Argentina face neighbor Paraguay on Monday in the Copa America with first place in Group A on the line. Lionel Messi and company have four points after two games, and are coming off a well-deserved 1-0 win over Uruguay last time out. Paraguay have played one game in the cup so far, beating Bolivia 3-1 in their opener. The top four teams of the group advance to the quarterfinals.
Here’s how you can watch the match and what to know:
Viewing informationDate: Monday, June 21Time: 8 p.m. ETLocation: Estadio Nacional de BrasiliaTV: FS1 and TUDNLive stream: fuboTV (Try for free)Odds: Argentina -200; Draw +290; Paraguay +700 (via William Hill sportsbook) Storylines
Argentina: The performance against Uruguay was surprising and convincing, though the score doesn’t reflect it. The defense was exceptional, not even allowing Luis Suarez, Edinson Cavani and company to get a shot on goal. But when it comes to Paraguay, they will have a bit more speed to be worried about. Expect the fullbacks to sit a bit further back to prioritize defending since their opponents love to get down the wings. Going forward, Argentina should have enough to win, but most thought the same back in November when they met in World Cup qualifying. That match ended in a 1-1 draw, with Argentina producing nine more shots. If Lionel Scaloni’s team can be even a tad more efficient, they can take full control of the group.
Paraguay: The score line against Bolivia, 3-1, may be deceiving. All the goals came after the Bolivians were reduced to 10 men for the entire second half. But, with that man advantage Paraguay bombarded them with chances. For the match, Paraguay had 34 shots and 11 on frame. They will likely come nowhere close to that in this one, but they must focus on possessing the ball and playing an ugly, physical match to throw Argentina off. Also keep an eye on set pieces where Gustavo Gomez has a real chance to make an impact in attack.
Nicolas Gonzalez scores the winner as Argentina take command of Group A … just barely. Pick: Argentina 2, Paraguay 1