The Brazil (Brasil) vs Argentina will be contested at the Beijing National Stadium, Beijing on Saturday, 5:05 AM (Pacific) and despite the South American adversaries renewing their rivalry in the unfamiliar surroundings of China, the match is sure to be a feisty encounter.
In fact, Brazil vs Argentina was billed by many as the most probable fixture in the final of the 2014 World Cup. However, the Selecao’s remarkable capitulation means that it was instead Germany who contested the final against Argentina.
Brazil has been scarred following the World Cup
Following their World Cup embarrassment, Brazil are now on a long road back to recovery and although the scars of that fateful night in Belo Horizonte will probably never heal – the current team under new manager Dunga can certainly start lessening the pain with a good result against Argentina.
Argentina on the other hand, enjoyed a wonderful World Cup but are also going through a period of transition following the departure of Alejandro Sabella. Former Barcelona boss Tata Martino has taken over the reins of La Albiceleste and he will now be looking to forge his own identity on the team.
Therefore, the match against Brazil on Saturday could be vital for Martino in order for him to prove his credentials and make an impression over the Argentinean public.
Dunga has called up an almost unrecognizable side to the one which participated in the World Cup, with the likes of Kaka, Robinho, Miranda and Filipe Luis the notable arrivals.
In terms of absentees, the likes of Thiago Silva, Dani Alves, Dante and Marcelo are big names that have not been included.
Kaka makes a return to the national setup after 18 months
With Julio Cesar retiring, Jefferson seems to be the number one choice between the sticks for Brazil and the Botafogo goalkeeper looks set to start against Argentina as well. The much changed defence will consist of Filipe Luis, Miranda, David Luiz and Danilo.
Luiz Gustavo, Kaka and Oscar should comprise of the midfield three, while star man Neymar and Willian will probably be used in the wide positions. The trio of Everton Ribeiro, Philippe Coutinho and Robinho will also be in contention.
Diego Tardelli seems to be the preferred striker for Dunga and the 29-year old should start on Saturday as well.
Tata Martino has also made a couple of changes to the national team setup after his appointment and the likes of Rodrigo Palacio, Ezequiel Lavezzi, Maxi Rodríguez and Ezequiel Garay are the key absentees.
Newcomers such as Roberto Pereyra, Érik Lamela and Santiago Vergini have been called up instead. However, there is still no place in the squad for bad boy Carlos Tevez.
Erik Lamela recalled to the Argentina squad
Sergio Romero will start in goal for the Argentines and the defence shielding him should consist of Pablo Zabaleta, Martín Demichelis, Marcos Rojo and Federico Fernández.
The inspirational Javier Mascherano and Enzo Pérez should be deployed in the midfield while the exciting Ángel Di María should be handed a free role. Star man Lionel Messi will be deployed as the striker and supporting him will be Sergio Aguero and Erik Lamela.
Brazil (Probable XI): Jefferson; Filipe Luis, Miranda, David Luiz, Danilo; Neymar , Luiz Gustavo, Kaka, Oscar, Willian; Tardelli
Argentina (Probable XI): Romero; Rojo, Fernández, Demichelis, Zabaleta; Di María, Mascherano, Pérez; Aguero, Messi, Lamela
Brazil – W L L W W
Argentina – W W W L W
2012-11-22 Argentina 2 – 1 Brazil
2012-09-20 Brazil 2 – 1 Argentina
Brazil vs Argentina Prediction
Although the match may well be a money spinning friendly match in the unfamiliar surroundings of China, one can be sure that both sides will be desperate for the win heading into the game.
As evidenced by Dunga’s previous reign, Brazil will be less flamboyant in attack and more solid at the back, and it is probably for the best as the Selecao were simply woeful at the back during the World Cup.
That being said, with players like Neymar, Oscar, Willian and now Kaka the key attackers, Brazil are sure to possess their trademark Samba flair.
Argentina on the other hand, do not have to make much of an adjustment to the squad that performed so well during the World Cup and look a much more balanced side than Brazil.
Albiceleste’s defence has surprisingly proven to be their pillar of strength while the likes of Lionel Messi, Angel Di Maria and Sergio Aguero can cause havoc at will.
The two teams head into the game very well matched and it should be a tight affair. However, Argentina possess the slightly better side and up against a new look Brazilian team, their experience could prove to be the difference.
Brazil 1 – 2 Argentina
Brazil vs Argentina Television
The Brazil vs Argentina match will be televised in the USA on beIN Sports en Español, beIN Sports USA and beIN SPORTS CONNECT at 5:05 AM Pacific.