The Maracana Stadium will host the match everybody wanted to see when Brazil and Argentina meet in the final of the Copa America on Saturday night, and here is our preview along with expert betting picks.
- Venue – Maracana Stadium, Brazil
- Date – Saturday 10th July
- Kick-Off Time – 8 pm Eastern Time
Brazil is the defending champions and has the chance to win the trophy for the sixth time in the last ten competitions. For Argentina, they’ve not won the trophy since 1993, when they beat Mexico 2-1 with two goals from Gabriel Batistuta.
Copa America Stats
- Uruguay are the most successful country in Copa America history, they have fifteen titles.
- Lionel Messi has never won the Copa America before.
- Argentina have won the Copa America fourteen times. A win in this match sees them equal Uruguay with the most titles.
- Brazil have won the Copa America nine times, they are still some way behind both Uruguay and Argentina.
No surprise to see the top sportsbooks make Brazil favorites to win the match. They may be at home, but the lack of spectators does neutralize home advantage somewhat.
In 90 minutes of betting, Brazil is +105 to win. The draw is +105, and a win for Argentina is +320.
In betting to lift the trophy, Brazil is -187.50, with Argentina at +130.
Route to the Copa America Final
Both sides qualified for the knockout stages by winning their respective groups. Here is our look at how the two heavyweight giants of South American soccer made it to the final.
ARGENTINA VS. BRAZIL IN THE COPA AMERICA FINAL.
Messi and Neymar meet again 🇦🇷🇧🇷 pic.twitter.com/rXTBvikDfi
— B/R Football (@brfootball) July 7, 2021
Brazil in the Group Stages
Brazil started the competition off like a house on fire. There were big wins over Venezuela (3-0) and Peru (4-0) in their opening two group matches.
Since then, things have settled down a bit. In their third group match, the hosts beat Columbia 2-1, and then they drew 1-1 with Ecuador in their final group match.
They still comfortably topped Group B, with 10 points from their four matches. That was 3 points ahead of second-placed Peru.
Quarter-final – Brazil 1-0 Chile
The Brazilians 1-0 quarter-final win over Chile was more of a backs-to-the-wall performance. The Chileans had 59% of the possession, this was mainly down to the fact that Manchester City’s Gabriel Jesus was sent off after 48 minutes, just two minutes after Lucas Paqueta had given them the lead. This turned out to be the only goal of the match.
Brazil had 10 shots on goal, compared to Chile’s 11. While with efforts on target, it was one apiece.
Semi-final – Brazil 1-0 Peru
In their semi-final win over Peru, Brazil – with 11 men on the pitch for this fixture – fared far better. This time Brazil had fifteen attempts on goal, to Peru’s seven.
Eight of the attempts Brazil had were on target, as opposed to Peru’s two. In the possession stats, Brazil had 56%, compared to Peru’s 44%.
Argentina in the Group Stages
Argentina started its Copa America campaign slowly and has gradually improved along the way. Their opening match was a scratchy 1-1 draw with Chile, although they did dominate the attempts on goal (18 shots to 5 for Chile).
They followed that up with two hard-fought 1-0 wins over Uruguay and Paraguay. In their final group match, the shackles were finally released, with Messi and company running out 4-1 winners over Bolivia.
In the end, Argentina topped their group with 10 points, winning three, and drawing one. This was an identical record to the Brazilians, the only difference being that Brazil scored three more goals than the Argentinians.
Quarter-final – Argentina 3-0 Ecuador
This was another typical Argentine performance. They only had 46% possession but dominated the shots stats.
Argentina had 21 attempts on goal, to Ecuador’s 10. In attempts on target, Argentina was again on top, with eight on target, to Ecuador’s two.
Despite the 3-0 scoreline, it was a tight affair up until the 84th minute. Argentina went 1-0 up after 40 minutes thanks to Rodrigo de Paul’s cool finish from an exquisite Messi pass. The match was then still in the balance up until Lautaro Martinez scored the second with just six minutes left.
When Messi scored his fourth goal of the competition in injury time, the match was already over.
Semi-final – Argentina 1-1 Columbia (3-2 to Argentina on penalties)
This match was as even as the score suggests, and this is backed up by the match stats.
Argentina had 49% possession, thirteen attempts on goal, with four on target. Columbia had 51% possession, with fourteen attempts on goal, four of which were on target. So as you can see, very little was between the teams.
Both sides hit the woodwork, and there were some top-class saves from both keepers in what was an enthralling match.
In the end, it went down to the lottery of a penalty shoot-out. And it was Aston Villa keeper Emiliano Martínez who was the Argentine hero, saving three spot-kicks in the shoot-out.
Both teams are in reasonable form, this goes without saying as they’ve reached the final. Brazil looks dangerous and has all their superstars available, with Neymar playing a crucial role in getting them to this stage.
Lionel Messi is the tournament’s top scorer with four goals to his name. Messi is being well supported by Lautaro Martinez, who is the tournament’s second top scorer with three goals.
For Brazil, both Neymar and Lucas Paqueta have two goals each. Crucially, Paqueta’s two goals have been the winners (and only goals) in both the quarter and semi-finals.
It’s really hard to pick a winner in this one. I expect it to be a tight contest, that could go right down to the wire and maybe even penalties.
Brazil to win the trophy is my pick, they are 8/15 to do that. I think they will have too much for the Argentines.
My only doubt is the Messi factor. He has never won this trophy, and is this his final opportunity?
As this looks like a tight match, I think under 2.5 goals at -222.2 could also be a good value bet.
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