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Argentina vs Canada predictions: La Albiceleste to start Copa defence in style
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Dan Sait
Lionel Messi is expected to play another starring role for Argentina
Lionel Messi is expected to play another starring role for Argentina

- Argentina have scored three or more goals in three of their last four matches
- Canada failed to win any of their three games at the 2022 World Cup, conceding seven goals
- Recommended bet:
Argentina to score over 2.5 goals

Argentina facing Canada in Atlanta, Georgia, might not be the most traditional of Copa America curtain-raisers, but it promises to be an enthralling opener nonetheless and one the defending champions can excel in.

The Canucks won admirers two years ago at the Qatar World Cup but failed to win any points and they face an equally tough test in the Copa America, with their opening game against Argentina surely the hardest of the lot.

Team news

Argentina have named a strong squad with a starting line-up likely to resemble the one that lifted the World Cup in Qatar.

Nicolas Otamendi and Cristian Romero will be the centre-back pairing, while Lionel Messi will be the star of the show and Angel Di Maria will make his final appearances in an Argentina shirt before retiring.

Midfield trio Alexis Mac Allister, Enzo Fernandez and Rodrigo De Paul will be bolstered by the return of Giovani Lo Celso, who was injured in 2022.

Canada have no injury concerns, with star men Alphonso Davies and Jonathan David both fit and available.

The stats

Argentina have won 17 of their last 20 games in normal time – 14 of those to nil – while two penalty shootout successes and one defeat make up those results.

Canada lost all three 2022 World Cup matches – 1-0 to Belgium, 4-1 to Croatia and 2-1 to Morocco – and have won only five of their 14 matches since, against minnows Curacao, Honduras, Panama, Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago.


Former Leeds boss Jesse Marsch has had little time to work with Canada's squad
Former Leeds boss Jesse Marsch has had little time to work with Canada's squad

Canada could not have asked for a harder introduction to the Copa America than facing the holders and world champions, Argentina, and there is little in Canada’s recent record to suggest they can cause an upset.

Former Leeds and RB Leipzig manager Jesse Marsch was only parachuted into the Canada role last month and he arrives with the Canucks not in the greatest shape.

Their 2022 World Cup displays offered some encouragement but they lacked the big-game nous to turn lively performances into points and have regressed since.

In last summer’s Concacaf Gold Cup, Canada finished second to Guatemala in the group stage, drawing 2-2 with Guadeloupe and Guatemala, before losing to USA in the first knockout round.

A recent 0-0 friendly draw against France has to be put into the context of the French players being keen to avoid injury on the eve of Euro 2024 and three days prior to that Canada had been routed 4-0 by the Netherlands. 

Argentina have been imperious in recent years, winning the 2021 Copa America and 2022 World Cup, and have shown no sign of slowing down since.

A record of 13 victories in 14 games since lifting the World Cup trophy includes a win over Brazil. 

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