Hazard is the key if Belgium are to triumph

“I'm as good as they were at my age,” said Eden Hazard in February when asked about Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Hazard said it in an interview with L’Equipe amid a purple patch for Chelsea last season and while there is little doubt that when he is on top form he can rival the world’s finest players, he has not shown any flashes of brilliance so far in Brazil. Liam Coleman discusses the importance of an efficient performance from the Belgian against Argentina.

Hazard has failed to impress thus far in Brazil.

Credit: PA

  • Belgium

Team news: Demichelis starts!

A surprise in the Argentina side, with Manchester City geriatrico Martin Demichelis coming into the defence.

Argentina: Romero, Zabaleta, Demichelis, Garay, Basanta, Biglia, Mascherano, Di Maria, Lavezzi, Messi, Higuain.

Belgium Courtois, Alderweireld, Van Buyten, Kompany, Vertonghen, Witsel, Fellaini, De Bruyne, Mirallas, Hazard, Origi.

Argentina vs Belgium: statistical comparison

There is very little to choose between the performances of Belgium and Argentina so far at the 2014 World Cup. Argentina have completed 33% more passes than their European opposition, but that is the only statistic where there is a dramatic difference between the two sides. It all points to the fact that Saturday's quarter-final will be a very close contest.

Watch Argentina vs Belgium World Cup quarter-final

Lionel Messi has scored four goals but we've not seen the best of him yet.

Credit: PA

As well as the clash between hosts Brazil and Colombia on Friday evening, you can watch the tantalising World Cup quarter-final between Argentina and Belgium in Brasilia live on ITV and ITV Player on Saturday afternoon.

Argentina have stumbled and stuttered this far, with star man Lionel Messi only allowing us glimpses of his brilliance, whilst Belgium, also unbeaten so far, have quietly turned the screw on their opponents without ever finding top gear. It has the makings of a brilliant contest.