Neville believes Netherlands will beat ‘really average’ Argentina and keep Messi quiet

Date published: Thursday 8th December 2022 5:55 - Ben Stewart

Gary Neville thinks that the Netherlands have what it takes to take down an Argentina side who he has not been impressed by so far.

In what is predicted to be a closely contested battle, Neville thinks that Louis van Gaal’s side are capable of keeping Lionel Messi quiet.

Argentina managed to get past Australia in the previous round with goals coming from Messi and Julian Alvarez.

Messi has undoubtedly been one of the players of the tournament so far with three goals and an assist to his name already.

Despite the magical moments Messi has produced so far, Neville hasn’t been overly impressed with what he has seen from Argentina up until this point.

“I’ve watched Argentina three times, and other than Lionel Messi, I think they are really average,” he explained on the SkyBet YouTube channel.

“You get the feeling from them they’ll do anything to win the tournament, where actually they’re a more streetwise team than Brazil.

“Brazil are a far better team, have far better players, but Argentina have that devil in them, and then they’ve got Messi upfront who in the last part of the pitch is just unbelievable.

“I’ll go with Netherlands to win, if one team can structurally keep Messi out they will win – but I hope it’s an Argentina v Brazil semi-final.”

Whoever comes out on top in that quarter-final clash will face the winners of Brazil v Croatia in the semi-finals.

Neville belives that Brazil have what it takes to go all the way and that they have been the best team in the tournament so far along with France.

He adds: “Brazil will beat Croatia, all day long. Brazil are the best team in the tournament so far. Along with France, they’ve been unbelievable.

“I know Richarlison is playing with better players, but that little head up the other day [against South Korea], I didn’t think he had that in him. Raphinha, Antony and Lucas Paqueta have all looked impressive too.”

“I predicted Brazil vs France in the final, but you can easily see it being Argentina against Portugal. I want Brazil to win – they’re the better team, they play with more flare, I want to see the dancing again.

“If it happens, the semi-final game [Brazil v Argentina] is off the scale. That game is being watched by every football fan in the world, you’re not making any plans if that game is on.

“Picture it now: Kylian Mbappé vs Neymar. Brazil are winning this World Cup. Brazil have got the best players. I hope we’re wrong and England win.”

READ MORE: Mbappe v Walker: Rio, Neville and past meetings offer insight into key England v France battle

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