Argentina v Chile – Corinthians Arena at 20:00 GMT+1 live at Premier Sports
Old South American rivals Argentina and Brazil produced a match that would live long in the memory when locking horns at the semi-final stage of this summer’s Copa America. La Albiceleste pushed the tournament hosts harder than many anticipated but Lionel Messi and co eventually came up short.
Argentina have grown throughout the competition. After a shambolic opening encounter against Colombia, caretaker coach Lionel Scaloni has disregarded his original concept for a direct approach from the flanks and stumbled into a more coherent, aesthetically-pleasing passing system through the centre of the park.
La Albiceleste gave as good as they got against Brazil. The underperforming outfit enjoyed large slices of possession, had two penalty shouts dismissed and hit the woodwork twice. But they remain a team with limitations and Argentina were a touch naïve to concede the second goal via a counter-attack that exposed their ongoing defensive frailties.
Messi – who’s endured an unusually quiet competition – stepped up to the plate in the semi-final showdown with a number of eye-catching interventions. However, Argentina’s race was run due to their lack of speed at the back, their paucity of agility and ability and defence – issues without a quick fix.
Chile suffer surprise defeat
Back-to-back Copa America champions Chile will hand over their crown this weekend after a surprise 3-0 loss to Peru in the final-four. La Roja weren’t expected to feature in the battle for top honours pre-tournament with an ageing squad appearing to be past their best during head coach Reinaldo Rueda’s reign.
Having to fend off demanding supporters and media pressure over the past 12 months to deliver a series of eye-catching efforts, Rueda’s smart tinkering and tiny tweaks had pushed Chile into consideration once more. However, few neutrals anticipated seeing La Roja fold against old rivals Peru last time out.
Peru pressed high and aggressively, and once they took a lead midway through the first 45 minutes, Chile were in trouble. With eight outfield starters aged 29 or older on the field, the old guard were being harried and hustled on the ball, and asked to chase the game when looking for a route back into the contest.
The betting angle
Traditionally, third place play-off matches are high-scoring affairs across all major tournaments. With the losing semi-finalists often rotating their squads for their last outing of the competition, plus a relaxed atmosphere, there’s certainly scope for a more open, interesting and watchable affair.
Six of the past 10 Copa America third-place play-off games have featured Over 2.5 Goals with those encounters averaging 2.90 goals per-game. Both Chile and Argentina boast the firepower– and defensive concerns – in their rosters to suggest a similar outcome could be expected on Saturday night, making Over 2.50 Goals the most appealing play at 1.85.
Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Over 2.50 goals at 1.850
Preview by: @MarkOHaire.