Copa America final: Argentina vs. Brazil match preview, Lionel Messi vs. Neymar


The biggest rivalry in South American football is on: Argentina will face Brazil this Saturday in the Copa America final, at the Maracanã Stadium. With Messi and Neymar as the stars of their squads, both national teams will seek to lift the trophy.

As throughout the whole tournament, Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni has not confirmed the lineup yet. With some doubts, according to the national media, this would be Argentina’s starting eleven vs. Brazil:

On the other hand, Brazil’s coach Tite seems to have fewer uncertainties in his team’s lineup. During the whole Copa America, Tite has not made many changes between matches. The final would not be the exception.

Brazil will not be able to count on two players that are usually starters. One of them is Gabriel Jesus, who will be serving the second of a two-game suspension for the karate kick he delivered against Chile. The other one is Alex Sandro, who will miss the final due to a left hamstring injury.

Per reports by the Brazilian media, this would be Brazil’s starting eleven vs. Argentina:

Even though hosts Brazil have shown a good level throughout the whole Copa America and from the very beginning they became the main favorites to lift the trophy, the “seleção” had also shown some low performances in some aspects of their game.

During the group stage, Brazil defeated Venezuela 3-0, Peru 4-0, and Colombia 2-1. In their last game in group B, they drew 1-1 vs. Ecuador, where they mixed some starters with substitutes. In the knockout phase, they beat Chile 1-0 in the quarterfinal and Peru 1-0 in the semifinal.

On the other hand, Argentina repeated pattern throughout the whole Copa America and the last two qualifying games: they take the lead early playing good football and after that, the team’s level starts to go down.

Like Brazil, Argentina advanced as group winners. The Albiceleste drew 1-1 with Chile in their opening match and won 1-0 vs. Uruguay. Then, they defeated Paraguay 1-0, and Bolivia 4-1. In the quarterfinal match, Argentina defeated Ecuador 3-0, and in the semifinal, they won over Colombia through a penalty shootout (3)1-1(2).

Both Lionel Messi and Neymar have been key players for their countries on the road to the final. In addition, both are looking forward to win their first Copa America. They both did it with the U-23 in the Olympics: Messi in Beijing 2008 and Neymar in Rio 2016. Neymar was part of the Brazil team which won the 2013 Confederations Cup and while Brazil lifted the Copa America in 2019, Neymar couldn’t play due to an injury.

Although the “Clásico de las Américas” record is extremely close, Brazil leads by two over Argentina. In 107 games played, Brazil won 42 times, Argentina 40, while they drew 25. Here, the scores from the last five games between Argentina and Brazil:

November 15th, 2019 – Friendly
Brazil 0-1 Argentina

July 2nd, 2019 – Copa America (semi-final)
Brazil 2-0 Argentina

October 16th, 2018 – Friendly
Argentina 0-1 Brazil

June 9th, 2017 – Friendly
Brazil 0-1 Argentina

November 10th, 2016 – World Cup Qualifiers
Brazil 3-0 Argentina

Unlike the quarter finals and semi finals of the Copa America, in case of a draw after 90 minutes, there will be extra time, then possible penalties. The referee will be Esteban Ostojich of Uruguay.


  1. Richarlison is used on their left flank a lot to combine with Neymar. Of course Lodi will be there as well for support. I am guessing that is why Scaloni’s counter to this is to use a slightly more defensively right back (montiel) and de paul to keep it covered. Also I imagine di maria will be used to attack and push back the Brazilian left channel (from our right) so that the gaps for their offensive triangles from that side will be larger. I think its fairly aggressive from that viewpoint.

    Also Acuna will have to do a lot of work to stretch the field on our left, as we know lo celso won’t drift that far out wide and prefers to stay inside, but el huevo is capable of that. Hopefully he is able to recover ground in time though.

    Only guesses for now. In 45 minutes we will find out. Vamos Hermanos! See you on the other side!
    Off to do some breathing exercises to calm down now.

