Chile vs Argentina: 5 exciting things to watch out for as records bow before Lionel Messi and Claudio Bravo

images 2024 06 24T101321.082


As the 2024 Copa America heats up, Argentina will look to secure their place in the knockout stages when they face off against Chile at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey on Tuesday.

With both teams having a lot to prove, here are five exciting things to watch out for in this highly anticipated clash.

1. Argentina’s Quest for the Knockout Stage

Argentina, the reigning world champions, opened their campaign with a solid 2-0 victory against Canada. This win marked the first time since 2016 that they have won their opening Copa America group fixture.

Historically, when Argentina avoid defeat in their opening match, they tend to make it to the final. A win against Chile would ensure their progression to the knockout phase for the 14th consecutive time, not counting their withdrawal in 2001.

Lionel Scaloni’s men have been in exceptional form, winning six consecutive matches since a 2-0 defeat to Uruguay in a World Cup qualifier last November. Their only defeat since the 2022 World Cup came in their opening game against Saudi Arabia. A victory on Tuesday could see them top their group if Peru and Canada draw, a feat they haven’t achieved since back-to-back tournaments in 2015 and 2016.

2. Chile’s Struggle for Goals

Chile entered the tournament with high hopes, having rediscovered their goalscoring touch in pre-tournament friendlies. However, their attacking verve was noticeably absent in their 0-0 draw with Peru. Ricardo Gareca’s squad has now failed to score in three consecutive Copa America matches, a drought dating back to 2021.

Despite their recent struggles, Chile boast a positive recent history against Argentina, including a 1-1 draw in the 2021 group stage after coming from behind.

Extending their current unbeaten run to three matches in all competitions would be their longest streak since a five-game run between November 2022 and June 2023.

3. Record-Breaking Appearances and Performances

Lionel Messi continues to break records with every appearance. In Argentina’s opener, Messi made his 35th Copa America appearance, surpassing Sergio Livingstone’s record. His presence on the pitch remains a crucial factor for Argentina’s success.

For Chile, goalkeeper Claudio Bravo made history by becoming the oldest player to feature at the Copa America this century, starting their opener at 41 years and 69 days old. His experience and leadership will be vital for Chile as they seek to secure a much-needed victory.

4. Tactical Battles and Team News

Both teams will be navigating some key tactical battles and potential lineup changes. For Chile, the availability of Diego Valdes is in question after he was substituted at halftime in their previous match due to a knock. Additionally, Victor Davila, Alexis Sanchez, and Erick Pulgar, all cautioned in their opener, will need to be cautious as another yellow card would see them suspended for their final group game.

Argentina’s lineup could see the inclusion of young talents like Valentin Carboni and Alejandro Garnacho, who were unused substitutes in the opening fixture. Julian Alvarez, who scored his first Copa America goal, and Lautaro Martinez, who added to his impressive international tally, provide Scaloni with attacking options to consider.

5. Historical Context and Rivalry

The rivalry between Chile and Argentina adds an extra layer of excitement to this encounter.

Argentina have never lost a Copa America fixture to Chile in normal time, although Chile triumphed on penalties in the 2015 and 2016 finals. This historical context fuels the competitive spirit and adds pressure on both sides to perform.

As the teams prepare for this crucial match, fans can look forward to a blend of tactical intrigue, historical rivalry, and individual brilliance. Whether it’s Messi’s magic, Bravo’s resilience, or the tactical adjustments from Scaloni and Gareca, Tuesday’s clash promises to be a captivating spectacle in the 2024 Copa America.