Copa America 2019, Argentina vs Paraguay: Match preview
Wednesday’s late group B kickoff sees Argentina face Paraguay at the Estadio Mineirao in Belo Horizonte. This is quite an important match for both teams if they want to progress to the next stage, as they both suffered disappointing results in their respective opening fixtures.
Kickoff time: 19 June 2019, 17:00 local time (20th June 7:00 am IST, 1:30 am BST)
Venue: Estadio Mineirao, Belo Horizonte
Paraguay will be hoping to make amends following their disappointing 2-2 draw with Qatar, a game they were in control of after taking a two-goal lead. Lapses in concentration led to Qatar fighting back for a draw.
Paraguay will have to make sure they are 100% on their game at all times against Argentina, especially with the likes of Lionel Messi around - him being just one of the several threats that Argentina possess.
Paraguay go into the game as underdogs, and this might suit them better than the other night when they were the favourites. They can try to use their defensive and counter-attacking style to frustrate Argentina.
The key to the Paraguayans earning a positive result will come down to their defensive work. They will have to defend better than they did in their last outing, otherwise they could be in real trouble. One thing they can capitalize on is the shakiness the Argentina backline, which was in evidence during their game with Colombia.
Argentina will also be hoping to put the disappointing performance in their opening match against Colombia behind them. They showed all the alarming frailties from the World Cup again, which ultimately led to their two-goal defeat.
However, the game against Paraguay is one that Argentina will feel confident of winning, to put things back on track for them.
The key to Argentina winning would be to patiently break down Paraguay, and to take their chances when they eventually get them. They will also have to make sure they don’t put themselves under pressure like they did the other night against Colombia when they tried to play out from the back; that simply didn’t work, as they kept giving the ball away and inviting their opposition on.
If the last time these two sides met is anything to go by, the Argentines should be worried. Back in 2016, it was Paraguay who came out victorious with a 1-0 win; it is a game Sergio Agüero will remember vividly as he missed a penalty in that one.
The goal-scorer on that day, Derlis Gonzalez will be hoping he can do the same again and add to the wonder-goal he scored on Sunday.