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  • June 9, 2012
  • • 20:06
  • • MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey
  • Referee: J. Marrufo
  • • Attendance: 81994

Argentina - Brazil Preview: Rivals collide as Messi & Co. take on Menezes' Olympic hopefuls

Argentina - Brazil Preview: Rivals collide as Messi & Co. take on Menezes' Olympic hopefuls


Alejandro Sabella's side will be at full strength when they take on a relatively inexperienced Selecao outfit in their final warm-up game before the tournament in England



Zabaleta, Garay, Masch'no, Fern'z, Rodrig'z
Salvio, Gago, Di Maria
Aguero, Messi


Danilo, Juan, Bruno Uvini, Marcelo
Romulo, Sandro
Hulk, Oscar, Neymar
Leandro Damiao

Alejandro Sabella's side are coming into the match off the back off an impressing 4-0 win over Ecuador in World Cup qualifying. Despite that the 57-year-old has sought to shake things up and has been testing out a 5-3-2 in training that would see Javier Mascherano move into the defence.

However, with Mascherano and Sergio Aguero picking up bookings in that match that rule them out of the Albiceleste's next qualifier, Sabella could choose to line up in a 4-4-2 but opt for different personnel. Agustin Orion is likely to be given a chance between the sticks at the expense of Sergio Romero.

Brazil's Olympic hopefuls impressed with wins over both Denmark and the United States in the past two weeks before a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Mexico brought expectations back down to earth.

Mano Menezes faces one key injury worry with Thiago Silva unlikely to recover from a knock in time for the clash. Bruno Uvini will thus partner Juan Jesus at the back, giving Brazil a defence with an average age of just over 21.

The rest of the team is likely to remain the same but Menezes may decide to bring in a new name to the attack with Hulk possibly making way for Wellington Nem.

  • This will be the 98th meeting between the two nations with Argentina narrowly trailing their close rivals. They have just 35 wins to Brazil's 37.
  • Argentina have won just once in the last eight occasions that the pair have met, suffering five defeats in the process.
  • The loss to Mexico last weekend brought an end to eight consecutive wins for Brazil.
  • The Selecao came out on top the last time these two teams met. A 2-0 victory was enough to claim the newly-instated Superclasico de las America trophy on aggregate.
  • With Mano Menzes using the friendly to choose his Under-23 side for the Olympic Games, Botafogo goalkeeper Jefferson is the oldest member of the squad at just 28-years of age.

Players to watch

L. Messi

Position: Attacker

Games: 1

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
The Argentine superstar had his most successful season at club level and finally looks to be translating such form to the international level. He has found the net no fewer than five times in his last three games with the Albiceleste and will provide the inexperienced Brazil defence with the toughest task they have ever faced. If he drops too deep he will need to be wary of Romulo and Sandro who will be watching him like a hawk but even if he is not directly involved he can create space for others. His intricate dribbling and electric pace make him one of the trickiest forwards to defend against and you would not bet against him weaving his magic once more.


Position: Attacker

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
The 20-year-old has shown a different side to his game in the recent friendlies with a far less individual display. He has looked to involve his team-mates with an increased pass rate whilst standing up defenders and seeking out another yellow shirt. His link-up with Marcelo on the left flank will provide Argentina with much cause for concern as the pair have already formed a telepathic understanding. However, when things were not going the way of his side agaisnt Mexico he reverted to trying to do everything himself and frequently ran into trouble. He will no doubt be thrilled by the opportunity to line up opposite Messi again and will hope to give a better account of himself than he did in the Club World Cup final.

Editor's Prediction

It could well be a tight game as Brazil have shown a preference to control possession in their recent outings but will face a potentially devastating counterattack. With an inexperienced defence also likely to come up against Lionel Messi it seems inevitable that Argentina will be able to find the net on more occasions than their opponents. The Selecao do have a wealth of talent in attack however and will be more than capable of grabbing a goal themselves, yet this test may prove too much for this Olympic side.

Last Five Matches

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Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Argentina ARG
Argentina Argentina
Brazil BRA
Brazil Brazil

Top 3 Predictions

Argentina ARG
3 - 1
Brazil BRA
Argentina ARG
2 - 1
Brazil BRA
Argentina ARG
1 - 2
Brazil BRA