26th June 2015, 11:30 PM GMT
The two strongest south american teams face each other in a do or die game to enter the Copa America 2015 Semi-final round. With Messi on one side and Rodriguez on the other, we could witness some El Clasico rivalry among the general competition on this great clash.
With Peru inking Bolivia on one side and Chile stealing a victory over Uruguay, one side of the semi final clash has been set up. However for the other side, heavy weights Argentina and Colombia will fight it out to see who will face the victors of the next game between Brazil and Paraguay for a coveted semi-final spot.
Team news and Tactics
Argentina’s attack has been poor this competition scoring only four goals even with the likes of Messi, Di Maria, Tevez and Aguero. The team has scored only 4 in their 3 group stage games. However with a reputation for sudden change in form, the Argentinian attack may suddenly awaken from their slumber and wreak havoc in the Colombian camp.
Argentina’s strength in this competition has been its defense, the combination of Otamendi and Garay has been reasonably solid in the previous games and there is no doubt, the manager will want to continue with the same. Man City’s Zabaleta will occupy the right while Marcos Rojo will occupy the left back position. The goalkeeper Romero will complete the defensive line up. Romero will have a task at hand in order to fed off any long range efforts that Rodriguez.
Mascherano will be the defensive midfield providing cover for back two if Rojo and Zabaleta run down the wings. Lucas Biglia will ensure that he sticks to Rodriguez and cuts out all his supply, this allowing the extremely skillful Pastore to run the game for Argentina. The three Attacking players, Aguero, Messi and Di Maria all possess immense pace. Argentina will look to exploit this skill by playing a counter attacking game in order to run directly at slower defenders such as Zapata. The combination of Messi, DiMaria and Aguero will be cruicial for the out come of Argentina.
Predicted Line-up:(4-3-3-) Romero; Zabaleta, Garay, Otamendi, Rojo; Mascherano, Biglia, Pastore; Di-Maria, Aguero, Messi.
The Colombian football team has been but a shade of what they initially were during the World Cup. An attack line up that scared any back four has now managed to only score 3 goals in their group stage games. Falcao seems to be the player every one wishes to blame for the lacks of goals. However, the whole unit has performed poorly in the group stages and would need a miracle to get past the tough Argentinian Defense.
Argentina who will look to play a counter attacking game will be faced by a Colombian Defense which isnt too fast as compared to the former’s forward’s line up. Colombia on the other hand will look to out muscle or and strike from long range so as to avoid a physical contact with Argentina’s defenders. With Ospina on goal, Colomba have a solid shot stopper in the the starting line up. Zapata and Murillo will be part of the central backs and will hope to contain the likes of Messi and Aguero. Arias and Armero on eithe wings will look to over lap their wing mid’s and provide crosses to their strikers.
The forward line would consist of Jackson Martinez who will be the preferred striker over Falcao. Gutierrez will assist Martinez as Falcao will be dropped to the bench after his recent string of poor performances. Behind the two strikers would be James Rodriguez who will play as the play maker. His duty would include making penetrating passes and take on long distance shots. Cuadrado and Sanchez will play on either side of the wings and hope to contain Rojo and Zabaleta. Both players have the of cutting in ability and could threaten with long range efforts. Valencia will complete the midfield in a slightly defensive role and try to stop all supply of through balls to the Argentine attacking trio.
Predicted Line-up: Ospina; Armero, Murillo, Zapata, Arias; Valencia, Cuadrado, Sanchez, Rodriguez; Martinez, Gutierrez;
Man to watch
With the likes of Falcao, Aguero, Messi and Rodriguez who are about to take the pitch. It is now doubt all eyes will be on the huge selection of stars present on the pitch. However, One player who has had a good run till date in the competition has been Jackson Martinez. With a number of clubs bidding for the lad, it will be up to him to add to Colombia that much needed finishing and flair to take them past Argentina. Jackson Martinez would be the man to watch in this game as his performance will be the decider.
Argentina 3-1 Colombia
Even if the two teams are evenly matched on paper with a set of eleven very skillful footballers, Messi’s magic and a poor run so far from the Colombians will enable Argentina to beat their rivals with ease. Messi’s magic and Aguero’s presence will ensure three goals for the blue and whites. Jackson Martinez will be the lone scorer for Colombia, but it will only be a late consolation.