On Tuesday night, it will play host to one of the biggest fixtures in world football – Brazil vs Argentina. The Superclásico de las Américas – to be played more than 10,000 km away from either of the two South American nations.
But one shining jewel of a footballer will remain absent. Argentina’s Lionel Messi is yet to play for La Albiceleste since their disastrous World Cup campaign and there is no word yet on when he could return to the national side as he takes an extended leave of absence.
“I hope Messi is [in the squad] in the future, he is the best player in the world. If he is not, we should try to play as a team, that is the idea, that we play as a team and we are difficult to beat.” – Lionel Scaloni
On the other hand, Brazil will play with Neymar in the side. The Paris Saint-Germain star was happy to note that Messi wouldn’t be involved but also pointed out that their continental rivals still had Paulo Dybala.
“Argentina have Dybala, who is a player that I really like, so we have to be switched on.” – Neymar
This match is billed as a friendly. But when these two teams take on each other, it usually is anything but. “Argentina-Brazil is never a friendly match on the pitch,” said Mauro Icardi. “It will never be.”
How Brazil could line up against Argentina
Brazil coach Tite has a selection headache when it comes to choosing which goalkeeper starts. But since Ederson played in their 2-0 win over Saudi Arabia last week, we could see Alisson get a start. The two goalkeepers enjoy a healthy rivalry for the starting spot.
Miranda and Marquinhos will most likely start as the two centre-backs. Meanwhile, Danilo could start at right-back while Marcelo could return to the lineup at left-back.
With a 4-3-3 formation, the midfield could see Casemiro playing at the base while Arthur could be given a start after coming on as a substitute in the previous game. Philippe Coutinho could drop to midfield for this game.
How Argentina could line up against Brazil
Scaloni will also look to play a 4-3-3 even though he did joke that they would park the bus against Brazil. Sergio Romero is expected to start in goal with Nicolas Otamendi and German Pezzellastarting at centre-back.
Renzo Saravia, who made his international debut last month, could start at right-back again while Nicolas Tagliafico starts at left-back. Leandro Paredes will be their defensive midfielder in the middle of the park.
The other two midfielders Scaloni could pick are Rodrigo Battaglia and Giovani Lo Celso, both of whom were unused against Iraq. The front three is where Argentina are quite strong with Paulo Dybala and Angel Correa expected to start on either side of Mauro Icardi.