Argentina vs Chile:
Copa America Centenario 2016 – Final,
Date: Monday, June 27, 2016,
Kick-off: 1:00 UK Time,
Venue: MetLife Stadium (New Jersey).
It is a repeat of last year’s final when Argentina taken on Chile for the Copa America Centenario Final 2016 at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey on Sunday evening.
The route to final has been easy for Argentina this year and they had won each of their five matches in the tournament convincingly. Argentina, who kicked off the tournament with a 2-1 win over Chile, went on to thrash Panama 5-0 and then Bolivia 3-0 to finish are group toppers. This was followed by a 4-1 quarter final win against Venezuela, and then the hosts USA were brushed aside 4-0 in the semifinals. The Albiceleste has scored an incredible 18 goals in the tournament so far, conceding just 2. They started the tournament strongly and look set to end their 23 year trophy drought on Sunday.
Chile made a slow start to the tournament with a defeat to Argentina in the group opener and looked unconvincing in the two wins over Bolivia and Panama. The lady luck was set to shine on Chile when they faced Mexico in the quarter finals and registered one of the biggest victories in Copa America history with the score line of 7-0. If confidence can do wonders, this is what it had done to a team struggling at the start of the tournament. Then two first half goals helped them see past Colombia in the semifinals under difficult playing condition to book their place in consecutive Copa America Finals.
Argentina Team News
Tata Martino has several injury concerns as his Argentina football team set to take the field against Chile on Sunday evening.
Angel Di Maria is a major doubt with a groin injury, while Ezequiel Lavezzi who replaced his in the previous two matches is out with a fracture on his left elbow. Nicolas Gaitan is available for selection after serving his one match suspension, but he is also struggling for fitness. Erik Lamela could get a start here, but Martino could also opt to deploy Sergio Aguero on the flanks.
Defender Marcos Rojo is also carrying a knock, while Augusto Fernandez is suffering from a muscle problem and he is set to miss to miss the final in in New Jersey.
Argentina Predicted Line-up (4-3-3)
Romero – Rojo, Funes Mori, Otamendi, Mercado – Mascherano, Banega, Biglia – Lamela, Messi, Higuain.
Chile: Team News:
Juan Antonio Pizzi has rotated his squad in each of the knockout ties and he is expected to do the same to counter specific threats in Argentinian attack.
Chile has no fresh injury concerns of players missing through suspension and Pizzi has the luxury to select the best possible line-up for this final tie.
Chile Predicted Line-up (4-3-3):
Bravo – Beausejour, Jara, Medel, Isla – Vidal, Diaz, Aranguiz – Fuenzalida, Sanchez, Vargas.
Argentina vs Chile: Head-to-Head Stats
When the two teams met in the final of Copa America 2015, Chile were winners in the penalty shootout. The teams met on two occasions after that, the latest in this year’s group opener, Argentina won both ties by the same 2-1 margin.
Chile have never beaten Argentina inside full 90 minutes in the last five meetings between the sides in all formats, the Albiceleste winning 4 of those ties.
The teams met on four occasions in Copa America, Argentina won three of those matches, and their only loss was in the final of last year.
Overall, Argentina are victorious in 12 of the 20 matches played between the sides, with Chile winning 4 and another 4 ended in draws.
Argentina vs Chile: Prediction
Chile despite their turbulent start and troubles in the past has grown into a real force during the final stages of the tournament. They have the quality players and if their held their nerves they can give Argentina ample trouble in the prestigious final tournament. They are expected to sit back and hit Argentina on the counter using the pace of Alexis Sanchez.
Argentina on the other hand looked extremely good in all matches in this tournament so far. This is one of the strongest Argentina side in recent years and they will be determined to end the 23 year old trophy drought. At the same time, they had failed to score in the two last finals their reached – World Cup 2014 and Copa America 2015. Most of these are down to the poor finishing despite their players being in good form. And they cannot afford this to happen on Sunday.
I believe this is a clash between the sides of similar quality and it is extremely hard to separate the two sides. Both are in same kind of form and pose the individual quality and tactical brilliance. But I strongly believe this is the moment Messi and Argentina end their long wait for a major trophy. Once again this will be a tight affair, and Argentina to win 2-1 at the end of 90 minutes is my prediction.