A National Team that plays as equals, with very fast and skillful players, so we can define our team’s next opponent. This will benefit Argentina on Saturday. Unlike what was the match with Saudi Arabia, where the Asian team stood in an intermediate area of the field, that is, they did not defend high or low, but did so in an intermediate way. He waited in three quarters of the field, playing in line in defense and being very aggressive in the mark, both behind and in midfield. In this way, it was difficult for him to find the way to hurt the rival, without a doubt that the way was with balls into space, winning the backs of the defenders, but there was an important error: those who broke were directly the forwards (Di María or Lautaro Martínez) and they were left offside, or the goalkeeper -who played in advance- anticipated the play.
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A good alternative would have been for the strikers or wingers to come in, take their mark, generating a doubt and thus both the full-backs (Molina and Tagliafico) and the interiors (De Paul and Gómez) would break from behind avoiding the offside. As can be seen in the previous table, how the forwards are in line.
On Saturday, against Mexico, they are going to meet another type of rival that is going to try to set up another type of game, with fast players, that constantly try to triangulate (make walls) and connect side-inside-end (The ends are recognized as wings). In this case Mexico andHe finds different ways to progress, but we can highlight a common denominator: gaining space behind his back between the full-back and the center-back. The winger does it directly, surprising, or the winger enters dragging his mark so that the midfielder can gain the space he left. Argentina will have to be very careful with their best player, Irving Lozano, who connects well with Sánchez and is the one who can create an imbalance by crossing the middle of the pitch.
How to hurt Mexico
If we look for its weak parts, it is a team that, by attacking so much, tends to end up in a bad position in defense, or with few people. In the first game it was seen how Poland tried to hit him on the counterattack, or even pressing on his goal. There was even a play in which he cornered him on the band, stole the ball and finally generated the penalty, which Ochoa later ended up saving Lewandowski. Another detail is that his second central marker is right-handed, that is, he plays “with a changed leg”, a good idea is to cover his skillful leg and force him to go out to the side with his left leg to force the error.
The albiceleste will have to recover her identity, the game that identified her all this time and brought her to where she is today. We still don’t know how many changes Scaloni will make, some say it’s good for him to get into the team and others that he should keep the base and not make so many changes due to a defeat. The truth is that there are some players who return from injuries and inactivity and others without continuity in their teams, andThose things are noticeable on the field and more so in such an even tournament.
From the first moment the midfield will be important to create play and at the same time connect with the forwards to be able to hurt Mexico. Against the Asian team, the double 5 -Paredes and De Paul- were seen playing very far back, receiving the ball at the level of the central defenders and thus becoming a very long team and the only option left was to throw into space (As is seen in the first graph) If they maintain their height in a second line of defense, they can win over the backs of the opposing insiders who -as we already mentioned- are very offensive players and will have to take advantage of it. One of the changes that the coach is believed to make is the entry of Enzo Fernandez for Paredes, a change he made in the last game and the former River entered the match in a good way.
In defense, Lisandro Martinez will most likely replace Cuti Romero, who could not show his best version. On the wings it will be important to have players with a good back and forth, both in defense when it comes to neutralizing their wingers and without losing their backs, but also to attack and make the Mexican wingers doubt whether it is convenient to attack or not. That is, block them. Lionel Messi was training differently and set off the alarms of all Argentines. You have to be aware that the captain always wants to be there, that he plays every game -including friendlies- and that Saturday is no exception. We are going to be able to see the best in the world on the pitch and hopefully he can continue to show it.
Repeating the team, not doing it, making many changes, making few, are decisions of the coach that exceed everyone. The most important thing, whoever plays, will be concentration and attitude in the more than 90 minutes. It is going to be a crucial game for qualifying for the round of 16 and there is no doubt: our players will give everything on the field to achieve it.