Sports Monks

Argentina v/s Venezuela – Copa America Quarter Final 2

Argentina vs Venezuela

Argentina take on Venezuela in the second quarter final of the Copa America 2019, to be played on Saturday, 29th of June at 0030 hours IST. Although the road to the quarters hasn’t been very straightforward for either side, there will be few around the world who would say the pair doesn’t deserve to be at this stage.

While Argentina’s path to the quarters was orchestrated by individual bursts of form from the likes of Sergio Aguero, Paulo Dybala and Lionel Messi, Venezuela’s was much more of a team effort. They didn’t rely on someone coming up with the goods to bail them out of jail (Although one could say the Video Assistant Referee did that for them), but placed their reliance on a well drilled and organised defensive unit, going through the entire group stage conceding just a single goal.

Tactically, Venezuela’s 4-1-4-1 seems well balanced, but with a greater emphasis on the defensive side of the game. Their manager Rafael Dudamel has clearly instructed the players to form a flat back 5 when under intense pressure, with Malaga’s Mikel Villanueva generally the commander-in-chief of the back line as a whole. Up top too, crossing is the main plan, with Salomon Rondon’s big physical presence being utilised as in a target man approach.

The problem for Venezuela comes in the transition from defence to attack, for simply clearing the ball and praying it reaches their man will not work. Quite fortunately for them, Argentina are suffering from the same problem. While Aguero and Lautaro Martinez look in fairly decent form up top, actually feeding them chances is where the issue lies.

Argentina seem unable to string together a passing move to progressive move up the pitch, as do the likes of Brazil, Columbia and Chile. The reliance on individual sparks of brilliance, although has worked so far, may not yield the desired results against such a well organised and disciplined defence. The switch from the standard 4-4-2 to a 4-3-3 in their latest game against Qatar (Where they won 2-0) proved to be a step in the right direction, with Paredes and Lo Celso given more space in midfield to operate, and the opportunity to use the width of the pitch via the wingers.

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