Brazil v Argentina betting tips: Argentina to end jinx?
Preview and odds for the Copa America final
It is the 2021 Copa America final every neutral wanted to see and we have picked out some Brazil v Argentina betting tips ahead of the showdown at the Maracana Stadium.
The tournament’s only unbeaten teams are pitted against each other as two of the best number 10s in the game go up against each other in former Barcelona team-mates Neymar and Lionel Messi.
Argentina are seeking to match Uruguay’s record of 15 Copa America titles by winning their first since 1993 while hosts Brazil bid to retain the title they won in 2019.
Sunday’s match is live on BBC iPlayer and kicks off at 1am BST.
Brazil v Argentina match odds
Brazil are the title holders, having won their ninth Copa America in 2019, which they also hosted and are 1/2 to retain the trophy.
The Selecao successfully defended their Copa America titles twice before (1999 and 2006), but have finished runners-up in 11 occasions.
Brazil topped Group A with three wins and a draw, before successive wins 1-0 wins over Chile and Peru in the quarter-finals and semi-finals respectively.
They are unbeaten in 13 games following their semi-final success, where Lucas Paquetá’s 35th-minute strike proved the difference, just as it did in the quarter-final. Paquetá is 7/2 to score at any time in the final.
The result was a far cry from the way Peru were dispatched in the group stages, when Brazil easily won 4-0, but the performance from Tite’s team was one full of invention.
They created numerous chances with plenty of highlight-reel skills, particularly from Neymar, whilst limiting Peru to two shots on target.
Brazil have conceded just twice in six Copa America outings, scoring 13 goals themselves – but they have now gone three straight games without scoring multiple goals, which may concern the manager.
Argentina also advanced as Group B winners with 10 points, before defeating Ecuador 3-0 in the quarter-finals and edging Colombia in a penalty shoot-out.
La Albiceleste seek to win a major international tournament with Lionel Messi for the first time since the 2008 Olympics, when he was just 21.
The captain has been in scintillating form at the Copa America, with a tournament-leading four goals and five assists.
Argentina have looked better as the tournament has progressed, despite needing a 3-2 penalty shoot-out win to down Colombia, after their semi-final ended 1-1 in normal time.
Barcelona star Messi set up Lautaro Martinez for the opener after just seven minutes and Argentina looked to be cruising, only for Porto’s Luis Dias to level on the hour.
Yet the plaudits belonged to Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez, who saved three of five penalties he faced in the shoot-out.
They have lost their last four Copa America finals though, including twice to Brazil in 2004 and 2007.
Brazil v Argentina head-to-head
The teams have faced each other 112 times across all competitions since 1914, with Brazil recording 46 wins.
Argentina won 40 of those contests, including their last clash – a 1-0 success in the Superclasico de las Americas, played in Saudi Arabia in November 2019 – but have not won back-to-back meetings with Brazil since 1963.
No fewer than 26 meetings have ended in a draw and it is 21/10 that the final ends in a stalemate after 90 minutes.
Six of the last seven meetings have seen fewer than three total goals and under 2.5 total goals to be scored this time can be added to Brazil v Argentina betting tips at 4/9.
Brazil: Ederson, Danilo, Marquinhos, Silva, Lodi, Casemiro, Fred, Everton, Paquetá, Neymar, Richarlison.
Argentina: D Martinez, Molina, Pezzella, Otamendi, Tagliafico, Rodriguez, De Paul, Lo Celso, Gonzalez, Messi, L Martinez.
Gabriel Jesus, who scored and assisted in Brazil’s last final win against Peru in 2019, remains suspended for the final after his flying kick caught Chile’s Eugenio Mena in the quarter-final.
The Manchester City forward was shown a straight red and handed a two-match ban.
Argentina be without Atalanta centre-back Cristian Romero, who is nursing an injury which ruled him out of the semi-final with Colombia.
All eyes will be on the two number 10s. Neymar missed Brazil’s Copa America triumph on home soil two years ago but inspired them to the 2013 Confederations Cup as well as Olympic gold in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
How well he is marshalled by a makeshift back four without first-choice centre-back Romero will be crucial but in Martinez, Argentina have their best goalkeeper in a long while.
Messi, meanwhile, has won everything with his club but nothing with Argentina. He has been on the losing side in three Copa America finals – in 2007, 2015, and 2016 – and at the 2014 World Cup.
He is 9/4 to score at any time and needs one more goal to equal Pelé’s record for the most goals by an international South American player.
Yet it is worth noting that one or other side has failed to score in 12 of the last 17 meetings. It is 4/6 that this trend continues.
All odds and markets correct as of date of publication