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Copa America 2011: Argentina vs Costa Rica Preview

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Copa America 2011 Group A
Argentina vs Costa Rica
Venue: Cordoba
Date: July 12 Time: 06:15 AM (IST)

Argentina tonight takes on Costa Rica in their final group match of the Copa America 2011 at Cordoba. Coming into the match after two initial draws where they were the favorites, Argentina failed to show character and didn’t live up to expectations. Perhaps, Sergio Batista’s side would have never imagined that their last group match could be so crucial in deciding their tournament’s faith.

Columbia is already through to the Quarter Final with a win against Bolivia and Costa Rica and drawing with the host, Bolivia on the other hand is out of contention after two loses though they manage to hold Messi and Co. So the second spot is still up for grasp.

Messi: Can he do it for Argentina tonight?

As for Argentina, they have two points from two matches and a win will clearly take them through to the next round while Costa Rica, with three points, after defeating Bolivia will be through even if they can just manage a draw. This put Argentina on the back foot though a draw might help them sneak into the Quarter finals as the two third best team but they will have to wait for other results.

Desperate to win the match, Batista made four changes to the playing eleven with Fernando Gago coming in place of Ever Banega. The team will see Gonzalo Higuain andSergio Aguero in place of the ineffective Carlos Tevez and Ezequiel Lavezzi while Angel Di Maria will replace Esteban Cambiasso a winger in place of a defensive midfielder.

However La Volpe’s boys will try hard to destabilize Messi once again and if they succeed they have their job half done. Meanwhile, the Argentina born Costa Rican Coach would go the same combination of Josue Martinez in the offensive line with Campbell. They both scored in their victory against Bolivia.
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When the two teams last met for a friendly in March 2011, none could break the deadlock and the match ended in a draw. Costa Rica would be very satisfied if they can come up with the same result. But with Argentina on a prowl, it is very likely that Messi and Co. will bounce back to keep their Silverware hopes alive.

But again nothing is predictable considering the fact that Bolivia shouldn’t have been able to get a point against Argentina. Brazil should have defeated Venezuela comprehensively. Uruguay should not have allowed Peru to draw with them. This tournament has been wildly unpredictable, so making a prediction on the result of this game would be ridiculous.

However, the only prediction that is worth making is that, Sergio Batista will face the axe if Argentina fails to qualify for the Quarter final.

Last Three Matches
Argentina                                             Costa Rica
Jul 7, 2011 Argentina 0 – 0 Colombia             Jul 7, 2011 Bolivia 0 -  2 Costa Rica
Jul 2, 2011 Argentina 1 – 1 Bolivia                   Jul 2, 2011 Colombia 1 – 0 Costa Rica
Jun 20, 2011 Argentina 4 – 0 Albania           Jun 18, 2011 Costa Rica 1 – 1 Honduras

Probable Line-Ups
Argentina:
Romero; Zanetti, Milito, Burdisso, Zabaleta; Mascherano, Gago; Messi; Aguero, Higuain, Di Maria.
Costa Rica: Moreira; Acosta, Salvatierra, Calvo; Duarte, Leal, Mora; Cubero, Madrigal; Martinez, Campbell

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