Argentina look to Leo Messi to propel them to Copa America semi-final against Colombia

first_img TATA’S TEAM  Upd. on 22/11/2016 at 03:06 CET In Chile, they expect the best version of La Pulga to emerge, now with 100 caps to his name with the Albiceleste and dreaming of winning his first Copa America. It is a title which would complete an incredible season. The ’10’ will be the main man in a side which is expected to be without surprises.  It seems Tata has found his 11, with a mix of strong players like Mascherano and Biglia alongside artists like Pastore, who has made himself a regular in the side. Up front, Aguero, recovered from a pain in his shoulder, will start with Di Maria and Messi, who will be tasked with making the difference. Curiously, Colombia come into the match with similar problems to Argentina: a lack of effectiveness up front. Players like Falcao are not at their best and Pekerman’s side, who beat Brazil, are without two midfielders: Valencia, injured, and Sanchez, suspended.  Argentina hope to have the best Lionel Messi late on Friday night as they look secure their passage into the semi-finals of the Copa America.  Against the Colombia of James, Falcao and Cuadrado, all eyes will once again be on Barcelona’s No.10. That’s not rare, though, because Messi is the thermometer of this Albiceleste side.  Veronica Brunati 26/06/2015 The expectations that the country can win the tournament are high. And they hope that Messi can take a step forward from the group stages, where despite 17 shots on goal, he only scored from the penalty spot.  Martino has expressed his worry over his side’s lack of success in the final third. Argentina have only scored four times until now, despite generating a lot of chances in each and every game. Martino is also wary of Colombia’s tactics. He consideres players like James have got away with things so far in this tournament, a trend he hopes changes against Argentina.  Gerardo Martino does not want an end-to-end game against Colombia and has asked his players to control the game. The objective is for a match which sees Argentina dominating possession.  COLOMBIA’S MOMENT  Their main rival will be Messi, who turned 28 this week. “He is from another world. He is a unique football player. You can’t speak about a battle between James and Messi because it would be unfair on him,” James Rodriguez said.  Everyone expects the Messi that turns up for the biggest occasions will show his face.last_img

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