Two nations which are supposed to be hosting this year’s Copa America eventually have to face off at the semifinal. Albiceleste has been in-form so far with four consecutive win since a tie against Chile at the opener, while Colombia’s performance has been on the contrary as they have been winless in the past four matches. This would be a tricky clash for Argentina considering the draw result in their previous encounter just before the tournament began.
Both teams’ previous games
Messi and Co trounced Ecuador 3-0 at the quarter finals. The Barcelona skipper was once again the man of the match by providing two assists for Rodrigo de Paul’s maiden international goal and Lautaro Martinez’s second goal of the tournament plus scoring one through a free kick.
Reinaldo Rueda’s men, on the other hand, had to rely on penalties to go through to the last four after only mustering a goalless draw at the normal time. Atalanta man Luis Muriel wasted a couple of chances. In the end, it was David Ospina who helped them advance.
Lionel Scaloni is on the mission to revive Albiceleste after the unexpected debacle in World Cup 2018. He seems to find a suitable formation for the current squad which enables Messi to flourish as the anchorman as well as the goalscorers with the supporting younger teammate in the midfield and upfront. Scaloni’s 4-3-1-2 can be fluid and transform to 4-2-3-1, 4-3-3 or 4-3-2-1. El Capitano will be accompanied by Rodrigo de Paul as the initiator in the build-up with Guido Rodriguez and Exequiel Palacios in the midfield while Papu Gomez should get a nod to support Messi on the final third with Lautaro Martinez as the targetman.
Meanwhile, Reinaldo Rueda would consider deploying 4-4-2 with Duvan Zapata and Luis Muriel or Miguel Borja featuring upfront. Juventus man Juan Cuadrado will be occupying the right winger role. In the midfield, Mathias Uribe and Erwin Cardona will be accompanied by Luis Diaz who could offer the width on the left flank.
Players to watch
Lionel Messi is still indispensable in Albiceleste. He has contributed four goals and four assists, which puts him as the leading top scorer and top assist provider. Some other notable men to watch are Rodrigo de Paul, Inter man Lautaro Martinez and the goalie Emiliano Martinez.
FC Porto winger Luiz Diaz, is one of the expected key figures in the squad. His superb goal against Brasil was one of his memorable goals in the tournament. Some other key names to watch are Everton defender Yerry Mina and two Atalanta duo, Luis Muriel and Duvan Zapata.
Argentina vs Colombia Prediction
Argentina must not waste this opportunity to seal one place at the final in order to avenge their loss from the host in the 2019 semi final. Messi is expected to inspire his team again to another victory. This would probably his last chance to lead his nation to win international title. Yet, if Juan Cuadrado and Co could contain Messi from his teammate without getting the ball to control, Albiceleste would be in trouble if Scaloni does not prepare the back up plan.
Neither side is the favourite in this clash. Albiceleste’s win market is at 21/26, while the value for a draw is at 32/13, whereas Colombia is priced to win at 14/3.