  2. A 4312 with DiMaria at free role….! Messi and DiMaria exchanging their position frequently..! Make it unpredictable and hard for Brazil.
    Vamos Argentina.

    • Di Maria has been great of course coming on as a sub but him and Messi occupy too much of the same space for me. Hasn’t been a problem in matches so far cause Di Maria came in when things were kind of a mess. In a set kind of offense, the type we have been playing in the first half it might be a problem. Gonzalez adds more balance.

      Montiel and Molina are about the same.
      I wanted Guido for Paredes but after the Colombia match they both seem to be equally effective as DMs.
      So these 2 changes are not a big deal.

  3. Guys, this is our last chance. This is the big day. 1 hour left until all our dreams and ambitions are tested.

    I wonder what will happen. Will we falter again? Or will we seal the deal once and for all?

    I am concerned about Quatar because if this doesn’t go out way, Leo and a lot of the previous gen players may retire. It can be a great send off or a bad one.

    Best of luck to all of Argentina 🇦🇷!

    VAMOS ARGENTINA!!!! 🇦🇷🇦🇷🇦🇷

  4. Why Montiel ,Mollina should have started. Montiel does not do mistakes but Mollina was consistently good in Group stages and in KO games.

  5. All the best to all the fans and friends of this blog best of luck to team Argentina. I don’t have the courage to see this match i will sleep and will be praying that after waking up i will see the good news of Argentina winning with brace from messi. Scaloni picked a decent side though i feel guido should have played in place of paredes.

  6. Ultimately Molina vs. Montiel goes down to who Scaloni thinks can defend against Neymar better. I don’t know why people are acting like we just ignored Zanetti over him. Both are weak. Let’s hope Montiel has a good game just for today.

  7. As others have pointed out..

    —————Toro – Messi

    Di Maria – Lo Celso – Paredes – De Paul

    -Acuna – Otamendi – Romero – Molina


  8. I don’t know what jersey to put on.
    Maybe I should just get naked before our victory rather than after. We should have an option to upload pictures and videos so that I can show everyone the cops arresting me tonight for running in the streets naked with only AFA long socks on.

  9. getting ready … wearing my argentina jersey and going for a trek ..As I do adventure sports and experiences I had blocked this day to do nothing..
    sorry i chickened out guys 👦.
    got a call in the evening for just 2 ppl and I said yes …. almost nothing can pull me down after a good adventure hope argentina win and all the best my brothers having the courage to watch this game..


    Bestow PITY on your BELOVED son MESSI. You have tested your son for too long and he has never disregarded you. Accepted all the blow and misery and kept moving forward.

    I as an ARGENTINIAN fan leaves all this to you.

    MOTHER don’t you want to see your son happy and smiling?

    Fill and BLESS your SON MESSI with all your luck.

    Amen. 🙏🙏

  11. reports are now saying emi, montiel, romero, otamendi, acuna, de paul, paredes, lo celso, di maria, lautaro and messi.
    i assume a wide 442 with di maria to keep the dangerous brazilian left wing pinned back.
    i don’t know if i will be able to watch till the end if it is tight, which it should be.

  12. Romero will play if fit.

    All hands on deck, LOCKDOWN on defense and all they can do is give it their utmost and the rest is in the hands of a greater power.
    GOD willing, we will be victorious.

  13. Honestly, Scaloni might mot be the best coach but he has been very lucky in several matches. Hope this good run continues tonight. It’s a 50/50 match. We can’t make any silly mistakes in defense or miss any must-score chance.. If Brazil plays better and win, so be it. But we have to do our best. Vamos!!!!

  14. Took a shower. Getting ready. Taking a different strategy this time. Wearing a Batitusta jersey (Fiorentina one) instead of one of my Argentina jerseys. His goal was the last one that gave us a trophy back in 93. I still remember vividly, throw in from Simone and goal.

    Lets do it!!! Time has come!

  15. It seems like Romero has been upgraded from Ruled out -> highly unlikely/doubtful -> unlikely
    -> questionable and now it is “probable” in less than 3 hours to go.

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