Argentina Squad

Tactical Preview of Argentina going into Copa America 2024

Argentina boasts an experienced and in-form squad as they enter the Copa America 2024, which is going to kick off on 21st June. After leading La Albiceleste to the 2022 Qatar World Cup glory, Lionel Scaloni will now aim to retain the Copa America title that they won in 2021.

Since 2022, Argentina has won nine out of their ten games in 2023. Their international campaign received a much-needed boost before Copa America 2024, when they defeated their arch-rivals Brazil in a World Cup qualifier. Under the stewardship of Scaloni, Argentina has been in fine form and now will look to carry this momentum into the continental soccer tournament.

Despite being favorites, Messi’s side’s plans to win the Copa title might be in jeopardy in the presence of some mighty opponents like Brazil, Chile and Colombia. Before they take on Canada in the curtain-raiser of the Copa America 2024, let’s do a tactical preview of the predicted line-up of Argentina National Football Team.

Argentina National Football Team Predicted Lineup

Off the back of a star-studded squad, Argentina will start their Copa America 2024 campaign as favourites against Canada. The World Cup winners have both experienced and young players in their ranks who have the abilities to steal the show for their team. Argentina has called up the players who have been on song in the recently concluded club season for their respective European teams.

The 2022 World Cup golden glove winner, Emi Martinez will be available for Scaloni’s side. The ever-green Nicolas Otamendi and Cristiano Romero will definitely be Scaloni’s preferred choices in the heart of the defense. As Lisandro Martinez has been out of action for a long time at Manchester United, it will be difficult for him to earn a spot in the starting XI for the Champions. Marcos Acuna and Nicolas Tagliafico are set to make up the full-back positions.

In the middle, Rodrigo De Paul will be the main man to provide assistance to the defensive line, with the help of Enzo Fernandez and Mac Allister. However, Argentina has the likes of Giovani Lo Celso, Leandro Paredes, and Exequiel Palacios, who will certainly come off the bench in the middle of the games. The eight-time Ballon d’Or winner, Lionel Messi will once again be the jewel of the attacking front for Scaloni in Copa. He will be backed-up by another veteran stalwart, Angel de Maria and Julian Alvarez upfront.

Argentina’s predicted lineup: Emi Martinez (GK); Nicolas Otamendi, Cristian Romero, Marcos Acuna, Mahuel Molina; Rodrigo De Paul, Enzo Fernandez, Alexis Mac Allister; Angel Di Maria, Lionel Messi, Julian Alvarez.

Also Read: Copa America top goalscorers of all time (Top 10)

Team Strengths

Argentina are the favorites to defend the Copa America title. As Scaloni looks to win three consecutive major trophies this summer after securing CONMEBOL 2021 and FIFA World Cup 2022 earlier, he has called up a strong and formidable squad for the summer tournament. Let’s have a look at some of the major factors that make Argentina a team to beat.

Squad depth: Scaloni will be able to avail the services of the most of the players in Copa, who featured in the Qatar World Cup’s glorious journey. They have so many quality players in their preliminary squads, they can even name two starting line-ups in the tournament. 

Combination of youth and experience: Four or five players in this Argentina squad have been with the national team for over a decade. Since the heartbreak in the 2014 World Cup final to the victory at Qatar, they have given their all to their nation. Messi, Di Maria and Otamendi will again bring their experience and composure to the field to push the energetic Alvarez, Enzo and Allister to clinch the glory, yet again. 

Versatility: The ever-green Lionel Messi is probably the most versatile player for La Albiceleste alongside Angel Di Maria. They can play anywhere in the field. Even if Scaloni opts for a 4-4-2 shape, Di Maria and Julian Alvarez will play as the two main forwards with Messi at their back as a false 9. 

Momentum: As they are the defending champions of the CONMEBOL, they will try hard to retain the title. After winning the last edition of the Copa in 2021, they also won the FIFA World Cup trophy in 2022 in Qatar. Now, they aim to win their third international title on the trot under the watch of Scaloni. As Messi and Co. have been in a tremendous run of form at the International stage, winning nine out of their last 10 games, they are hungry for more glory and are tough to get past in any match.

Argentina Team Weakness

Despite being the frontrunners to defend the Copa America title, Argentina have some weak spots in their team which might be exploited by the opponents in the upcoming tournament. Here are some major issues that can pose a threat to Argentina’s Copa campaign.

War-weary: Most of the players in this current Argentina squad are the stars in their respective clubs. They have already played a calendar year, and are utterly exhausted by this packed schedule. It will be difficult for them to continue their impressive run at the national level as well.

Dependency on Messi & Di Maria: These two players are the most reliable weapons in Scaloni’s arsenal in terms of scoring goals and providing assists. Whenever they struggled to find a rhythm, Argentina found it difficult to dominate and win a game. Too much dependency on Messi and Di Maria might not be fruitful for the team.

Also Read: Here is list of full schedule of 2024 COPA America warmup matches along with information about doubts over Leo Messi’s participation ahead of the tournament

Argentina’s Key Players to Watch Out for Ahead of Copa America 2024

Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi
Messi with FIFA World Cup trophy (Credit: Twitter)

After enjoying a good season in the MLS, the little magician will now look to entertain Latin American fans with his magic and trickery once again this summer. Recording 15 goals and 13 assists in 21 matches in all competitions this season for Inter Miami, Messi will now turn his focus to adding another international silverware to his tally. He has already amassed 106 goals for his nation.

Alexis Mac Allister

Mac Allister
Mac Allister (Getty Images)

The Argentine has been impressive for Liverpool in the English Premier League this season. The 25-year-old professional scored five goals and assisted five times in the Premier League alone. As he will be playing as an attacking midfielder in Scaloni’s team, he will be instrumental in creating attacking moves for his side.

Nicolas Otamendi

Nicolas Otamendi
Nicolas Otamendi (Credit: Twitter)

The Benfica center-back will once again be charged to oversee the defensive backline for Argentina. The former Manchester City defender is plying his trade in the Portuguese top division and has enjoyed a tremendous individual season at the club level. The 36-year-old professional defied the weariness of age and played 31 games for the Portuguese outfit and became one of the most notable characters in the team. His presence at the back will bring a sense of confidence for Argentina in the Copa America 2024.

Conclusion

Argentina can go all the way to winning their third international trophy this year under their manager, Scaloni. With the perfect blend of youth and experience in the squad, they have the ability to retain the Copa America title being held in the USA.

Also Read: 7 Players From Copa America 2007 are Still Playing in 2024

Next matches