ARGENTINA take on Costa Rica in their final group A clash – looking for their first win of a Copa America staged in their own backyard.
It’s been a woeful start to the tournament for the hosts and it could be even worse if they fail to pick up full points tonight – an early exit almost unthinkable for their fanatical support.
A fortnight ago this looked a mis-match but Argentina’s horrible form and the clueless operation of Sergio Batista has thrown the whole thing up in the air. Argentina are third in their group, behind Costa Rica and Colombia, after two draws. Their recent record isn’t much better with their last five games ending in a single victory, two defeats and two draws.
Lionel Messi has struggled to influence games the way he so effortlessly does for Barcelona and there will be a tremendous amount of pressure on La Pulga. He’s a strange 4-7 with bet365 to score at any point and 10-3 with Boylesports to hit the opener.
Batista is under pressure to drop the under performing Carlos Tevez and bring in Gonzalo Higuain to start alongside Messi and Angel Di Maria in attack. The Real Madrid hitman is 4-1 with Boylesports to break the duck and 4-5 bet365 to score at any point.
However, despite the doom and gloom, I think the home side will have a little too much quality and with the desperate need to win, they’ll up their game and do enough to merit a place in the second round. An Argie win pays best an equally miserable 1-5 at Betfred. A draw is a strong 6-1 with Paddy Power while under 2.5 goals pays at 6-5 with bet365.
- The game is live on ESPN and online at 1.45am Tuesday 12th July.