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Champions vs. Underdogs: Argentina and Canada Clash in Copa América 2024 Opener

Argentina and Canada are set to face off in the opening match of the 2024 Copa América today at 8 PM ET/5 PM PT at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia. This highly anticipated clash pits the reigning World Cup champions and world’s top-ranked team Argentina against the 49th-ranked Canada in a Group A encounter.

Argentina: The Favorites

Argentina enter the tournament as the overwhelming favorites, having won the last two major international tournaments – the 2021 Copa América and the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Led by the legendary Lionel Messi, who is likely playing his final Copa América, Argentina boast a star-studded lineup including Lautaro Martínez, Ángel Di María, and Lionel Scaloni as manager. They are on a remarkable run, having lost just two games in the last four and a half years.

Canada: The Underdogs

Canada, under new manager Jesse Marsch, will be looking to cause an upset against the mighty Argentines. Despite their underdog status, Canada possess talented players like Alphonso Davies (Bayern Munich), Jonathan David (Lille), and Tajon Buchanan (Inter Milan). They will likely set up in a 4-4-2 formation, aiming to frustrate Argentina and capitalize on counter-attacking opportunities.

Key Factors

Argentina’s ability to control possession and shut down games could prove crucial, as they averaged just 0.70 xG against from positive game states during World Cup Qualifying. Canada, on the other hand, will need to be resolute defensively and make the most of their limited chances in transition. With a sold-out crowd of 70,000 expected, the atmosphere promises to be electric for this highly anticipated clash between the champions and the underdogs.

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