Match Preview – Argentina vs Colombia

Argentina and Colombia will be looking to get their Copa America campaigns underway with a victory when they meet this evening.

These two sides find themselves at the top of the Copa America favourites this summer, with Argentina in second behind Brazil and Colombia fourth.

Argentina will be seeking to rectify the errors of the 2018 World Cup in Russia. The Argentines should have been among the finalists for that tournament but instead struggled an exited early.

Colombia, meanwhile, come into this Copa America in good form. They’re looking revitalised under Carlos Queiroz.

They have lost just one game since their defeat to England at last summer’s World Cup, and some may consider them as dark horses for this tournament.

If that is to happen, getting out of the group will be, and that means starting with a victory in their first game.

Team News

Messi needs to slay some demons at this Copa America
SAN JUAN, ARGENTINA – JUNE 07: Lionel Messi for Argentina. (Photo by Marcelo Endelli/Getty Images)

Argentina have a star-studded squad at their disposal, and that makes it tough for Lionel Scaloni to name a consistent side.

Marcos Acuna seems to be preferred to Nicolas Tagliafico at left-back, which will surprise some given his impressive performances for Ajax this season.

Lionel Messi will start in the number ten role but who starts either side of him is up for debate. Angel Di Maria, Roberto Pereyra and Rodrigo de Paul are all vying for one place in the team. Paulo Dybala and Giovani Lo Celso are also competing similarly.

Will Falcao lead the line for Colombia at this Copa America?
PARIS, FRANCE – MARCH 23: James Rodriguez congratulates Radamel Falcao. (Photo by Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images)

Colombia, meanwhile, have similar selection issues to overcome ahead of this tournament. The Colombians head into this Copa America with a group full of talent and, like Scaloni, that leaves Queiroz with tough decisions on his hands.

Who starts up front is the most significant debate, with legendary striker Radamel Falcao facing competition from the in-form Duvan Zapata.

James Rodriguez will be the key man once again, while several Premier League stars, such as Yerry Mina, Davinson Sanchez and Jefferson Lerma should all play critical roles.

Messi made Di Maria cry during the last Copa America

During an interview with ESPN Argentina, Angel Di Maria revealed when Messi made him and the Albiceleste players cry with a speech. Lionel Messi was...

What they said

Argentina are among the favourites for this tournament, and their manager says he’ll retire if his side goes on to win the Copa America.

“If we win the Copa America, I will retire,” he said.

“This team reached two Copa America finals. It’s important to think about it and know that it’s very difficult to reach there and nothing was won.

“It will be very difficult and complicated. We are here to play all the matches and to show that these players can play with this shirt.”

Carlos Queiroz, meanwhile, has insisted the focus is not on him at this Copa America but his team.

“I am not important in this,” he told AS.

“It is important for Colombia. What concerns me is that the players tomorrow go out with freedom, with courage, with hope, to express the football they have.”

“Tomorrow a new opportunity begins for Colombia. We do not want to lose it, we are going to do everything to deserve it “.

Stats

Argentina are unbeaten in their last eight meetings with Colombia. They’ve won five of those going all the way back to 2007.

Colombia have only scored once in those eight games. They’ve failed to score in their last five meetings with Argentina since 2011.

The last two Copa America meetings between the two sides have ended goalless, and Colombia are winless against Argentina in this competition since 1999.

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