Argentina will face-off against Chile in the Copa America third-place match at the Arena Corinthians on Saturday.
Unlike the previous two times in the Copa America, where the two teams met in the final, both lost their respective semifinals to their bitter rivals.
Argentina put on arguably their best performance of the tournament but ended up on the losing side against hosts Brazil with a 2-0 margin. This ruled out La Albiceleste of reaching a 5th Copa America final in the last six editions. Incidentally, they have lost each of their previous 4 finals.
Meanwhile, their opponents, Chile, were dumped out of the tournament by Peru, with whom the former share a bitter history on and off the field. The most recent episode in their rivalry saw Peru cost La Roja a spot in the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
In missing out a final spot, Chile lost the chance to become just the second team to win the Copa America thrice in a row, a record held by their opponents Argentina.
Now, both teams do not have much to play for, barring pride and a potential Golden Boot for some of the players.
Both managers could ring in the changes for the dead rubber. Argentina manager Lionel Scaloni could choose to rest Lionel Messi. Paulo Dybala, who is yet to get a start in the tournament, could take the Barcelona man’s place while Angel Di Maria and Giovani Lo Celso could return to the lineup.
Striker Lautaro Martinez is expected to start once again as he is in contention to win the Golden Boot. The Inter Milan forward is currently on 2 goals, tied with 13 other players.
Among those other 13 players are Chile’s Alexis Sanchez and Eduardo Vargas, implying Reinaldo Rueda will very likely name them in the starting lineup. Jose Fuenzalida was subbed at half-time against Peru and could miss out.
Head-to-Head and Argentina vs Chile Prediction
La Albiceleste stand head and shoulders above their opponents. Out of the 90 meetings between the sides, Argentina have picked up 60 wins, compared to Chile’s 8 while the remaining 22 ended in draws.
In fact, La Roja have won just once in normal time in the last 33 meetings between the two, with the recent Copa America wins in the 2015 and 2016 finals coming in penalty shoot-outs. Further, Argentina won the most recent meeting between the sides, a 1-0 win in 2018 World Cup qualifiers.
Thus, the match can be expected to be a close one with quite a few changes from either side and this could once again require penalties to decide who finishes in third place.
Predicted Argentina XI: Armani; Foyth, Pezzella, Otamendhi, Tagliafico; De Paul, Paredes, Lo Celso; Dybala; Martinez, Suarez
Predicted Chile XI: Arias; Isla, Medel, Maripan, Beausejour; Aranguiz, Pulgar, Vidal; Sagal, Vargas, Sanchez