Scaloni and a puzzle that still has loose pieces

Scaloni and a puzzle that still has loose pieces
Scaloni and a puzzle that still has loose pieces

The friendlies passed with a more than favorable balance. The list of 26 names is already defined with 21 world champions included. Lionel Scaloni, then, seems to have everything on track and clear ahead of this Thursday’s debut in Atlanta against Canada. But, be careful, while it is true that a large portion of the Argentine team’s puzzle to start the defense of the Copa América is assembled, there are pieces that still have to fit in important positions.

Four days before the ball rolls in the United States, the National Team trained in Atlanta and a question arises: what does the National Team coach need to define and why wouldn’t he repeat the eleven from the final against France?

If he wanted, Scaloni could well repeat the initial team of December 18, 2022, the day of the world final at the Lusail in Qatar. But The pujatense never put on the alliance with any alignment from memory and he was always governed by several factors for his choice, one of them is also his intuition. And to step on the grass of the Mercedes-Benz Stadium he will not deviate from his philosophy.

A large part of the formation cake is decorated and ready to celebrate a new continental event. However, Scaloni has some ingredients still to be seen, mainly due to internal competition and because, as he himself is responsible for highlighting in almost all his press conferences, Nobody has the place earned except for the captain and best player in the world: a certain Lionel Messi.

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Fans wait on the sides of the entrance to the Argentina concentration hotel in Atlanta, for the debut of the Copa América

It’s a half-truth, really. The coach knows that he also has figures that are vital today. The archer, to start. Emiliano Martínez is an untouchable since he grabbed the albiceleste goal before the 2021 Copa América.

In defense, beyond the good performance of Lisandro Martínez in the last two preparation games, in which he also showed that he has fully recovered from his physical setbacks this year, Everything indicates that Cristian Romero and Nicolás Otamendi are the owners of the central defense.

The first questions may appear on the sides, mostly on the left side. Nahuel Molina turns out to be one step above Gonzalo Montiel on the right side. And on the other hand, the usual bid: Nicolás Tagliafico or Marcos Acuña.

Scaloni has rotated them quite a bit and opts for this or that according to the game planning and the rival on duty. Taglia provides greater containment and the Egg can offer more in attack. It was curious that the coach did not give Tagliafico minutes in either of the two recent friendlies.

This can have two readings for the former Banfield and Independiente: that he is considered a starter and that is why he did not need to prove it or quite the opposite and sought to see Acuña’s level after injuries and also test the multifaceted Nicolás González in that position again for later. decide who to bet on in the opening match.

From the middle to the front are the most significant variants. The very good performance of Leandro Paredes, starting against Ecuador and entering firmly against Guatemala, puts the position of central midfielder in dispute again.

Who should be Argentina’s ‘5’? It is one of the big questions in the run-up to this Copa América. A lot will have to do with the tactical scheme that Scaloni has, whether it is with a 4-3-3 like in Chicago or a 4-4-2 like in Washington, to see what names make it up.

Paredes, Enzo Fernández and Alexis Mac Allister compete for that place, although Enzo and Alexis can complement each other with the first if they are placed further forward. The reappearance of Giovani Lo Celso opens, in turn, another question mark about the third midfielder (or the fourth in a line of four). There are plenty of names and quality to choose from.

Leandro Paredes seems to recover the place. Photo: @Argentina

Rodrigo De Paul and Ángel Di María There are two others who are emerging from now on, in addition to Messi. The ‘9’ fight continues: Julián Álvarez or Lautaro Martínez? The drought and the little filming in England would make Álvarez lose today to the Calcio scorer, who also ended the negative streak with the National Team and is coming off a double.

Four days and there are still a couple of screws to tighten so that the Scaloneta is ready to set out on a new route in search of more football glory.

 
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