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Copa America Final Preview: Chile seek to break jinx as Messi chases first trophy with Argentina

There are a lot of firsts involved in the 2015 Copa America final at the Estadio Nacional Julio Martínez Prádanos on Saturday as Chile will try to win their first Copa trophy while Argentina, 14-time Copa winners, will have Lionel Messi chasing his first international trophy with his country.

These two teams scored more goals than other sides in Chile and have made the most of the possession they have had with the highest pass success.

Home advantage or disadvantage

Chile have been buoyed into the final with raucous support from the home fans and there will be a wild party if they triumph over Argentina on Saturday as scenes have shown with their victories so far. But playing at home in a major final also has its own pressures and Coach Jorge Sampaoli will be hoping that the tension does not get to his players and inhibit their performance on their big day.

Head to head
17/10/12 WQS Chile 1 – 2 Argentina
08/10/11 WQS Argentina 4 – 1 Chile
16/10/08 WQS Chile 1 – 0 Argentina
13/10/07 WQS Argentina 2 – 0 Chile
17/04/07 FRI Argentina 0 – 0 Chile

 

Messi is in prime condition

Though Messi has scored just once in this tournament, he has five assists and he was majestic in the 6-1 thumping of Paraguay in the semi-final. He showed that he can be the conductor of the Argentina orchestra and one thing is certain – he will go for goal if his team mates find it difficult to get past Chile’s goalkeeper, Claudio Bravo, a Barcelona mate.

Delicately poised

So it is delicately poised for the two teams as their results at the tournament mirror each other. Chile have scored 13 goals and conceded four while Argentina have scored 10 and conceded three. They also had one thumping win each; Chile trounced Bolivia 5-0, while Argentina thrashed Paraguay 6-1 in the semi-final.

Both also have match winners all over the pitch even though Chile’s Alexis Sanchez is yet to have a truly imperious performance, one that his countrymen will be hoping he comes up with on Saturday.

This could turn out to be a dull encounter because there is just too much to lose. Chile on home ground and Argentina for the second consecutive tournament would not like to go home as losers.

Probable Starting XIs
No. Chile Argentina
1 Claudio Bravo Sergio Romero
2 Eugenio Mena Pablo Zabaleta
3 Gary Medel Marcus Rojo
4 Miiko Albornoz Nicolas Otamendi
5 Mauricio Isla Ezequiel Garay
6 Marcelo Diaz Javier Mascherano
7 Charles Aranguiz Lucas Biglia
8 Arturo Vidal Javier Pastore
9 Jorge Valdivia Angel Di Maria
10 Alexis Sanchez Lionel Messi
11 Eduardo Vargas Sergio Aguero

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