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The second Copa America semi-final takes place on in the early hours of Wednesday morning (GMT) and sees Argentina taking on Colombia. Argentina have now gone 18 matches without defeat, while Colombia have only won one of their five games in the tournament so far.
You’d expect Argentina to breeze through then. But, let’s get stuck into the stats and form of both sides here and find the three super selections.
02:00 (Wednesday morning) – Argentina v Colombia
BBC Red Button / BBC iPlayer / BBC Sport Website
Argentina’s run of 18 matches without defeat is an incredible feat in international football. Eight of those matches saw them keeping their opponents scoreless which doesn’t look so impressive when it’s over 18 matches.
But, they’ve now kept three clean sheets over their five matches in the tournament and in facing Colombia, they face a side who they have kept scoreless five times over their last seven encounters.
Colombia’s record has been pretty bad over the whole tournament, they only won one of their four group games, and only scored three goals over those four matches.
They failed to net in their quarter-final against Uruguay as well, winning 2-4 on penalties and we can certainly see them struggling to hit the onion sack here against an Argentina side who have only conceded two goals in the competition so far.
Argentina manager Lionel Scaloni likes his side to get the heavy lifting done in the first period of play, not too dissimilar to his Brazilian counterpart Tite. Try and go ahead early, allow them to come at you in an attempt to draw level and pick them off on the counter-attack.
As such, Argentina have been leading at half-time in six of their last eight matches and in all five of their tournament games so far.
To contrast this with Colombia, we must mention that of the three goals they have managed to score in the Copa America have seen two of them come during the first 45 minutes of play. However, of those seven previous encounters mentioned above, they failed to hit the target against Argentina in any of the first halves of those games. Indeed over the seven matches, they only scored four goals and they came over two matches.
Argentina’s record of starting aggressively matched with Colombia’s lack of goals is swinging us here and we reckon we’re getting some pretty good odds for a bet that would have landed in four of Argentina’s five previous tournament matches so far.
At 34 years of age is this going to be Messi’s final Copa America? It’s hard to see him holding the attacking line for Argentina in 2024 in Ecuador, and especially if they go on and win this year’s competition.
He’s been having a mighty tournament so far though, he’s the top scorer with four goals after five games and against Colombia has netted three over 10 appearances. With the great man in fine form (as always), we’re backing the Argentina captain to get his name on the scoresheet here.
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