Argentina take on Panama in the Group D fixture of the Copa America Centenario, knowing a win will confirm their place in the quarter finals.
Tata Martino’s men made a flying start to their Copa America campaign defeating Chile 2-1 in their first match. The team that lined up without their star man Lionel Messi looked in control all way through the match. But they will be lamenting their poor finishing, unless otherwise they would have won by a bigger margin.
Panama on their other hand made a dream start to their first ever Copa America tournament with a 2-1 win over Bolivia. They surprised Bolivia by their quick counter attacking football and had plenty of chances to score and even paid for those mistakes when Juan Carlos Arce cancelled out Blas Perez’s first half goal in the 54th minute. But Perez scored again within three minutes into the final whistle to take all three points from a match they deserved to win.
Argentina vs Panama: Team News
Lionel Messi remained on the bench for the whole of opening encounter against Chile and he is expected to start from the bench again to risk another injury. Nicolas Gaitan is expected to continue in the attack, with Erik Lamela also an option. No changes are expected to the line-up as Argentina looks for three points in Friday’s encounter.
Panama has picked up five yellow cards in their first match against Bolivia, which includes three midfielders and goal scorer Blas Perez. In defense, the veteran Luis Henrique is expected to start in place of Harold Cummings and Abdiel Arroyo could replace Armando Cooper on the right side of midfield.
Argentina Predicted Line-up (4-3-3)
Romero – Rojo, Funes Mori, Otamendi, Mercado – Mascherano, Biglia, Banega – Di Maria, Gaitan, Higuain.
Panama Predicted Line-up (4-4-2)
Penedo – Miller, Henriquez, Baloy, Machado – Quintero, Godoy, Gomez, Arroyo – Torres, Perez.
Argentina vs Panama: Head-to-Head stats
The teams have met only once in recent years, on May 2009 in a friendly when an Argentina squad consist of fringe players coached by Diego Maradona defeated Panama by 3-1. Nicolas Otamendi is the only Argentina player from the current squad present on that day. While, goalkeeper Jaime Penedo, forward Luis Tejada and midfielder Amilcar Henríquez were part of the Panama squad.
Argentina vs Panama: Prediction
Panama will come with good team spirit and morale after the win in the opener. But their Friday’s opponents are a team of a different stature than those they normally play against. Argentina are heavy favorites for this match and I expect them to win this fairly easy. But tipping for Argentina to win offers little return for money as odds are in the region of 1.2, so I will be recommending to bet on Argentina to lead at first half.
Panama open fail to break down defense of higher quality, so I don’t expect them to score a goal here. Looking at the number of scoring chances they granted to Bolivia, Argentina could be backed to score a minimum of 2 goals here. A total match goals of over 2.5 goals also offer a good return of money in the region of odds at 1.65, which is rather the safer option.
Exact Score Prediction Argentina 3-0 Panama, (odds 6.5).
- Anytime Correct Score – Argentina 2-0 (odds 1.65)
- Half Time / Full Time – Argentina/Argentina (odds 1.66)
- Total Match Goals – Over 2.5 (odds 1.65)
- First Half – Over 1.5 goals (Odds 2.50)
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*All Odds are from bet-at-home at the time of composing this article.