Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Prediction: Argentina vs Colombia

Tom Dunstan in Free Soccer Predictions 14 Jun 2019

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Verdict: Both teams to score

Best Odds: 19/20

Bookmaker: Bet365

Two nations looking to get their Copa America campaign off to a winning start, Argentina will welcome Colombia to the Itaipava Arena late on Saturday night.

Argentina

Starting with the hosts, while Argentina would have been disappointed to have only secured a last-16 finish at last year’s World Cup finals, the South American giants have impressed since former defender Lionel Scaloni was appointed as the new man in charge. Putting five past Nicaragua last weekend to keep the moral high ahead of their Copa America Group B opener, La Albiceleste have won four of their previous five appearances. Now waiting 26 years since Argentina last won a major trophy of any description, one man who will unsurprisingly be spearheading the hosts’ silverware charge will be five-time Balon d’Or winner and captain, Lionel Messi. Once again reclaiming his La Liga Golden Boot award, the Barcelona icon bagged a brace against Nicaragua last week and is the attacking gem in a glittering Argentina front line. Tipped as the favorite to top Group B this year, Scaloni’s men also hold a very eye-catching record when up against Saturday’s opposition. Argentina are unbeaten in their last eight matches against Colombia, a run that stems all the way back to November 2007.

Team News

Lionel Messi has defied speculation to return to the national team in time for this tournament, while Angel Di Maria and Sergio Aguero have been called up for the first time since last summer’s World Cup.

Colombia

As for the visitors, after also suffering last-16 heartbreak out in Russia last summer, Colombia find themselves in an almost identical position to Argentina. Coming off the back of another impressive showing in their empathic 3-0 win away in Peru last weekend, Los Cafeteros find their confidence at a high. Now under the guidance of former Manchester United coach Carlos Queiroz, they have won five of their previous six appearances and have tasted defeat just once in their eight post-World Cup outings. A squad that is certainly enjoying a resurge, Colombia also have some very notable attacking options in their ranks. Along with leading goalscorer Radamel Falcao continuing to lead the line, one man to watch this weekend could be Atalanta’s breakout star, Duván Zapata. Finding the net against Peru last weekend and continuing on what has been a stellar season, the 28-year-old bagged 23 Serie A goals this year and finished second in the overall goalscoring charts.

Team News

Key midfielder Juan Fernando Quintero will miss the tournament after suffering an ACL tear while playing for River Plate in March.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Argentina are unbeaten in their last eight matches against Colombia, a run that stems all the way back to November 2007.
  • Lionel Messi bagged a brace last time out and also scored 36 La Liga goals this season.
  • Colombia have won six of their last seven matches on the road.
  • Atalanta striker Duván Zapata scored 23 Serie A goals this season.
  • Both teams have scored two or more goals in six of their last seven combined appearances.

Conclusion

On paper, it has all the makings of what could be a lively encounter. With both sides holding a squad that is glittering with attacking talent, Colombia and Argentina will be looking to shine as they open their Group B campaign. With both nations really starting to shine in the final third following their exploits out in Russia last summer, we’re backing both teams to find the net at the Itaipava Arena this weekend.

Verdict: Both teams to score

Best Odds: 19/20

Bookmaker: Bet365

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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