ARGENTINA were in full flow during their friendly against Nicaragua, winning 5-1 and controlling the game from start to finish. Braces from Lionel Messi and Lautaro Martinez were capped by a Roberto Pereyra goal.
This was a second win in a row for Lionel Scaloni’s men who also beat Morocco 1-0 away in March. This was just what they needed heading into a tournament at which the Albiceleste have made four of the last five finals.
Argentina’s senior players have played in plenty of big matches before and are well-placed to advise their youngsters. Lionel Messi can lead from the front and heads into the Copa America in fine form after winning the European Golden Shoe for a third successive season.
Los Cafeteros saw off Peru 3-0 in their last friendly but were helped by a 55th minute red card to Yoshimar Yotun. Carlos Queiroz’s men only just edged Peru in terms of possession and shots at goal but buried their chances.
Colombia’s record at major tournaments pales in comparison to Argentina’s. Los Cafeteros have never made a FIFA World Cup semifinal and have not played in a Copa America final since 2001.
Lionel Messi has scored five goals in his last three matches for club and country and is fresh off securing the European Golden Shoe with 36 goals. Sergio Aguero meanwhile netted 21 in the English Premier League to help Manchester City to the title.
Colombia do not have players quite as threatening as Messi and Aguero although they do have Radamel Falcao, Duvan Zapata and James Rodriguez.
Prediction: Both teams to score and over 2.5 match goals.