Preview: Venezuela vs Argentina – prediction, team news, lineups
Argentina will begin the next round of World Cup qualifying matches with a trip to Venezuela on Friday as they look to continue their undefeated start.
Lionel Scaloni’s men have accumulated 12 points in their first six games and reach the final set of games after securing the Copa América title in the summer, while their hosts have only four points, having lost four of their six matches.
Argentina got off to a strong start to the World Cup qualifying campaign last year, as victories over Ecuador, Bolivia, and Peru and draws with Paraguay, Chile and Colombia have led to an impressive 12 point count from six. games.
After that impressive run, Lionel Scaloni’s men headed to the Copa América as one of the favorites before the tournament, and while drawing in the opening match with Chile, La Albiceleste quickly improved to cross the group stage with back-to-back wins over Uruguay, Paraguay, and Bolivia.
His first-place finish saw Argentina book a quarter-final draw with Ecuador, and Rodrigo De Paul, Lautaro Martínez, and Lionel Messi took the lead in a dominant 3-0 victory to reserve their place in the last four, before their semifinal. -The final clash with Colombia went to the penalty shootout since Luis Díaz tied at the level of La Tricolor after Lautaro Martínez’s first match.
The form inspired by Argentine stopper Emiliano Martínez saw Scaloni’s men prevail and face tournament favorites Brazil in the final, and they held strong to see a 1-0 victory after Ángel Di María’s opener in the 22nd minute to win the 15th Copa América title.
La Albiceleste will now turn their attention back to qualifying for the World Cup, as their goal is to continue their unbeaten streak and move further away from the chasing group.
Venezuela enters the last round of group matches in a different situation, as their objective is to put together a series of results to climb the table towards the qualifying places.
La Vinotinto suffered three consecutive defeats at the start of their qualifying campaign last year, when they fell to Colombia, Paraguay and Brazil, before recovering impressively with a striking 2-1 victory over Chile.
While they would later suffer a disappointing 3-1 loss to Bolivia, Venezuela did well to hold Uruguay to a goalless draw in their final group stage match, before heading to the Copa América.
Under the leadership of José Peseiro, La Vinotinto failed to impress at the elite South American tournament as they crashed in the group stage with just two points to finish at the foot of Group B.
Now in a new era under the temporary tenure of Leonardo González, they hope to lift their spirits and reverse their fortunes with a hot run of results in this round of international matches, beginning with what would be a striking result against the Copa. Champions of America.
Venezuela possible starting lineup:
Farinez; Rosales, Ferraresi, Villanueva, Velazquez, Chancellor; Otero, Rincon, Moreno; Martinez, Rondon
Argentina possible starting lineup:
E Martinez; Montiel, Romero, Otamendi, Acuna; Lo Celso, Paredes, De Paul; Di Maria, Messi, L Martinez