• Analysis

Match Preview – Brazil vs Argentina, Copa America semi-final

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Brazil host Argentina in the semi-final of the Copa America in undisputedly the best game of the tournament so far.

This Copa America has been something of a disappointing one for both sides, with neither hitting top form or showing their true colours.

However, with a place in the final up for grabs, that could change in their meeting this evening.

Brazil will be keen to ensure their place in the final given it’s on home soil, while Argentina know this may be the last chance to deliver silverware for Lionel Messi.

It sets this game up to be an exciting one, to say the least, and one it would be foolish to miss out.

Team News

Brazil manager Tite has a full squad to choose from, except for Richarlison, who has mumps.

The Selecao boss will have a decision to make over his starting eleven, specifically who starts in several positions.

Alex Sandro should get the nod ahead of Filipe Luis after impressing when replacing him in their last game. Likewise, he needs to choose between a defensive midfield with two defensive midfielders or one alongside Artur.

Up front, he will have to settle on a front three, with that having been an area he’s changed throughout this tournament. Everton may get the nod, although Willian is pushing for a starting role too.

For Argentina, it’s hard to work out what they’ll do as they’ve regularly been inconsistent with their selections and formations.

Lionel Scaloni is yet to settle on either, and that has seen his side changed regularly through this tournament.

Giovani lo Celso is pushing for a start in midfield, while it would be a surprise if Sergio Aguero doesn’t start after impressing from the bench in recent games.

Scaloni also has a selection dilemma out wide, with none of his choices so far working out particularly well.

What the managers said

Brazil v Paraguay: Quarterfinal - Copa America Brazil 2019
PORTO ALEGRE, BRAZIL – JUNE 27: Tite head coach of Brazil. (Photo by Alessandra Cabral/Getty Images)

The pitches at this Copa America have been an issue and Brazil boss Tite added his concerns ahead of this meeting.

“It’s ridiculous, at a high level, having a pitch which is so difficult to play on. It’s inconceivable,” he said.

“One is asked to play a match at a high level, and whoever is in charge of the pitch has to be up to standard. The player has to have three touches to play, it’s impossible to develop football at this level with this type of pitch.”

Argentina Press Conference & Training Session - Copa America Brazil 2019
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – JUNE 27: Argentine National Team coach Lionel Scaloni. (Photo by Bruna Prado/Getty Images)

Lionel Scaloni, meanwhile, insisted his side have it in their locker to provide a problem for Brazil.

“We’ll be up against a strong rival, but we believe that we have a plus,” he said.

“We are going to stick to our game plan, and I think that by doing that we can give them some difficulties. It’s going to be a great match, and we’ll be going out to win.”

Stats

Brazil won the last meeting between these two sides, a Joao Miranda goal last year settling the game at the death.

In fact, Brazil have won three of the last five meetings between these two sides. They last lost to Argentina in 2017.

Expect Brazilian goals as well, they’ve scored in at least eight of their last meetings with their famous rivals.

Having said that, just one of the previous five meetings between these sides has seen over two goals scored. That was a 3-0 win for Brazil in the World Cup.

In fact, only one of the last five meetings has seen both teams score. They haven’t scored in five of their previous away matches.

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