The 2014 World Cup has seen what threatened to be one of the great injustices in the history of football expunged from the annals of the future – Lionel Messi is having a strong tournament.
Having notched one goal at football’s top table across his two previous tournaments, ‘El Catalan’ finally has the bit between his teeth.
Here’s why Argentina’s quarter-final foes Belgium will be powerless to stop those who back him at 9/10 to score at anytime during proceedings trousering the loot.
Messi has struck ten times in his last ten matches for his nation.
The impish Barcelona pin-up has been delivering on a goal-a-game basis since last summer and he’s found the net in four of his last five outings.
He’s been man of the match in all four of the Albiceleste’s World Cup matches.
Not only has he scored four of his country’s six goals at the tournament, he’s been their best player in every game.
If Messi is firing, the chances of stopping him are negligible.
The Rosario kid breached Vincent Kompany’s Manchester City defence home and away in 2013/14.
Rode Duivels skipper Kompany was unable to marshall his defensive minions to shutout Messi in either of their Champions League duels last term.
Belgium have afforded the opposition 14 shots or more in their last two matches.
When they’re playing to win, Marc Wilmots charges are surprisingly open for a side who were one UEFA’s most defensively-chaste qualifiers.
Given the Albiceleste managed to fashion no fewer than 29 attempts against a timid Swiss side last time out, Messi shouldn’t lack for chances to stroke the orb beyond Thibaut Courtois.
Argentina are 11/20 to progress to the semi-finals at their rivals’ expense, with Belgium 12/5 to reach the last four for the second time in their history.