Colombia are facing soccer giant Argentina Tuesday. Having gathered four points in two games, “Los Cafeteros” cannot afford to lose if they want to stay in the top of the 2014 World Cup qualifying standings.
Argentina is a soccer nation that instantly attracts attention, especially when it boasts the best player in the world in the form of Lionel Messi. If you asked most Colombian fans who they would most like to see their heroes vanquish, the vast majority would say their rivals in the sky blue and white stripes.
Colombia coach Leonel Alvarez played when the Colombian side of the 90s reached their ápex by crushing Argentina 5-0 in Buenos Aires back in 1993 and he will be hoping that his players can claim their own glory this time around.
“La Albiceleste” boast an incredibly rich squad of attacking options in midfield and attack, although they have been weakened through injuries to both Ever Banega and Angel di Maria in recent days.
The talents of Messi, Gonzalo Higuain, Sergio Agüero and co would grace any side in the world and the Colombians will have to defend in a similar fashion to how they did this past summer, when they dealt effectively with the Argentine attack and reduced Messi to a mere spectator during their goalless draw at the Copa America. On that occasion “Los Cafeteros” could easily have claimed victory and they should be aiming to go that bit further this time around.
Despite looking mightily impressive against Chile in their opening game, Argentina once again appeared lop-sided and vulnerable in their defeat in Venezuela last month. Coach Alejandro Sabella has named only six defenders in his squad for their upcoming games and none of these defenders would inspire a great amount of confidence.
If Colombia go about their business with the necessary intensity, they could very well make their opponents suffer in the afternoon heat and humidity of Barranquilla. Colombian striker Teo Gutierrez has been a provocative figure for many in his time playing with Racing in Argentina. He has failed to score any goals there since the end of September but the former Junior hitman may well fancy his chances of ending that drought in spectacular fashion Tuesday in front of an adoring public.