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Copa America: Clash of the Tournament!


Copa America: Clash of the Tournament!

Brazil vs Argentina

This is what the Copa America is all about. We’re at the semi-final stage and are all set for the blockbuster clash between Brazil and Argentina.

It’s Tite’s Selecao and its galaxy of stars, against Lionel Scaloni’s Argentina and the biggest name of them all. The subplot is whether or not Lionel Messi can inspire the Albiceleste to its first trophy in 26 years, and emotions will run high at the Mineirao in Belo Horizonte.

Messi hasn’t been in the best form, after another sensational domestic season at Barcelona, but he can win any game in the blink of an eye, and that is a nightmare scenario for the favourites, Brazil.

This is the biggest rivalry in South American football as all SBOBET Copa America fans know, and when the final whistle blows there are bound to be wild celebrations on one side and tears on the other.

Talking Points

Beatable Brazil

The hosts have blown a little hot and cold in this tournament and that gives some encouragement to the Albiceleste. Gabriel Jesus slotted home the decisive penalty to give Brazil a nervy shootout victory over Paraguay, a team the Selecao fans expected to beat at a canter in the quarterfinals.

And that’s the second time Tite’s team has been held to a goalless draw, suffering the same fate against Venezuela. The home crowd has become restless, booing their heroes in that game and also at half time against Bolivia, a match they eventually won 3-0.

Barcelona’s Philippe Coutinho has had a disappointing season with the La Liga champions, but he has shown glimpses of his best form over the past two weeks, and alongside Jesus and former Liverpool team-mate Roberto Firmino, he can unlock any defence on his day.

At the back, Juve’s Alex Sandro and PSG’s Dani Alves provide the defensive quality, in front of keeper Alisson.

Sergio’s the go-to man

If truth be told, Argentina hasn’t impressed so far in this tournament but did enough to beat a spirited Venezuela side 2-0, a better outcome than the Selecao managed. Sergio Aguero put in a man of the match performance, drilling the ball across for Lautaro Martinez to slam home the early opener, which settled Argentina’s nerves.

And it was the Manchester City man’s shot which was too hot for the Venezuela keeper to handle, allowing Giovani Lo Celso to wrap up the victory.

Of course, he’s better known as a hit man. Aguero has scored over 20 league goals in the last five seasons for Manchester City, a remarkable record in the Premier League. And he’ll come up against a rival in Liverpool’s goal-keeper Alisson, who has been one of the main reasons Jurgen Klopp’s side has been transformed from pretenders to genuine contenders in the UK, pushing Manchester City all the way in the Premier League before lifting the Champions League.

Aguero’s reliability has taken a little of the pressure off Messi’s shoulders and Albiceleste fans hope that will allow the great man to flourish on the biggest stage.

Ajax defender Nicolas Tagliafico is a real talent and will have no fears of the Brazilian attack while providing good support for his front men, and he could be a key player.

History

These two teams are Copa America royalty but both sets of fans believe they have waited too long since their last triumph.

Brazil is a five-time winner but hasn’t lifted the trophy since back-to-back titles in 2004 and 2007, failing even to navigate the group stage in 2016.

The Albiceleste has won the tournament twice but not since 1993. They have been runners up on the last two occasions and will desperately want to go a step further this year.

Brazil has had the better of the head to heads, winning 14 of the 23 meetings since 1974 with five victories for Argentina and four draws.

The Selecao has won five of the last six games and Argentina four of the last six, but when playing at home, Brazil has not lost to Argentina in their last five encounters and is on an unbeaten run of 17 on home soil.

Betting Tip

Over 2.00 goals @1.85

The current Brazil vs Argentina betting odds reckon the home crowd is going to be happy come Tuesday night and Messi and co disappointed again. The Samba Boys are at 1.84, with the draw at 3.25 and Argentina at 4.30.

Scaloni’s team has been a little under par so far but is showing signs of improvement, while Brazil has blown hot and cold. They put five past Peru and three past Bolivia but drew blanks against Paraguay and Venezuela.

This is going to be a tight game with a 90-minute stalemate or a one-goal victory on the cards. If you fancy a home win then a scoreline of 2-1 at odds 7.40 looks good value to me.

This semi-final promises to be an all action treat and, of course, we’ll be right there as the drama unfolds with all the very latest Copa America 2019 updates.

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

 

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