The derby of Group B and probably the most interesting encounter of the group stage is the clash between Argentina and Colombia. Both rivals are widely expected to progress to the quarter-finals and this duel could decide who will end at the top of the group.
Argentina vs. Colombia
• Copa America
• Arena Fonte Nova, Salvador, Brazil
• Sunday 16 June
• 00:00 CET
Argentina Team News
Argentina are the second-most successful nation at the Copa America after Uruguay but they are without major trophy since 1993 and this could be the last opportunity for Lionel Messi to win something with national team. LA Albiceleste lost both previous finals to Chile and the pressure is mounting on Argentina to win the title, which is easier said than done.
Head coach Lionel Scaloni has several top-class individuals in his team but arguably, this is the weakest Argentina team in this decade. Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero, and Paulo Dybala will lead the attack; Angel Di Maria is the biggest star in the middle of the park while Nicolas Otamendi will command the defense. However, the rest of the squad is rather inexperienced on the international level and even 17 players played under 20 matches for Argentina. Midfield and defense are surely not as quality as the offense and that could be a big issue for Scaloni’s boys going forward.
Argentina Latest Form
Without a draw in seven matches since their last duel with Colombia (W5, L2), Argentina like to score late. La Albiceleste scored a winning goal after the 80th minute in each win in that span, and in total, 40% of Argentina’s goals came in the last ten minutes.
Argentina found the back of the net in six of their previous seven matches and they kept the net intact in four of them, which is a bit surprising considering their rather inexperienced defense. Still, they did concede three in a surprising 3-1 loss to Venezuela in a friendly and that could be a warning sign for La Albiceleste fans.
Lionel Messi scored a brace before in the first 45 minutes in Argentina’s latest friendly game with Nicaragua while five of Argentina’s previous six wins were by at least a two-goal margin.
Colombia Team News
Colombia won the Copa America just once (2001) and they finished in the third position in the previous tournament after beating hosts USA. Getting to the knockout phase it’s a must Los Cafeteros and given that they made it into top 8 in the last three Copa America championships, it would be surprising if they fail to make it in this one.
Colombia’s squad is pretty much unchanged from the 2018 World Cup in Russia when they didn’t have luck against England on penalties and were eliminated in the 1/8 finals. Captain Radamel Falcao will lead the attack but Duvan Zapata is the player to monitor after his fantastic season at Atalanta and 28 goals in 48 games in all competitions. Vice-captain James Rodriguez is the one who will pull the strings from the midfield while right winger Juan Cuadrado can be quite dangerous with his crosses.
Colombia’s defense is among the strongest at the tournament and surely has more experience than Argentina’s. David Ospina is close to record his 100th cap and he needs four games to celebrate that milestone while he has Davinson Sánchez, Yerry Mina, Cristián Zapata, and Santiago Arias in front of him.
Colombia Latest Form
In their last Copa America participation, Colombia scored exactly two goals in each of their three group games (W2, L1), with five of the six goals in those matches came in the first 45 minutes. More recently, four of their previous six goals in their friendly games arrived before the halftime.
Los Cafeteros played eight games after the 2018 World Cup and recorded six wins with a draw and a loss. Colombia failed to score in only one of those eight matches and it was a boring 0-0 stalemate with Argentina. Colombia midfielder Mateus Uribe scored either side of half-time to secure win in their latest warm-up match. He has been booked in two of his last three appearances (club & country).
Argentina vs. Colombia Head to Head
The foes have met 31 times after the World War II and Argentina recorded 18 victories, Colombia added six while seven matches ended as a draw. However, Colombia’s last win came in 2007 and this generation of players didn’t taste a victory against La Albiceleste. On the other hand, only Messi was present in Argentina team in that tilt. Colombia also haven’t scored against Argentina in the previous eight years.
Argentina vs. Colombia Betting Tip
Argentina are slight favorites here and considering their positive record against Colombia, they’re looking closer to get a win tonight. Still, four of the last seven H2H clashes ended as a draw and I cannot separate them right now, so I am going with another draw. A draw can be found at 3.20 (+220) while both teams to score is available at 2.05 (+105). Put the recent H2H tilts aside, they have excellent offenses and I don’t think they will fail to score on both ends.