Sam Langston (@Samlan98) previews Argentina v Colombia and provides us with his best bets for Saturday’s Copa América Group B clash by analysing team news, potential line-ups, head-to-head, key stats and facts and more.

  • 2019 Profit & Loss: -0.67pts

Argentina v Colombia Betting Preview, Odds & Tips

  • Date: 15/06/2019
  • Time: 23:00
  • Venue: Fonte Nova Arena
  • Channel: Premier Sports

The two nations that are most fancied to progress to the quarter-finals from Group B begin their Copa América campaigns against each other in Salvador on Saturday evening.

Whilst Colombia are looking for their first tournament triumph since claiming the Copa in 2001, Argentina, who have lost four of this competition’s previous five finals, will be vying to go one better this time round.

This will be a difficult task for La Albiceleste though, who have undergone a major overhaul following their last 16 elimination from the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Former right-back Lionel Scaloni has taken over from Jorge Sampaoli on a caretaker basis and it could require time for the new-look Argentinians to gel and adapt to his direct style.

Just nine of Sampaoli’s World Cup side have survived Scaloni’s cull but there’s still a familiarity to Argentina’s Copa squad despite some drastic personnel changes. Ángel Di María, Sergio Agüero, and Lionel Messi will again be donning the sky blue and white stripes, and it goes without saying, this trio can be deadly if utilised to optimal effect.

Colombia are also undergoing a transitional period heading into this summer’s competition, with ex-Man United assistant and Iran boss Carlos Queiroz recently  replacing the long-serving José Pékerman.

Queiroz has won three of four games, losing one, since being appointed Los Cafeteros coach in February. His side are fourth favourites behind Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay at 9/1 in the outright market and they could represent some value at those quotes. Many expect the Colombians to put in a competitive showing over the next few weeks in Brazil.

Team News

Argentina are expected to revert to a 4-3-3 system here. This could see Ángel Di María and Giovani Lo Celso flank Sergio Agüero, with Lionel Messi operating in-behind the Manchester City forward. Paulo Dybala is likely to be starting on the bench.

Carlos Queiroz’s big dilemma will be whether to start either Radamel Falcao or Duván Zapata up-front. He could, of course, opt for both.

Potential Argentina Starting XI: Armani, Saravia, Pezzella, Otamendi, Tagliafico, Paredes, Rodríguez, Lo Celso, Di María, Agüero, Messi.

Potential Colombia Starting XI: Ospina, Arias, Mina, Sánchez, Tesillo, Barrios, Lerma, Uribe, Cuadrado, Rodríguez, Falcao

Head To Head

  • Argentina have had a stranglehold over the Colombians in recent years. They’ve won four and drawn four of the last eight meetings between the nations.

Key Stats & Facts

  • Argentina’s last piece of silverware came at the Copa América in 1993.
  • Colombia have won six of eight games since exiting the World Cup’s last 16 on penalties to England.

Betting Odds

  • Argentina – 5/4
  • Draw – 9/4
  • Colombia – 27/10

The Verdict

This isn’t an easy fixture to assess. Being the sides’ opening game of the tournament we have no data to rely on and with both nations undergoing periods of change, it’s not set in stone how they may set-up from a tactical viewpoint.

Nevertheless, I was quite keen to back Colombia at odds-against quotes with a +0.25 Asian Handicap start here, but their price has shortened in the last 24 hours and I now think the current market represents fair value.

Ladbrokes have priced up BTTS at 21/20 and I’m happy to capitalize on this instead; most firms have the market odds-on.

Despite being without injured River Plate creator Juanfer Quintero, Colombia still possess a good mix of flair, pace, physicality, and ruthlessness in offensive areas. The old guard of James Rodríguez, Juan Cuadrado, and Radamel Falcao, as well as Atalanta powerhouse Duvan Zapata, have the abilities to exploit this defensively vulnerable Argentina side.

La Albiceleste are still unconvincing at the back for all their quality going forward. Recently, a disastrous wing-back experiment saw Scaloni’s side concede several times in a 3-1 defeat to Venezuela and they also failed to shutout minnows Nicaragua in their latest outing, a 5-1 victory.

Despite this, they should be able to get themselves on the scoresheet against a Colombia defense that is susceptible out wide. Queiroz has been using centre-half William Tesillo in a right-back role, so there could be some joy for Messi and co. if they can isolate him in 1v1 situations.

All-things considered, Both Teams To Score looks a tad generous at odds-against. It’s worth a small investment, with both sides good going forward but susceptible in defensive areas.

Recommended Bets

  • 0.5pts – Both Teams To Score – 21/20 (Ladbrokes)