Perhaps it should come as no surprise that Argentina and host nation Brazil have made it all the way to the Copa America Final this year. The two legendary soccer nations will play for all the marbles on Saturday, July 10th at the famous Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro.
Argentina sneaked past Colombia 3-2 in a penalty shootout in the semifinals after playing to a 1-1, 90-minute draw in Brasilia. They had taken care of Ecuador 3-0 in the quarterfinals after topping Group A during the round-robin segment of the tournament.
During the group stage, Lionel Messi and his teammates drew 1-1 with Chile and followed up with narrow 1-0 triumphs over Uruguay and Paraguay before handing Bolivia a 4-1 loss. The semifinal victory over Colombia extends their unbeaten streak in all competitions to 19 games with 12 wins and seven draws with their last defeat coming against Brazil in the 2019 Copa America semifinals.
Argentina has won the Copa America 14 times and also finished as runners-up a record 14 times since the tournament was first held in 1916 as the South American Championship. However, the country hasn’t managed to win the event since 1993. In addition, Argentina has also won a pair of World Cups, in 1978 and 1986.
Once again, Lionel Messi will be counted on to lead the Argentine attack and enters the Final with four goals and four assists under his belt in this year’s tournament. The squad is quite deep when it comes to offensive-minded players with the likes of Lautaro Martinez, Angel Correa, Nicolas Gonzalez, Sergio Aguero and Angel Di Maria also in the lineup. The solid back line is led by Nicolas Otamendi and German Pezzella while goalkeeper keeper Emiliano Martinez has done a fine job between the goalposts and made three saves in the semifinal shootout vs Colombia.
Brazil reached the Final by taking care of Peru 1-0 in the semifinals and Chile 1-0 in the quarterfinals.
The hosts won Group B in the round-robin stage by drilling Peru 4-0, topping Venezuela 3-0, doubling Colombia 2-1, and drawing Ecuador 1-1.
The Brazilians have outscored their foes 12-2 in the tournament and have posted eight clean sheets in their last nine matches in all competitions. They’re also currently riding a 13-game unbeaten streak at 12 wins and a draw with 10 clean sheets and haven’t lost a Copa America game on home soil in the last 26 outings, dating back to 1975.
The Brazilians are solid in goal with Ederson in charge of the 18-yard box while the back line can always rely on Danilo, Marquinhos and captain Thiago Silva. Fred and Lucas Paqueta are formidable in midfield while the attack is led by Neymar and Richarlison.
Brazil is aiming to hoist the Copa America title for the 10th time in history and they’ve finished as runners up on 11 occasions. Their last triumph came in 2019 when they downed Peru 3-0 at home and they enter this match as reigning champions. However, the Copa America trophy has been successfully defended just twice before throughout the tournament’s history. Brazil has also captured the World Cup five times in the past and finished as runners-up twice.
Lionel Messi is still waiting to win his first piece of silverware with Argentina after previously playing in one World Cup and three Copa America Finals. He played in the 2007 Copa America Final against Brazil but came out on the wrong end of a 3-0 decision.
As far as injuries and suspensions are concerned, Alex Sandro and Felipe Monteiro are questionable for Brazil due to injuries while forward Gabriel Jesus is still suspended due to his red card in the quarterfinals against Chile.
The historic Argentina vs Brazil rivalry is known as the Superclásico de las Américas by most fans or the Battle of the Americas. The two teams met officially for the first time in 1914 and according to FIFA, they’ve faced each other 104 times with Brazil leading the rivalry at 48 wins, 34 losses and 25 draws while outscoring Argentina 166 to 161. Their last clash resulted in a 1-0 Argentina victory on Nov. 15, 2019 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
The teams have met in three previous Copa America Finals with Argentina winning at home in 1937 and Brazil taking it in 2004 in Peru and in Venezuela in 2007. The sides have also finished as champion or runners to each other up in Copa America tournaments which were decided by points earned in round-robin group play.
The host nation heads into this classic Final clash as the favorite as the current Bet365 odds have them listed at 11/10 while Argentina is 11/4 with a draw at 9/4 following 90 minutes of action. There are also numerous other team and individual wagers to be made on this historic match such as the correct score, half-time result, over/under, method of victory, both teams to score, first, last and anytime goalscorer and winning margin etc.
Don’t forget you can also wager on the contest while it’s in progress with Bet365’s live in-play betting options.