Match Preview: Argentina vs Paraguay

Argentina and Paraguay will meet in the second round of Group B tonight, after both noting disappointing results in the Copa America openers.

The Argentina National Team will be looking to win their first points at the 2019 Copa America when they meet Paraguay at the Minerao Stadium in Belo Horizonte.

La Albiceleste suffered a 2-0 defeat to Colombia in the opener and anything but a victory tonight would complicate their chances for reaching the knock out stage of the tournament.

Paraguay, on the other hand, couldn’t keep a two-goal lead against Qatar four days ago, with the game finishing in a 2-2 draw.

Team news

Scaloni may be tempted to make changes following the loss to Colombia, with Paulo Dybala among those pushing for a place in the starting eleven.

The Juventus forward spent the whole game against Colombia on the bench, while Di Maria, who was subbed off at half time is the candidate to lose his place in the first team.

Derlis Gonzalez came off the bench to score in Paraguay’s opener against Qatar last Saturday.

Gonzalez is the only player of the current 23-man squad to have already scored against Argentina, so maybe he can get a place in the starting line up tonight.

What did the managers say

Lionel Scaloni was not happy with the pitch conditions after the defeat against Colombia at the Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador.

“I think it was a shame the condition of the pitch, considering this is just the first game here,” he said via Bein Sports.

“I don’t want to know how this pitch would be after two or three games. This could’ve been a lot better for a first game, for these kinds of players. I think it is a shame.

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“I think they [Colombia] are a good team. They are really focused on what matters. The most important thing is I think we faced them well, they were better at some times, some times they were better.”

Paraguay head coach Eduardo Berizzo admitted his players did not deserve to win their opener against Qatar, despite having a 2-0 lead.

“The draw was fair. We lost control of the midfield and when we were going to react they tied us. We could not close the game. We all want to win, fans, us. Everyone. But this result is disappointing,” said the Argentine coach.

“In the possession, we did not have a midfield capable of handling the ball with judgment, it cost us, the match escaped our hands in a few minutes.

“Qatar was a good rival, we knew who we were facing, we started a new process and no rival is inferior to us.”

Stats

The history books are on Argentina’s side, as they have never lost a game against Paraguay at the Copa America, noting 19 wins in 24 encounters with the White and reds.

However, Paraguay won the final meeting between both sides, 1-0 in a 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier at Estadio Mario Alberto Kempes in Cordoba.

La Albiceleste is the second most successful national team in the history of the South American Championship with 14 titles.

Their last Copa America triumph came in 1993, while they reached the final four times in the last five editions, losing in each one of them.

Paraguay have won two South American Championships, with their last one coming in 1979. They reached the final for last time eight years ago, losing 3-0 to the Uruguay National Team.

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