Argentina will play Colombia as both sides will commence their Copa America campaign this month.
Lionel Messi is back with the Albiceleste as he continues his quest for a significant honor with his country. Argentina gave an underwhelming account of themselves at the FIFA World Cup in Russia last summer. The made the knockout stages despite some struggles in the group phase. France ultimately beat them in the round of 16, and the dry run for them continued. Argentina reached the World Cup final in 2014, which is the closest they have come to a significant honor in recent years.
They also reached the final of the last two Copa America tournaments. Chile beat them both times, in 2015 and 2016. Those losses were rough ones for the team, especially after losing a close World Cup final before to Germany. A new and young team, for the most part, will be keen on making that right by clinching the title this time. Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero, and Angel Di Maria are few of the veterans left in the squad. Aside from them, youngsters form the majority of the team.Embed from Getty Images
Argentina’s last game during the season was a friendly against Morocco, which they won 1-0 courtesy of a goal from Angel Correa. He has not made the squad, and Lautaro Martinez from Inter Milan is the name in his place. Coach Lionel Scaloni has also included Matias Suarez from River Plate. In midfield as well, youngsters like Giovani Lo Celso and Leandro Paredes will be expected to take on the responsibility.
Colombia is also going a transition from the old guard. They also reached the round of 16 at the World Cup, where England beat them on penalties. Ranked 12th in the world, they will be confident of their chances heading into the tournament. Radamel Falcao and James Rodriguez will be their key performers. Rodriguez was not fully fit at the World Cup in Russia, but he had a great tournament in the previous edition in Brazil.Embed from Getty Images
As for Falcao, he is dealing with a minor injury. Colombia played Panama in a friendly recently, and he hobbled off with an injury. Falcao scored with a penalty in that game on the stroke of half-time. William Tesillo and Luis Muriel were the other two scorers for Colombia. Duvan Zapata replaced him in the game, who is an able replacement in his own right. After the game, Falcao said – “I’m fine, it was just part of the game. But there’s nothing to worry about. It was just a knock.”
Argentina vs Colombia Prediction
Argentina will be the slight favorites for this one, and that is just because of Lionel Messi. He can turn a game on its head in a flash, and Colombia doesn’t have anyone of his class. Colombia is arguably a more balanced team, but Argentina has the best player. It will be a close game, with both sides to score in the match.