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Preview: Argentina vs. Paraguay - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Tuesday's Copa America clash between Argentina and Paraguay, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Argentina take on Paraguay in Copa America group action on Tuesday knowing that a win will see them confirm their qualification for the quarter-finals.

Lionel Scaloni's side sit at the top of their group with four points from their opening two games, while their opponents have had the perfect start to the tournament as they defeated Bolivia 3-1 in their only group game so far.


Match preview

 Argentina manager Lionel Scaloni on June 14, 2021© Reuters

Argentina did not enjoy an ideal start to the Copa America, as they took on Chile on the opening day.

Scaloni's men took an early lead thanks to an eye-catching Lionel Messi free kick, but they squandered plenty of opportunities later in the half to double their lead and put the game out of sight.

They would go on to rue those missed chances when they conceded a penalty on the hour mark, as Emiliano Martinez saved Arturo Vidal's initial spot kick but was powerless to stop Eduardo Vargas pouncing on the rebound to pinch a point for his nation.

However, La Albiceleste bounced back instantly from that disappointing result, as they won a crucial game against fellow Group B favourites Uruguay.

Guido Rodriguez netted the only goal of the game in the 13th minute to see Argentina record their first win of the group stage, moving to a tally of four points.

With four teams qualifying for the final eight out of a five-team group, their work is almost done, and they will aim to record another win on Tuesday to confirm their qualification.

Their opponents also find themselves in a strong position to qualify out of Group B, having won their opening game.

Paraguay team huddle before the match on June 9, 2021© Reuters

Paraguay kicked off their Copa America campaign in the best manner possible, defeating Bolivia 3-1.

Despite Eduardo Berizzo's side dominating throughout the game, it was Bolivia that led from the 10th minute as Paraguay failed to take advantage of an abundance of changes.

They finally managed to click in front of goal on the hour mark though, as Alejandro Romero equalised in the 62nd minute and Angel Romero put them ahead three minutes later, before he hit his second of the game in the 80th minute.

Having missed out on the last gameweek, Berizzo's side now go into three crucial matches in quick succession, knowing that one win should be enough to see them through to the knockout stage, and they will look to defy the odds and secure that victory on Tuesday to leapfrog Argentina.

Argentina Copa America form:
  • D
  • W

Argentina form (all competitions):
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • D
  • W

Paraguay Copa America form:
  • W

Paraguay form (all competitions):
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • D
  • L
  • W



Team News

Argentina's Lionel Messi celebrates scoring their first goal on June 14, 2021© Reuters

Argentina will be led by talisman Lionel Messi, who again shone with a Man of the Match award for his nation last time out, as he was a constant threat while also setting up the winning goal.

Midfielder Guido Rodriguez earned himself another start for the coming game as he netted the winner in that game, having played a dynamic midfield performance.

He was brought in for Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Leandro Paredes, playing in between Giovani Lo Celso and Rodrigo De Paul, arguably two of the standout performers at the tournament so far.

At the back, Nicolas Otamendi looked inspired in the recent 1-0 win, and he should lead the back line again alongside Cristian Romero.

Sergio Aguero was limited to another substitute appearance, and the new Barcelona forward will be desperate for a starting spot, although Scaloni seems set on his front three.

Winger Angel Romero will star in the Paraguay attacking line, after he netted a brace last time out.

Alejandro Romero, who netted the equaliser in that game, should operate on the other flank in an exciting attacking line.

After a solid performance in the opening game, the back four of Alberto Espinola, Gustavo Gomez, Junior Alonso and Santiago Arzamendia should feature, as they look to neutralise one of the world's standout front lines.

Argentina possible starting lineup:
E Martinez; Molina, Otamendi, Romero, Acuna; De Paul, Rodriguez, Lo Celso; Messi, L Martinez, Gonzalez

Paraguay possible starting lineup:
Silva; Espinola, Gomez, Alonso, Arzamendia; Piris, Villasanti; Alejandro Romero, Almiron, Angel Romero; Avalos


SM words green background

We say: Argentina 2-0 Paraguay

Although Paraguay undoubtedly look an exciting proposition, this classy Argentina side should have more than enough to come away from Tuesday's encounter with a victory.

They looked particularly solid at the back when tested against a good Uruguay front line, and those foundations could allow for an open attacking performance.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data


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How you voted: Argentina vs Paraguay

Argentina
87.9%
Draw
7.1%
Paraguay
5.0%
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Argentina's Lionel Messi celebrates scoring their first goal on June 14, 2021
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ChinaChina32211669
United StatesUnited States25292276
JapanJapan2071239
AustraliaAustralia1541736
Great BritainGreat Britain14181547
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Wednesday's key events


SKATEBOARDING
· Team GB starlet Sky Brown - aged just 13 - takes part in the women's park event and has a realistic chance of picking up a medal too. Bombette Martin is Britain's other representative, while hosts Japan are among the favourites for gold (1am)

HOCKEY
· Great Britain's women have more history in their sights heading into their semi-final against Netherlands - the team they beat in the 2016 gold medal match (2.30am)

ATHLETICS
· The men's 400m hurdles final on Tuesday will go down as one of the greatest Olympic races of all time, and the women will attempt to emulate that, with new world record holder Sydney McLaughlin of USA and Netherlands' Femke Bol the favourites for gold (3.30am)
· Nick Miller is Britain's representative in the men's hammer throw final (12.15pm)
· The men's 800m final could be a wide-open affair (1.05pm)
· A thrilling men's 200m final is in store as the likes of Andre de Grasse, Noah Lyles and 17-year-old sensation Erriyon Knighton bid to succeed Usain Bolt as Olympic champion (1.55pm)

SAILING
· After a medal-laden day on the water on Tuesday, Great Britain will be looking for more success, starting with Luke Patience and Chris Grube in the men's 470-class medal race (6.33am)
· Team GB also have medal hopes in the women's event, with defending champion Hannah Mills looking to retain her crown alongside new teammate Eilidh McIntyre (7.33am)

BOXING
· Already guaranteed at least a bronze, Great Britain's Frazer Clarke faces Uzbekistan's Bakhodir Jalolov in the men's super heavyweight with a place in the gold medal bout up for grabs (7.03am)
· Ben Whittaker is also guaranteed a medal, but will look to ensure that is either gold or silver as he takes on Cuba's Arlen Lopez in the light heavyweight final (7.35am)

CYCLING
· World records have been tumbling in the velodrome, and another could go in the men's team pursuit final as Italy - new world record holders themselves - face Denmark (10.06am)

EQUESTRIAN
· Three Brits have made into into the final of the men's jumping individual final, including fastest qualifier Ben Maher, who will bid to inherit compatriot Nick Skelton's Olympic crown (11am)

> Today's schedule in full
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