Our match prediction:
South American giants Argentina take on defending champions Chile at the start of their 2016 Copa America campaign. La Albiceleste were beaten by La Roja in the 2015 Copa America final and, no doubt, Leo Messi and Co. are hungry for revenge. Coach Gerardo Martino has a number of high-profile players to choose from and considering that Chile have been struggling ever since Jorge Sampaoli quit his job, we predict that the Argentinians will pick up all three points from Tuesday’s football clash. Anyhow, Tata Martino’s men can’t afford any complacency in their Copa America Centenario opener as the likes of Alexis Sanchez and Arturo Vidal are capable of making life difficult for the opposition back line. Argentina head into the game following a hard-fought 1-0 win over Honduras and it has to be noted that Gonzalo Higuain scored the winner for la Albiceleste. However, Kun Aguero should lead the line for the Argentinians against Chile.
Highligted Player (Higuain):
Widely regarded as one of the most talented strikers of his generation, Argentina’s Gonzalo Higuain started his career with River Plate. A transfer to Real Madrid for €12 million in 2007 catapulted him to the top league. His six years at Madrid was capped with three La Liga titles and 107 goals in 190 appearances. Higuain became a crowd favorite at the Santiago Bernabeu and there was wide spread resentment among supporters over his transfer to Italian club Napoli in 2013 for a reported €40 million. Although he wasn’t able to win the Serie A, he carried the hopes of Napoli in 2015-16 and equaled 87-year-old record of 36 goals in a top-flight season. Higuain or El Pipita as he is fondly called has also been a regular with his country having represented Argentina at two FIFA World Cups and as many Copa America tournaments. Higuain has a great eye for the goal and his goal scoring record bears a testament to this.
Highlighted Team (Chile):
The Chilean Football Federation has been established in 1895 while Chile’s first-ever international game was a 3-1 loss to Argentina in 1910. The two countries formed a remarkable rivalry over the years and it was exactly against Argentina that Chile won their last major trophy – a 2015 Copa America title. Prior to their 2015 title Chile had been runners-up in the competition on four different occasions. Chile triumphed in a dramatic final on penalty kicks to reach their first tournament championship. In a symbolic turn of events, Chile start their 2016 Copa America Centenario with a rematch against Argentina. The most capped player of the Chile national team is Barcelona goalkeeper who has past his 100-match mark with the squad he has been a part of since 2004. Former Lazio and Juventus striker, the legendary Marcelo Salas is the leading scorer with 37 goals to his name. Key player to the current set up is Arsenal winger Alexis Sanchez who has been the team’s leader on the pitch since 2006.