Argentina vs Chile: La Albiceleste target revenge for pre-tournament politics

Lionel Messi and co will be looking to make a statement of intent when they kick-off their 2021 Copa America campaign against Chile.

When: Monday, June 14, 22:00 BST

How to watch: BBC Sport

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Best Bets

Argentina to win at 8/11

Half Time/Full Time Draw/Argentina at 10/3

Lionel Messi to score anytime at 20/21

Just a few weeks before the start of the tournament, Argentina and Colombia were gearing up to host South America's biggest soccer event.

However, CONMEBOL's spectacular decision to strip the two nations of their hosting rights sent shockwaves and led to weeks of controversies.

Brazil was named as host nation after Argentina and Colombia were stripped by CONMEBOL
Brazil was named as host nation after Argentina and Colombia were stripped by CONMEBOL

Argentina will be hoping to lift the mood of the nation when they kick off the competition against Chile in Rio de Janeiro.

Away from all the politics, there is also growing pressure on the national team after failing to win a major honour since 1993.

Since then, Argentina have lost one World Cup final, four Copa America finals and even two FIFA Confederations Cup finals.

Can Lionel Messi finally lead his men to a major international trophy? The next two tournaments - Copa America and the 2022 World Cup - will arguably be his last to try and cement his national team reputation. 

Last Three Matches

Argentina 1-1 Chile (World Cup Qualifier - June 4, 2021)

The two teams recently met in a 2022 World Cup qualifier.

On that occasion, the two sides shared a point after Lionel Messi's opener was cancelled out by an Alexis Sanchez equaliser.

The result leaves Argentina in second place. Chile, meanwhile, are well off the pace in seventh.

Chile 0-0 Argentina (Friendly - September 6, 2019)

There was little to shout about when Chile and Argentina clashed in a friendly back in 2019.

A capacity crowd in Los Angeles went home rather disappointed following a goalless draw.

Argentina 2-1 Chile (Copa America - July 6, 2019)

The last meeting between the two sides in the Copa America came in a third-place play-off back in 2019.

Sergio Aguero opened the scoring after 12 minutes to put Argentina in-front. Just moments later, Paulo Dybala doubled that lead.

A few minutes before the interval, both Gary Medel and Lionel Messi were sent-off for unsportsmanlike conduct.

Chile closed the gap in the second-half when Arturo Vidal converted a penalty. Nevertheless, Argentina held on to finish the tournament in third place.

Last ten head-to-heads

Argentina wins: 6

Draws: 2

Chile wins: 2

Argentina goals: 14

Chile goals: 8

End of an era is coming

Angel Di Maria, Sergio Aguero and Lionel Messi are arguably the three best players in this Argentina squad. They're also 33-years-old.

With the glory years behind them, these three are well aware that the next two major tournaments could be their last opportunities to win major international silverware.

Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero
Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero

The pressure is on to deliver but with a talented young squad behind them, there's no reason why Lionel Scaloni's side can't succeed.

Chile's tough start

On one hand, Chile have been dealt a horrendous draw having to play Argentina first. On the other, Martin Lasarte's side will be happy to get the big boys out of the way early.

Can Alexis Sanchez lead Chile to victory?
Can Alexis Sanchez lead Chile to victory?

With only three wins from their last 13 games, there is a growing concern about Chile's form.

The national side is struggling as their 'golden generation' seems to have spectacularly collapsed.

Goalscorer bets

Lionel Messi bagged a goal when the two teams last met. In fact, Messi has scored four of his 72 international goals against Chile.

At 20/21, the Barcelona man is well priced to get amongst the goals.

READ MORE: Patrik Schick screamer helps sink Scotland in Euro 2020 opener