Copa America 2019: Brazil vs Argentina - Brazil Predicted XI
The Brazilians come into the game on the back of a nerve-wracking penalty shoot-out victory over Paraguay.
However, that game too brought to light the deficiencies existing in their machine. The attack failed to inspire again and though they kept another clean sheet, Tite would certainly have a furrowed brow or two with respect to his side’s insipidness in the offensive third.
Additionally, the Brazilians are also trying to right the wrongs of a nightmarish night in 2014. On that evening in Belo Horizonte, they battled one of the favourites for the World Cup, namely Germany in the semi-final. However, the hosts’ campaign unravelled spectacularly as they were annihilated 7-1 by the Germans.
Moreover, there is the small matter of the Brazilians having never lost a Copa America they’ve hosted. Thus, the current side would want to ensure that their names are not etched into the history books for the wrong reasons. After all, that is not a record they would particularly be proud of.
The hosts have a few injury concerns before the game. Filipe Luis, who was replaced at half-time in the quarter-final is facing a rest against time to be fit whereas the availability of Fernandinho also remains under a cloud.
Richarlison is expected to be fit but one would be very surprised if Tite throws him into the mix straightaway, especially considering he has seemed to stumble upon his ideal front four.
The Brazilians are expected to persist with the defensive line that has managed four shut-outs on the trot. The only tweak they might be forced into making is including Alex Sandro at the expense of Filipe Luis.
In midfield, Casemiro is primed to return for the game against Argentina after serving his suspension. Hence, he would slot back into the ‘double midfield pivot’ position and he would most likely be accompanied by Arthur Melo.
As for the attacking third, Philippe Coutinho has enjoyed the increased freedom he has been accorded as the No.10 and that looks set to continue. Everton, too, has impressed when starting on the left flank and he might get the nod ahead of a fit-again Richarlison.
Roberto Firmino is expected to lead the line again as Tite tries to convince everyone that the Liverpool striker is indeed the man for the job ahead of Gabriel Jesus. However, akin to previous games, the Brazilians could also field the latter on the right flank to provide a bit of penalty box presence when Firmino goes roaming between the lines.
Like many a previous edition, the 2019 Copa America has also failed to capture the world’s imagination. Yet, one feels that the clutch encounter between Brazil and Argentina could be the spark that sets the world ablaze.
Brazil Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Alisson; Dani Alves, Marquinhos, Thiago Silva, Alex Sandro; Arthur Melo, Casemiro; Gabriel Jesus, Philippe Coutinho, Everton; Roberto Firmino