ARGENTINA

v

JAMAICA

Estadio Sausalito Stadium, Chile
Saturday 20th June, 2015, 21:30 GMT

***

Paraguay have taken it upon themselves to upset the script for Group B and, with one game to go, are leading the group alongside Argentina. Both teams are on 4 points, while Uruguay with 3 points and Jamaica with none trailing behind. This is a game that is expected to be a simple enough smash and grab for Argentina, one where they can grab 3 easy points and qualify for the knock-outs, but the boys from Jamaica may have a different plan.

Argentina: Team News, Line-Up and Tactics

Ita s easy to think of Lionel Messi as the solution to all of Argentinaa s problems, but their attack isna t their biggest issue. While a back-four of Nicolas Otamendi, Marcos Rojo, Pablo Zabaleta and Ezequiel Garay looks impressive on paper, especially when theya re shielded by the defensive midfield pairing of Javier Mascherano and Lucas Biglia/ Ever Banega, but it hasna t always looked convincing. Argentina managed to lose a 2 goal lead against Paraguay in their first group game. They got better against Uruguay, with a clean sheet to show for their efforts.

Manager Tata Martino, who will be serving his one goal sideline ban in this game, seems intent on making Argentina a tough side to beat. It must be tempting to stuff as much attacking talent into the side as he can, given the resources at his disposal, but instead he has played 6 defensive specialists with the remaining 4 outfielders responsible for grabbing the goals. Therea s no real midfield playmaker in the side, but plenty of creative flair. Javier Pastore has been given a lot of creative responsibility as the sidea s Number 10, and hopefully he will deliver enough arsenal for the likes of Sergio Aguero and Lionel Messi to score a few.

Zabaleta will be a key cog in the system, as he will have to manage the entire right flank on his own. Lionel Messi, who will be ahead of him on that wing, is likely to regularly drift to more central roles, and will not be charged with too much defensive responsibility. That means Zabaleta will have to carefully pick the right moments to charge forward.

Probable Starting Line-up (4-2-3-1): Romero (GK); Zabaleta, Garay, Otamendi, Rojo; Mascherano, Biglia; Messi, Pastore, Di Maria; Aguero

football formations

Jamaica: Team News, Line-Up and Tactics .

Jamaica dona t really have any big stars to flaunt, but theya ve given a good account for themselves in the two games theya ve played. Theya ll regret not having any points to show for two good performances, particularly the Paraguay game where they lost due to an individual error by goalkeeper Duwayne Kerr.
One of their best attacking talents is Giles Barnes. While hea s currently a Houston Dynamos player in the MLS, you may remember him from his time with Derby County. He was one of those bright English talents that was slated for big things, one whom all the big clubs were said to be scouting. After representing England at the under-19 level, he chose to represent Jamaica at the senior level. Like so many others, he never really made it to the next level.
With little hope of qualification beyond going forward as one of the two best 3rd placed teams, Jamaica will be keen to put up a solid fight in this game. Stopping the likes of Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero is no easy task, but perhaps this is the game where the Jamaicans will finally get a bit of good luck and fortune that theya ve found missing in their last two outings.

Probable Starting Line-up (4-2-3-1): Kerr (GK); Mariappa, Hector, Morgan, Lawrence; Austin, McAnuff; McCleary, Watson, Dawkins; Barnes

Player to Watch Out For: Sergio Aguero

While the spotlights are firmly fixed on Lionel a best-player-in-the-worlda Messi, this is the sort of game where you would expect Sergio Aguero to shine. Ita s about time his talent was recognized on the world stage, and hea s on his way to making this competition a showcase of his talents after scoring the solitary against Uruguay.

Prediction

Argentina 2a 1 Jamaica

Ita s easy to imagine a rout by Argentina against the Jamaicans, but the Caribbean side have given commendable performances so far. Further, Argentina havena t really been firing all cylinders, as they continue to look good but somehow not quite the finished product.