Monday, July 15, 2024

Uruguay v Brazil: Aguero backs Bielsa´s team as only ones capable of stopping Argentina

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 5 Jul 2024

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Marcelo Bielsa’s Uruguay are the only team capable of stopping Argentina from defending their Copa America crown, so says Sergio Aguero.

First, though, Uruguay will have to overcome nine-time Copa America champions Brazil.

Uruguay, who topped Group C with nine points from their three games, face the Selecao in Las Vegas on Saturday. They scored nine times across those three group contests, which is three goals more than any other team in the competition.

Brazil finished second in Group D, behind Colombia, drawing two and winning one of their matches. Not securing top spot means they now have to overcome a huge quarter-final test.

Former Argentina striker Aguero feels that Uruguay, not Brazil, are the favourites to challenge the reigning champions, who scraped past Ecuador on penalties to reach the last four.

In an interview with Stake.com, Aguero said: “I think Uruguay have a lot to give now with Bielsa. They should go far in the tournament.

“I think Argentina are their own biggest threat, and we shouldn’t be overconfident. But Uruguay are the only team that could beat us, because Bielsa knows Lionel Scaloni very well.

“Let’s not forget that Uruguay is the only team that has beat us since becoming world champions.”

As well as beating Argentina in World Cup qualifying, Uruguay have also defeated Brazil.

And their achievement in winning 100% of the available points in the group stage was the first time they had done that in the Copa since 1942, when they won all six of their matches and were crowned champions.

In a further boost to Bielsa’s team, Brazil’s talisman Vinicius Junior will miss the game due to suspension.

“Vini is a top player who can win games for us,” Brazil defender Danilo said.

“But we have other players with a lot of quality and potential, and let’s try to make up for Vini’s absence.”

Real Madrid forward Vinicius is Brazil’s leading scorer at the tournament, with both of his goals having come in the 4-1 win over Paraguay on Matchday 2.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Uruguay – Sergio Rochet

Goalkeeper Rochet has kept a clean sheet in six of the last seven matches he has played for Uruguay across all competitions.

The only team that managed to score against him during this period was Panama, in Uruguay’s 3-1 victory in the group stage.

Brazil – Raphinha

Raphinha scored Brazil’s goal in their 1-1 draw with Colombia last time out, and with Vinicius out of action, the onus will be on the Barcelona man to provide the spark in attack.

Against Colombia, he attempted six dribbles, completing three of them, with both figures being team highs. His direct free-kick goal was the first scored by a Brazil player since 2019.

MATCH PREDICTION: DRAW (IN 90 MINUTES)

We have already had one penalty shootout in the Copa America quarters, and Opta’s model is suggesting we could have another, with the supercomputer finding it hard to separate these sides.

Brazil and Uruguay are two of the three teams who have not fallen behind at any point of the tournament, alongside Argentina, so it may not come as a surprise to see the system predicting a tight contest.

Uruguay have lost only one of their 10 quarter-final matches at the Copa America (W4 D5), since this round was first played in 1993. Half of these games have been decided by penalty shootouts, with Uruguay winning two of those.

This will be the first knockout meeting between these nations at the Copa America since the 2007 semi-finals, when Brazil won on penalties en route to becoming champions.

Knocking out Brazil is no mean feat. They have never lost a knockout match against Uruguay in the Copa America, with two wins and three draws (W2 L1 of the penalty shootouts).

And, in a streak that is ongoing since 2011, Brazil have not conceded more than one goal in any of their last 24 Copa matches.

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

Uruguay – 35.6%

Brazil – 37.4%

Draw – 27%

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

SoccerNews

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