Lionel Scaloni thinks Argentina’s win over Qatar gave the squad a “significant emotional boost” ahead of their Copa America quarter-final clash with Venezuela.
Argentina narrowly avoided a first group-stage exit since 1983 by defeating Qatar 2-0 in the final game last Sunday to book a knockout spot.
Lautaro Martinez and Sergio Aguero were the goalscorers to help keep Argentina’s bid of a first Copa America title in 26 years alive.
Now, La Albiceleste will return to the scene of their 2014 World Cup final defeat in Maracana on Friday hoping to beat Venezuela and book a semi-final spot.
“We think we’re good because we came from a win that gave us a significant emotional boost,” said Scaloni, according to beinSPORTS.
“It’s going to be a difficult game, but we are confident.”
The last time Argentina faced Venezuela was in a 3-1 friendly defeat in March at Madrid. Another worrying factor for Scaloni is the fact his team haven’t beaten their opponents in their last three attempts.
Rafael Dudamel’s side even survived a tricky Group A unbeaten to finish runners-up to hosts Brazil.
“We value how Venezuela play and we take both their good and bad things. Their way to play is similar to what we already faced in March.”
He added: “The match has nothing to do with the one we played in March.”
Reports in the Argentinean press have suggested Scaloni will move Juan Foyth to right-back in a bid to make way for the returning German Pezzella. The error-prone Tottenham defender endured a difficult outing last time out against Qatar.
“We believe he will be the future of Argentina and we must put up with mistakes in a game. It can happen at his age and the only way to learn is by playing,” Scaloni said on 21-year-old Foyth.
“And we believe that we must give him a chance for the future.”
Venezuela forward Salomon Rondon, on the other hand, talked up their chances of putting the brakes on Lionel Messi on Friday.
The Venezuela and Argentina quarter-final match will begin at 21:00 (CET).