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Martino receives Di Maria boost ahead of Copa final

Gerardo Martino has received a fitness boost from Angel Di Maria ahead of Argentina’s Copa America final.

The Argentina coach is preparing for his second Copa final in as many years at the special centenary event hosted by the United States and revealed that Di Maria is in full contention to regain his spot in the starting lineup after suffering an adductor injury during the group stage.

It was initially feared the injury might end the Paris Saint-Germain star’s tournament, but Martino revealed the winger was even in contention for Tuesday’s semi-final win over USA.

“From a physical point of view, Angel is ahead of Nico [Gaitan],” he said.

“He was ready for [Tuesday’s semi-final against USA], and Nico had a more recent muscular problem and I don’t know if he will have chances of being fully recovered for Sunday.”

Chile or Colombia await Argentina in the final, with the former having famously defeated Martino’s men on home soil last year to win their first ever title thanks to strong pressing tactics.

Argentina came undone to similar tactics in the 2014 World Cup final against Germany, and Martino insists his side are better prepared this year than they were in the last two.

“[On Tuesday] we developed [the game] very well and pressured very well too,” he said.

“We should do this against teams that for me do those two things better than us, like Chile. They elaborate better and put better pressure on the rivals. There are not many teams in the world who can do it better.

“But if we want to play to this game, we have to compete against those teams, like Chile and Germany.

“We have to elaborate better and make better pressure. We certainly did it during the whole match [against USA] but in front of us weren’t Chile or Germany.”

Thu 23 Jun, 2016
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