ARGENTINA VS BRAZIL LIVE COPA AMERICA 2021 PREVIEW: PROBABLE LINEUPS, PREDICTION, TEAM NEWS & KEY STATS
Lionel Messi will play in the Copa America final against arch-rivals Brazil on Saturday, hoping to win his first major trophy with Argentina. Argentina vs brazil live watch
Argentina will face Brazil in yet another memorable Copa America final on Saturday at the Maracana. The pressure is building on Argentina's Lionel Messi-led side, which is on the verge of ending a 28-year trophy drought in international football.
Apart from an Olympic gold medal in 2008, Messi has yet to win a major title with La Albiceleste and is now without a club. On Saturday, however, he will have the chance to silence his detractors, and on the home turf of Argentina's arch-rivals, Brazil.
A win this weekend might also help the footballing nation equal Uruguay's record as Copa America champions. They have won the title 15 times, one more than their neighbors.
Brazil, on the other hand, has only won it nine times but has won five of the last nine editions, including this year. They've also done well in the tournament, earning ten points from four group games before winning two tight games against Chile and Peru in the quarter-final and semi-final, respectively.
Argentina had a difficult start to the tournament, drawing 1-1 with Chile before going on to win the quarter-finals over Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, and Ecuador. However, in the semi-final against Colombia, Lionel Scaloni's team had to rely on penalties, with goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez making three saves in the shootout.
The two sides' differing yet comparable form coming into the final points to a cautious affair, especially for Argentina. Scaloni, who is relatively inexperienced, will be coaching his first final, whereas Brazilian Tite was the brains behind the Selecao's win in the 2019 Copa America.
We'll run the rule over these two teams here at The Hard Tackle ahead of their spectacular finale at the historic Maracana this Saturday.
Tactics & News from the Team
Argentina's midfield formation differs slightly from that of Brazil. Lionel Scaloni's preferred formation is a 4-3-3, with two midfielders guiding the game's approach.
In the holding midfield position, Leandro Paredes is certain to start. However, things get fascinating when it comes to his probable midfield partners. Rodrigo De Paul is a favorite since he brings originality to the table, but Scaloni may choose Giovani Lo Celso over Guido Rodriguez for the vacant seat.
In the final third, Lo Celso has the ability to drive forward and make crucial passes. It might be important because Messi is expected to be taken out of the game by Brazil.
On that topic, Argentina may choose Nico Gonzalez over Angel Di Maria since the Stuttgart attacker can drift infield more often than Di Maria, who uses more traditional out wide approaches. In any case, both Messi and Gonzalez are anticipated to assist central striker Lautaro Martinez, with Sergio Aguero as a backup option.
In defense, Pezzella should continue to start in place of Cristian Romero, forming the heart of the four-man backline alongside Nicolas Otamendi, who has a lot of experience.
However, it's possible that Gonzalo Montiel may start ahead of Nahuel Molina at right-back. The same cannot be said for Argentina's left-back Nicolas Tagliafico and goalkeeper Emi Martinez, both of whom are crucial members of the defense.
E Martinez; Montiel, Pezzella, Otamendi, Tagliafico; De Paul, Paredes, Lo Celso; Messi, L Martinez, Gonzalez;
The decision by CONMEBOL to extend Gabriel Jesus' suspension has gotten a lot of press this week. The Man City attacker has been disqualified for a horrific challenge on Ben Brereton in the quarter-final against Chile, and it appears like he will miss the final. It puts Tite in a difficult situation, as he must choose between Roberto Firmino and Everton in the Brazilian assault. Everton, who starred in the 2019 edition, could receive the nod.
With Neymar, Richarlison, and Lucas Paqueta all expected to start, it will be intriguing to see how the Benfica winger performs in the final third, as Brazil lacks a true goalscorer. Richarlison is the favorite to play number nine, but it wouldn't be unexpected if Neymar and Everton moved to the midfield.
It should allow left-back Renan Lodi to make overlapping runs, giving the Brazilian assaults more width. Danilo, on the other hand, may play a more cautious role in order to assist the center defense duo of Marquinhos and Thiago Silva.
When it comes to defense, Brazil boasts possibly the best defensive core in 2018 Copa America. Apart from the two strong center-backs, Casemiro's presence could be crucial in terms of marking Lionel Messi.
With Fred in charge of keeping things neat in the middle of the pitch, Casemiro's responsibilities with Messi may put Brazil at risk. As a result, Paqueta is likely to drop deep and assist Casemiro and Fred in the second line of defense.
Meanwhile, Ederson remains the Selecao's favorite to start in goal. Because the Manchester City goalkeeper has started most of the Copa America games so far, he should be given the nod over Alisson and Weverton.
Argentina is expected to lose 1-2 to Brazil.
Given the well-matched makeup of the two clubs, this game is likely to go down to the wire. On paper, Brazil has the advantage due to its powerful defensive structure. However, in an empty Maracana, their home advantage will be rendered ineffectual, and it is also fair to say that the Selecao hasn't looked very impressive after the first two matches.