Copa America 2019: Argentina vs Colombia, Argentina Team News, Predicted XI and more
La Albiceleste begin their 2019 Copa America campaign against a tricky opposition in Colombia at the Fonte Nova Arena in Salvador. The previous edition of the Copa America saw Argentina fall short in the final stage as they lost to Chile on penalties. However, they would like to go one step further and lay the ghosts of Copa America Centenario to rest by winning their first Copa America since 1993.
Lionel Scaloni's side are placed in a tricky group comprising of Colombia and Paraguay, teams that are well capable of causing upsets against the big boys. During the build-up to the 46th edition of Copa America, Argentina beat Morocco and Nicaragua with 1-0 and 5-1 scorelines respectively.
Much onus will be placed on the shoulders of their talismanic forward Lionel Messi, who looks to win his first trophy for Argentina at the senior level.
In terms of the squad selected, there will be numerous new faces who will represent their national team, such as Renzo Saravia, Juan Foyth, Leandro Paredes and Lautaro Martinez. Argentina head into this tournament without Javier Mascherano and Gonzalo Higuain, both of whom retired from international football following the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Argentina will start Copa America with most of their squad available for selection, barring Exequiel Palacios, who is nursing a muscle injury.
Injuries: Exequiel Palacios
Lionel Scaloni is set to go ahead with the customary 4-2-3-1 formation with River Plate's Franco Armani expected to start in between the sticks ahead of Esteban Andrada and Agustin Marchesin. The back four would mostly comprise of the centre-half pairing of Nicolas Otamendi and Juan Foyth and fullbacks Renzo Saravia and Nicolas Tagliafico.
Scaloni may opt to start with the midfield duo of Leandro Paredes and Giovani Lo Celso. Both players are capable of dominating the middle of the park and create a wealth of chances from deeper positions.
The front line will mostly comprise of Juventus' Paolo Dybala and Paris Saint Germain's Angel Di Maria, both of whom are expected to operate as Wingers. Barcelona's Lionel Messi is expected to play behind Sergio Aguero, who will lead the Argentina attack during the tournament.
Without wasting further time, we take a look at the predicted Argentine eleven against Los Cafeteros.
Argentina: Franco Armani, Renzo Saravia, Juan Foyth, Nicolas Otamendi, Nicolas Tagliafico, Giovani Lo Celso, Leandro Paredes, Angel Di Maria, Paolo Dybala, Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero.
#1 Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi is expected to play a crucial role in Argentina's Copa America campaign as the five-time Ballon d'Or winner looks to continuing his immense run of form. Messi will be crucial in constructing and finishing off the offensive moves. Along with this, his creativity, set-piece ability, and marauding runs from midfield will need to be on point as he looks to steer his nation to continental glory.
#2 Giovani Lo Celso
Giovani Lo Celso has been an integral part in Quique Setien's Real Betis side and amassed a tally of 16 goals and 6 assists during the 2018/19 season. The central midfielder looks set to take the mantle from key figures like Javier Mascherano, Lucas Biglia etc. Argentina will rely on his press resistance, intricate passing, and ability to play in between the lines to aid the quartet of Messi, Dybala, Di Maria, and Aguero.