- Argentina, despite all their flaws and chronic Messi-dependency, are better-placed to win the match
Latin American powerhouses Argentina and Chile kick things off in the 2021 Copa America with a mouth-watering clash at the Estádio Olímpico Nilton Santos in Rio de Janeiro on Monday, June 14, EKO HOT BLOG gathered.
The sides, who contested the 2015 and 2016 finals before locking horns in the third-place playoffs of the 2019 edition, also recently played a World Cup qualifying encounter.
Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi put La Albiceleste ahead from the spot before Alexis Sanchez equalized for the Reds to secure a 1-1 draw. However, both teams will be aiming for a better result here.
Lionel Scaloni’s side are the obvious favorites, and their vastly superior head-to-head record also holds them in good stead.
But their southern rivals will be a tough proposition, having ruffled their feathers in past Copa encounters.
Chile’s back-to-back Copa titles against the Sky Blues now seem like a distant memory. Meanwhile, their record in recent World Cup qualifying games hasn’t been particularly stellar either.
Argentina, despite all their flaws and chronic Messi-dependency, are better-placed to win the match and should be able to see them off narrowly.
Argentina vs Chile Head-To-Head
In 93 previous clashes between the sides, Chile have beaten Argentina just eight times, and lost in a staggering 61 games.
Their last two meetings, however, have both ended in stalemates, a goalless affair in a 2019 friendly before a share of the spoils in this month’s World Cup qualifier.
Argentina Form Guide (all competitions): W-D-W-D-D
Chile Form Guide (all competitions): W-L-W-D-D
Argentina vs Chile Team News
A concern for Scaloni ahead of their opener is Emiliano Martinez, who came off in their World Cup qualifier against Colombia with a head injury.
Although he’s been included in the 23-man squad for the Brazil showpiece, the Aston Villa custodian is unlikely to play a part in Argentina’s opening game.
Goalkeeper Franco Armani continues to test positive for COVID-19 and is not likely to be involved against Chile. Agustin Marchesin should replace Armani in goal.
Injured: Emiliano Martinez
Unavailable/COVID-19: Franco Armani
La Roja have a clean bill of health going into the game and manager Martin Lasarte might opt to revert to a four-man backline after playing 3-4-3 against Bolivia.
Alexis Sanchez picked up an injury in training and will not be available against Argentina. Felipe Mora could be brought in to replace him alongside prolific striker Eduardo Vargas in a two-pronged attack.
Argentina vs Chile Predicted XI
Argentina (4-3-3): ; Juan Foyth, Cristian Romero, Nicolas Otamendi, Marcos Acuna; Giovani Lo Celso, Leandro Paredes, Angel Di Maria; Lionel Messi, Lautaro Martinez, Nicolas Gonzalez.
Chile (4-4-2): Claudio Bravo; Mauricio Isla, Gary Medel, Guillermo Maripan, Eugenio Mena; Arturo Vidal, Eric Pulgar, Charles Aranguiz, Jean Meneses; Felipe Mora, Eduardo Vargas.
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