Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Prediction: Argentina vs Paraguay

Juan Pablo Aravena in Free Soccer Predictions 18 Jun 2019

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Verdict: Argentina to win + both teams to score – yes

Best Odds: 13/5

Bookmaker: 888sport

Argentina and Paraguay will meet on a thrilling fixture in Group B of the 2019 Copa America, although this match could also be decisive for both sides. Paraguay drew the opener against Qatar and Argentina lost to Colombia, meaning both sides need a positive result if they want to get closer to the knockout stages of the competition. Kick-off will be at 01:30 hrs (BST) this Thursday.

Argentina

There’s no question Argentina were disappointing during their first match in the 2019 Copa America, as they fell 0-2 against Colombia while looking extremely overmatched on both sides of the ball. However, there are encouraging signs for La Albiceleste going forward. Given the amount of talent in this squad, they’re bound to get better with more and more training sessions, as some of these players have to get used to playing alongside each other. Plus, Colombia were the toughest opponent on the group so now they can breathe easily but without looking complacement. And as if that wasn’t enough, Argentina have Lionel Messi on the roster and when the FC Barcelona star is on the pitch, magical things are bound to happen. Expect La Pulga to carry Argentina towards a much-needed win as they will aim to keep their qualification chances alive.

Team News

There are no injury concerns surrounding Argentina, although Marcos Acuña and Roberto Pereryra are not expected to be at 100%.

Manager Lionel Scaloni could make a few changes as well. Milton Casco, Lautaro Martinez and Rodrigo de Paul are expected to replace Renzo Saravia, Sergio Aguero and Angel di Maria, respectively.

Paraguay

Even though Paraguay didn’t lose, they still underperformed in their group-stage opener against Qatar. Los Guaranies quickly jumped to a two-goal lead early in the second half, but they couldn’t hold on and ended stumbling towards a 2-2 draw against the reigning AFC Cup champions. The result itself wasn’t very bad since Qatar could’ve easily won given their second-half performance, but what’s concerning for Paraguay is the fact that they’ll have to decide their fate against Colombia and Argentina, two teams that are quite superior to them on paper. Manager Eduardo Berizzo hasn’t quite found a Best XI yet, and the defence remains suspect when facing skilled players. With that in mind, all signs indicate the back four could be in for a long evening (local) against the likes of Messi, Sergio Aguero and company. Can Paraguay pull the upset against Argentina, despite being massive underdogs prior to kick-off?

Team News

Paraguay are at full strength entering this match. No injury concerns and not many changes expected to the side that played against Qatar last week.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Four of Paraguay’s last six World Cup Qualifying matches separated sides by just one goal.
  • Despite the loss against Colombia, Argentina still own a decent W3, L2 record in their last five matches. Paraguay own a W1, D2, L2 mark over that same span.
  • Paraguay won the most recent meeting between both sides. But that has been their lone win over Argentina in the last five H2H meetings (W1, D2, L2).
  • Three of Argentina’s last five matches against Paraguay have featured over 3.5 goals. However, each of the last two have ended with under 1.5 goals in total.
  • Argentina have kept a clean sheet in five of their last six wins. Paraguay, on the other hand, have kept a clean sheet just once in their last five games in all competitions.

Conclusion

On paper, Argentina are massive favourites to secure the win here. They have their backs against the wall following the loss in the opener and while they have enough quality to get past Paraguay, their defence remains a question mark.

Therefore, I believe Argentina will take home the three points although both sides will find the back of the net.

Verdict: Argentina to win + both teams to score – yes

Best Odds: 13/5

Bookmaker: 888sport

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Juan Pablo Aravena


A freelance writer and sports analyst with almost five years of experience in the industry before joining SoccerNews, Juan Pablo Aravena is based in Chile and currently contributes to several publications and websites including SoccerNews, 12up, and Sports From The Basement, while also working as a fantasy beat writer for RotoWire, as a database editor for EA Sports, and as a football analyst for SmartOdds and InsideFutbol. His areas of focus are Serie A, Bundesliga, Premier League, LaLiga, and Ligue 1, but he has also written about MLS and South American football in the past.

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