Brazil v Argentina Preview

Friendly | Saturday 11 October | Beijing National Stadium | 14:05




South American heavyweights Brazil and Argentina will face off in one of the greatest ongoing battles in world football on Saturday at the Beijing National Stadium. 


Both fierce and friendly, it is like an intense sibling rivalry between high-achieving, alpha-male brothers who occasionally come to blows. 

As with many great rivalries, their styles are complementary. The Argentines would love to play football as fancy as the Brazilians, and the Brazilians would love to play with the drive and will that the Argentines have. 

Brazil are ranked 6th in Fifa rankings while Argentina lie four places above in 2nd. 


To Win (90mins)
Brazil 31/20
Draw 22/10
Argentina 31/20

BRAZIL


After a successful start, overcoming both Ecuador and Colombia 1-0 in USA last month, 1994 World Cup-winning captain Dunga will be keen to continue building momentum ahead of next summer's Copa America—the first key step of his four-year plan. 

There is much still to come together in Brazil's planning for the next stage of their development and a win over Argentina will give Dunga’s side a major lift ensuring that they’re on the right track. 

Brazil have had the better head-to-head record against their opponents, having played each other on 22 occasions, winning 14 times with three draws and just five losses. 

Despite that impressive record over their rivals, the Samba Boys have floundered over the last decade and are no longer considered the major force they once were on the international stage. 

Since that last world-title win in 2002, brought about in no small part to the trio of R’s; Rivaldo, Ronaldinho and Ronaldo, there has only been abject disappointment. 

The Confederations Cup aside, Brazil’s biggest issue in recent years has been beating sides traditionally seen as major powers of world football. 

Against Argentina in Beijing, they will encounter one such opponent. With next summer’s Copa America in mind, the result of this tie in Beijing could be important to the confidence of the team heading into the competition. 

Brazil’s players need to believe they can beat their Argentine rivals. Argentina will be full of confidence following an excellent World Cup showing and, in spite of the location, neither side will want to concede defeat to their neighbours. 

Dunga’s side will get a quick indication of their current level. Neymar will be Brazil’s greatest attacking threat going forward along with Chelsea duo Oscar and Willian who both starred in Brazil’s victory over Ecuador, with the latter scoring the only goal of the match. 

Santos forward Robinho, who was left out of the Selecao's World Cup squad in June, is also in the squad.   

Brazil squad:
Goalkeepers: Jefferson (Botafogo), Rafael (Napoli), Marcelo Grohe (Gremio)
Defenders: David Luiz (Paris Saint-Germain), Marquinhos (Paris Saint-Germain), Gil (Corinthians), Miranda (Atletico Madrid), Filipe Luis (Chelsea), Danilo (FC Porto), Mario Fernandes (CSKA Moscow), Dodo (Inter Milan)
Midfielders: Luiz Gustavo (Wolfsburg), Elias (Corinthians), Fernandinho (Man City), Souza (Sao Paulo), Everton Ribeiro (Cruzeiro), Willian (Chelsea), Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool), Oscar (Chelsea), Kaka (Sao Paulo)
Forwards: Neymar (Barcelona), Diego Tardelli (Atletico Mineiro), Ricardo Goulart (Cruzeiro), Robinho (Santos).


ARGENTINA

New Argentina coach Gerardo Martino could not have asked for a better start to his career at the helm of La Albiceleste. 

The nation kicked off a new era with a resounding 4-2 friendly win over star studded Germany, showing a verve and dynamism which was not too evident during an otherwise extremely impressive World Cup campaign. 

That squad, however, was homage to ex-trainer Alejandro Sabella. Martino had made it clear from his first day that his debut would be a reward to those who fought to the final in Brazil. 

Now, the ex-Barcelona coach has showed his hand with a squad that brings several forgotten men back into the fold. 

Derbies against Brazil are always tough affairs but Argentina did manage to win the last encounter 2-1 in 2012. 

The inclusion of Nicolas Otamendi to take on Brazil is a just reward. The Valencia defender has been in brilliant form as Los Che have taken La Liga by storm, even getting up the other end and scoring to seal a vital victory over Atletico Madrid last weekend. 

A place alongside Ezequiel Garay in the Argentina defence is wide open. A good display against Brazil would see Otamendi leapfrog the likes of Martin Demichelis and Federico Fernandez to claim the spot as his own. 

With defenders chasing Lionel Messi around, Angel Di Maria makes the most of spaces and will run defences ragged. 

The Manchester United winger has lit up the Premier League after signing from Real Madrid, netting three goals with three assists in five starts. 

Few players have improved as much as the lanky left-footed winger over the last three years. Di Maria has transformed his game, adding intelligence and restraint to his raw dribbling talent to become one of the world's most effective wide men. 

To put it simply, the Rosario man could play in almost any position and still be an asset. He could cause the Brazilian defence all kinds of problems with his pace and trickery. 

Argentina squad:
Goalkeepers: Sergio Romero (Sampdoria) Nahuel Guzman (Tigres)
Defenders: Mateo Musacchio (Villarreal), Pablo Zabaleta (Manchester City), Martin Demichelis (Manchester City), Marcos Rojo (Manchester United), Santiago Vergini (Sunderland), Federico Fernandez (Swansea City), Nicolas Otamendi (Valencia)
Midfielders: Javier Mascherano (Barcelona), Lucas Biglia (Lazio), Javier Pastore (Paris Saint-Germain), Roberto Pereyra (Juventus), Angel Di Maria (Manchester United), Erik Lamela (Tottenham Hotspur), Enzo Perez (Benfica), Nicolas Gaitan (Benfica)
Forwards: Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Sergio Ag├╝ero (Manchester City), Gonzalo Higuain (Napoli).


Betting Verdict: ARGENTINA 31/20
Both teams boast an enviable array of attacking talents which could see an open game with defences exposed. Brazil and Argentina thrive on fast, one touch attack rather than out an out physicality. The array of attacking prowess and creative talent that will take to the pitch is phenomenal and the skill set to be showcased will be superb. I foresee goals in this game and the over 2.5 goals looks a profitable bet at 7/10. With that being said, World Cup finalists Argentina should edge past a Brazil side still trying to find their way. 

Written by Chadley Nagel for @Hollywoodbets. Follow them both on Twitter and Facebook now! 

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