Argentina will face Colombia in Group B of the 2019 Copa America in what is arguably the most eye-catching matchup of the opening round.
2019 Copa America
Argentina vs Colombia
Saturday 16 June
Arena Fonte Nova
Argentina will be searching for their first international title since they won the 1993 Copa America and Lionel Messi’s influence and inspiration will definitely be the key to La Albiceleste’s chances of success. Argentina have come agonisingly close to winning silverware multiple times in recent years, but have faltered at the final hurdle. They were beaten by Germany in the 2014 World Cup final and lost back-to-back Copa America finals (in 2015 and 2016) on penalties against Chile. Coach Lionel Scaloni will be hoping third time lucky will be the charm for his side.
Following their poor World Cup campaign, Argentina played nine friendlies, winning six times. They hammered Guatemala (3-0) and Iraq (4-0), beat Mexico twice (both 2-0 scorelines), edged out Morocco (0-1), before trouncing Nicaragua (5-1) last weekend.
Scaloni’s men tasted defeat against Brazil and Venezuela, and played to a goalless draw against Colombia, their weekend opponents. With the likes of Angel Di Maria, Sergio Aguero and Messi – who all missed out in that friendly – La Albiceleste will fancy their chances of victory this time around.
Goalkeepers: Franco Armani, Agustin Marchesin, Esteban Andrada
Defenders: Nicolas Otamendi, Ramiro Funes Mori, Marcos Acuna, Nicolas Tagliafico, German Pezzella, Renzo Saravia, Juan Foyth
Midfielders: Angel Di Maria, Roberto Pereyra, Giovani Lo Celso, Leandro Paredes, Rodrigo De Paul, Exequiel Palacios, Guido Rodriguez, Ivan Marcone
Forwards: Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero, Paulo Dybala, Lautaro Martinez, Matias Suarez
Following their exit at the 2018 World Cup, losing a penalty shootout against England, Colombia played eight friendlies, winning six times and losing once. They beat Venezuela (1-2), USA (2-4), Costa Rica (3-1), Japan (0-1), Panama and Peru (both 3-0 scorelines). Carlos Queiroz’s men suffered a 2-1 defeat against Korea Republic and as mentioned earlier, held Argentina to a goalless draw.
Coming up against Messi and co is a daunting task for most teams, however, Colombia, have enough talent to spring a surprise victory. South America’s fourth highest-ranked nation by FIFA have some top players in their squad such as goalkeeper David Ospina, defenders Davinson Sanchez and Yerry Mina, and Juan Cuadrado, James Rodriguez and Radamel Falcao further up the pitch.
James will undoubtedly be one of Colombia’s main man. Unfortunately, his fitness could be an issue as he played full 90 minutes on only three occasions with Bayern Munich last season. Regardless, the temporarily Real Madrid man remains a key figure for Los Cafeteros due to his creativity and knack for scoring goals.
Goalkeepers: David Ospina, Camilo Vargas, Alvaro Montero
Defenders: Cristian Zapata, Santiago Arias, Davinson Sanchez, Yerry Mina, William Tesillo, Cristian Borja, Stefan Medina, Jhon Lucumi
Midfielders: Juan Cuadrado, James Rodriguez, Edwin Cardona, Wilmar Barrios, Mateus Uribe, Jefferson Lerma, Gustavo Cuellar
Forwards: Radamel Falcao, Luis Muriel, Roger Martinez, Duvan Zapata, Luis Diaz
Prediction: Argentina (23/20)
A tight affair is expected, but Argentina should prove too strong and are nicely priced at 23/20, get on!
Written by Chad Nagel
Short term investment plans advice