Brazil vs. Argentina headlines this week’s set of international friendlies. This edition of the Superclasico de las Americas will be held down under in Melbourne, Australia, on June 9. It is also the first game for Argentina’s new manager Jorge Sampaoli, who took over his country’s national team last month from Edgardo Bauza.
Sampaoli will have the luxury of having Lionel Messi on his squad against a short-handed Brazil team without Neymar, Dani Alves, Marquinhos, Ederson, Marcelo, and Roberto Firmino. Brazil manager Tite decided to give more time off to his players since they have already secured a spot in the 2018 World Cup unlike Argentina.
La Albiceleste currently sits fifth in the qualifying table with only the top four teams guaranteed of a ticket to the 2018 World Cup. According to ESPN, Sampaoli is going to deploy a 3-4-2-1 formation in his first game in charge of Argentina with Lionel Messi and Paulo Dybala playing behind Gonzalo Higuain. The former Chile and Sevilla manager wants to play a similar style to Barcelona in order to maximize Messi’s greatness.
“The generational replacements will be done with time. It will be gradual and consistent with what the national team needs. We have to find something in Argentina that is similar with Barcelona’s style of play for Messi to perform better. Messi and Dybala are very important for Argentina. Messi has exceeded my expectations. He’s very simple and humble, he’s a positive leader.”
On the other hand, Tite and his players are confident that they can beat Argentina even without Neymar and most of their defense. In a press conference in Australia (h/t Goal.com), Willian believes that he and other Brazil players can make up for their teammates’ absence. He noted that Brazil has the depth to beat a complete Argentina team.
“Of course, to be missing Neymar for this game is difficult because we know what quality he provides to us but I think we have enough players to make up for the difference. We have a great team, a great squad, so we have to show that on Friday.”
According to 101 Great Goals, Brazil boss Tite is going to use a 4-3-3 formation with Willian, Gabriel Jesus, and Philippe Coutinho up front. The Brazil midfield is going to be comprised by mainstays Renato Augusto, Paulinho, and Fernandinho while the defense is anchored by captain Thiago Silva. Filipe Luis, Gil, Fagner, and goalkeeper Weverton rounds out the defense.
As for Argentina, it was mentioned earlier that Jorge Sampaoli will deploy a 3-4-2-1 formation with Lionel Messi and Paulo Dybala playing behind Gonzalo Higuain. The midfield is going to feature Angel Di Maria, Ever Banega, Lucas Biglia, and Eduardo Salvio. Finally, the Argentina defense will have goalkeeper Sergio Romero with a three-man defense of Nicolas Otamendi, Emmanuel Mammana, and Gabriel Mercado.
Brazil is on a nine-game winning streak that started in September 2016 with a 3-0 win over Ecuador in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers. The selecao also won their last match against Argentina on November 10, 2016, by a score of 3-0. Brazil’s last match was on March 29 when they defeated Paraguay, 3-0.
On the other hand, Argentina has only won three out of its last five matches. They lost to Paraguay and Brazil in September 2016 before getting wins over Colombia and Chile. However, Argentina suffered a surprise 2-0 defeat to Bolivia that led to Jorge Sampaoli’s hiring.
Brazil vs. Argentina is going to take place on June 9, Friday, at the Melbourne Cricket Park in Melbourne, Australia. It will be shown live on beIN Sports at 6:05 a.m. Eastern Time and 11:05 a.m. British Summer Time. Fans can also watch Brazil vs. Argentina via live stream on beIN Sports CONNECT and fuboTV.
[Featured Image by Pedro Vilela/Getty Images]