Matchday six of World Cup 2022 qualifiers in South America is set to be held this midweek. One of the matches is the encounter of two initial Copa America 2021 hosts, Colombia and Argentina. Both sides will be locking horns in Barraquila. The home side is looking for another win here to save their campaign for one direct ticket to the final round in Qatar next year, while Albiceleste is on a mission to avoid mustering another draw here.
Both teams’ previous games
Colombia under the new boss finally could pick up three points last weekend after thrashing Peru 3-0 on the road. Yerry Mina opened the scoring followed by Mathias Uribe’s and Luis Diaz’s goal to help them seal their second win in the campaign.
Meanwhile, Argentina stumbled again at home as they could only muster a 1-1 draw against Chile. Messi put his team ahead from his penalty but not long after Chile’s set piece led to an equaliser by Alexis Sanchez’s tap into the empty net. Lionel Scaloni was making the similar mistake just like before by relying the game too much on Messi to create chances.
Rienaldo Rueda might be employing 4-4-2 formation with Luis Muriel and Duvan Zapata featuring as the duo frontmen supported by Juan Cuadrado on the right flank. Daniel Munoz will miss out the game due to serving his ban here.
His counterpart, Lionel Scaloni, will need to change his attacking approach in the build up by counting on more dribble and creativity in breaking the deadlock instead of power and ineffective long shot just like in the last outing. Messi shall be the anchorman but supported by Nicolas Gonzalez and Giovanni Lo Celso instead of Angel Di Maria and Rodrigo de Paul who wasted a number of chances by simply just striking the ball from the long range in the midfield. Scaloni’s 4-3-1-2 seems to be more suitable than forcing Messi to operate as a winger in 4-3-3 since the skipper’s pace has been decreasing. The two forwards upfront will be Lautaro Martinez and Angel Correa while Sergio Aguero could be brought on at the second half.
Players to watch
The dynamic duo from Atalanta, Duvan Zapata and Luis Muriel, are definitely the main scorer for the home side. They both have netted four and seven goals respectively for Colombia. Another notable figure to watch is the towering man on the backline, Yerry Mina.
The Barcelona skipper Lionel Messi is still Argentine’s key figure to score and create chances. Yet, they have to start relying on other names to make a unity in the team with less Messi in it. Inter Milan man Lautaro Martinez is expected to be in a better form here. Another figure with more crucial role is Atletico Madrid winger Angel Correa who has just notched up two goals in 13 caps.
Colombia vs Argentina Prediction
Rueda’s men are in their top confidence to take on Albiceleste here. Their physical prowess could be the advantage to beat Messi and his band. Unless Lionel Scaloni makes unexpected tactical changes on the pitch, Juan Cuadrado and Co shall be able to clinch a narrow win here.