Just four days after kicking off their 2021 Copa America run with a 1-1 draw with Chile, Argentina will now take on Uruguay this Friday.
Following three consecutive draws in all competitions, Argentina have yet to truly hit the high ambitions that many have put upon them.
As for Uruguay, they also seem to have a recent tendency towards low-scoring results that end in a point apiece.
|It should prove to be a thrilling rivalry game between the South American neighbors, but once the final whistle blows, another tie could define the scoreline. Pick the draw!|
|Argentina vs Uruguay Information|
|Teams||Argentina vs Uruguay|
|Location||Estadio Nacional Mane Garrincha (Brasilia, Brazil)|
|Time||Friday, June 18th at 8:00 pm ET|
|How to Watch||Univision, TUDN, FS2|
Will it be the one we saw during the 1st half of their latest 1-1 result in the Copa America? Led by Lionel Messi, Argentina were dominant during the first 45 minutes against Chile.
With Messi’s world-class golazo as the highlight, Argentina looked energized as they created numerous chances in the final third and held Chile to just one shot.
Problem is, that energy quickly ran out in the 2nd half.
Thanks to some tactical alterations from manager Martin Lasarte, Chile quickly bounced back and equalized the scoreline in the 57th minute.
And although Chile never found a game-winner, the match that ultimately ended 1-1 showcased some issues that remain for Argentina…
After an incredible start to the game, Argentina eventually and immediately lost control once the 2nd half started.
The midfield began looking static, and in defense, there were some questionable moments from Nicolas Otamendi and Lucas Martinez Quarta.
Argentina manager Lionel Scaloni must tweak and adjust these problems that could once again reemerge — especially against rivals that have every reason to believe they can at least claim a draw.
Let’s dive into Uruguay’s latest games.
Regardless of the fact that they were scoreless in their two previous 0-0 draws, Lasarte’s men were also outstanding in defense.
Looking at some xG (expected goals) numbers from Wyscout, Uruguay held Venezuela to just a 0.87 rating and Paraguay to a 0.45 rating in Conmebol’s World Cup qualifiers earlier this month.
Glancing back even further to their 2-0 defeat by Brazil in November of 2020, it’s also worth noting that the scoreline was perhaps misleading after Uruguay held Brazil to a 0.34 xG tally.
It’s a lot of numbers to go through, but even when casually watching Uruguay, it’s quite clear that they’ve recently done a good job of denying quality goalscoring chances for their opponents.
And yet, as impressive as they’ve looked defensively, do they have enough to create enough chances to snatch a win?
Even if Messi has a good day in the office, Uruguay are more than capable of stifling the player and making it difficult for him to find the back of the net more than once over 90 minutes.
In theory, that’s where Uruguay’s frontline can charge forward and potentially secure the win, but do they have the attacking statistics to back that up?
Despite a couple of high-scoring battles in World Cup qualifying, Uruguay are currently in a goal drought that has extended over their last three matches.
And speaking of World Cup qualifying, in their six games they’ve played since last year, they’ve only scored seven times.
Whether this form will continue into the Copa America remains up in the air.
With talented names like Luis Suarez, Edinson Cavani and Jonathan Rodriguez involved in the attack, it’s only a matter of time before they turn things around.
But will it be by this Friday?
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Freelance writer Cesar Hernandez is a specialist in all things American and Mexican soccer. He has written for ESPN FC, The Athletic, The Guardian, FourFourTwo, VICE Sports and several other publications. Along with writing and previous radio appearances on the BBC, talkSPORT and SiriusXM FC, Cesar is also a member of the Mexican Soccer Show podcast. Email: [email protected]More info on Cesar Hernandez
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