Mineirao - Copa America
It doesn’t get much bigger or better than this - a huge grudge match between Brazil and Argentina for a place in the Copa America final. There’s no love lost between these two countries, and this is going to be a hotly contested affair.
Brazil have had the upper hand in recent meetings, winning five of the last seven games between the sides, including one via penalty shootout. The Selecao won their most recent match against their old enemy 1-0, courtesy of a 93rd-minute Joao Miranda goal in Saudi Arabia last October.
After a relatively underwhelming performance against Paraguay in the quarter-finals, Brazil coach Tite could opt to make a couple changes to his starting line-up for this one. Chelsea forward Willian and Juventus full-back Alex Sandro are two of the players hoping to step up into the XI, although they may have to settle for a spot on the bench once more.
Lautaro Martinez opened the scoring for Argentina once again in their last-eight tie with Venezuela, and he’s set to partner Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero up front here, with Lionel Messi operating in a deeper free role. Angel Di Maria won his 100th cap off the bench last time out, and is likely to start amongst the substitutes for this one.
Brazil v Argentina Preview and Predictions
The standout tie of the Copa America so far sees hosts Brazil take on fierce rivals Argentina in the semi-finals. The 64,000-capacity stadium in Belo Horizonte is set to be a sea of yellow fervently cheering on the Selecao, but that’s far from a guarantee of success.
Both the Brazilian players and supporters will need to forget about their humiliating World Cup exit on home soil five years ago at the last-four stage. There’s pressure on both sides though, and whichever team deals with that will stand the best chance of reaching the final at the Maracana on Sunday.
Neither team has really lit the blue touch paper as of yet this summer, although Brazil did smash five past Peru in their final group game. However, that followed boos at half-time in their opener, while two goalless draws have come since then, including in the last round.
Argentina meanwhile scraped through the group stage by the skin of their teeth, although they’ve been comfortable in winning their last two games 2-0 against both Qatar and Venezuela. Some of La Albiceleste’s big guns are starting to fire though, and that could be crucial here.
Having said that, Brazil’s home advantage sees them start as the 19/20 favourites in the betting. Argentina are 4/1, while the draw after 90 minutes is 5/2. Unlike the last round, the semi-finals can go to extra-time before penalties. With that in mind, Brazil are 2/5 to reach the final by any method, while Argentina are 2/1.
Both teams not to score at 4/6
This bet would’ve paid out in four of the last five meetings between these two countries, including each of the last three.
0-0 after 90 minutes at 13/2
Big games like this are often cagey and the tension can lead to a lack of goals, while Brazil’s quarter-final was goalless too. The Selecao are 8/1 to win on penalties for a second time in a row.