Argentina – Paraguay: A little less Leo Messi, a little more action (1-1)
In a contest between two sides that did not play particularly well, it was not much of a surprise that neither side came out on top. Scaloni’s game plan read like a book that had been torn up and put back together again... except, out of order.
Tactical analysis and match report by Peter M.
Argentina manager Scaloni looked to mend some of the major struggles that he faced in the opening-game loss to Colombia. In his attempts to do so, he made changes up and down the starting eleven. The most surprising changes come up front, where Sergio Agüero and Ángel Di María were both dropped, as Lautaro Martínez and Rodrigo De Paul were given a chance to shine. There was also a slight adjustment systemically, as Argentina fielded more of a 4-3-3 shape, here, albeit keeping to the tendencies of a 4-2-3-1 with Messi drifting into the center.
Paraguay, off the back of a disappointing result to Qatar where they surrendered a two-goal lead to draw their opening match, made a whopping six changes in order to keep things fresh. It was one goalscorer in for one out as Derlis González was handed a start, whilst Óscar Cardozo was not. Eduardo Berizzo did maintain the same setup, though.
Argentina’s improved setup still does not herald much success
Compared to the Colombia defeat, this was close to being a marked improvement – at least in terms of clarity and intent in their approach. The 4-3-3 structure was . . .