Brazil face Argentina in the final of the Copa America, the away team by the draw of the fixture but the side playing on home soil after first Colombia, and then Argentina themselves, were originally stripped of hosting rights.
Neymar has been once more the fundamental piece of the puzzle for Tite at the tournament, with most of Brazil’s best attacking moves going through him – but the same is true of Lionel Messi and Argentina. He has scored or assisted nine of the 11 goals his nation have netted this summer.
Brazil are the reigning champions of the Copa after triumphing in 2019, while Argentina haven’t won the tournament since 1993 – despite this being the fifth time they have reached the final since then, with four straight defeats – three of them containing Messi in the squad and denying him his major first international honours.
He’ll be hoping to finally end that run this time around – if Argentina are successful, they’ll join Uruguay with the joint-highest number of Copa wins, on 15. Brazil are seeking their 10th, with five coming since 1997.
Here’s everything you need to know ahead of the final.
When is the game?
The match kicks off at 1am BST on Sunday, 11 July 2021 – so very late Saturday night, early hours Sunday morning. Don’t miss it getting muddled up!
Where can I watch it?
Although most games at the Copa have only been streamed via the BBC iPlayer – this one is also available there on your devices via website and apps – the final will also be shown on television on BBC One.
What is the team news?
Argentina might well be without superb centre-back Cristian Romero once more after he missed most of the tournament injured. Big decisions will come in midfield, where it might be Leandro Paredes or Guido Rodriguez as the anchor, and in attack, where Nicolas Gonzalez could start from the flank or an extra central option be called upon from the start.
Brazil are without striker Gabriel Jesus, who is suspended for his sending off against Chile in the quarters. Boss Tite must decide between Thiago Silva and Eder Militao at centre-back, while he has also rotated goalkeepers between Alisson and Ederson during the tournament. Lucas Paqueta could start after scoring in both quarters and semis.
ARG – E Martinez; Molina, Pezzella, Otamendi, Acuna; De Paul, G Rodriguez, Lo Celso; Messi, L Martinez, N Gonzalez
BRZ – Alisson; Danilo, T Silva, Marquinhos, Renan Lodi; Casemiro, Fred, Paqueta; Everton, Richarlison, Neymar.
Argentina – 56/19 (13/8 to lift trophy)
Draw – 23/10
Brazil – 11/9 (5/8 to lift trophy)
Lionel Messi has been the talisman for his nation once again; one more big performance and he could finally get his hands on the international honours he has come so close to so many times before. Brazil 1-2 Argentina.
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