kevin De Bruyne, Marouane Fellaini and Axel Witsel in the middle and a back four of Jan Vertonghen, Vincent Kompany, Daniel Van Buyten and Toby Alderweireld. Impact subs could come in the way of Origi if Lukaku is struggling up top, Moussa Dembele, Nacer Chadii or Kevin Mirallas. This should be a very entertaining match as both teams are very attack oriented.