Argentina vs Canada Prediction: Messi to star in Atlanta

 | Thursday 20th June 2024, 3:00am

Thursday 20th June 2024, 3:00am

Defending champions Argentina get their Copa America campaign underway on Friday (01:00, Premier Sports 1) when they face Canada in their Group A opener at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. La Albiceleste will have ambitions to become the most decorated nation in the competition's history this summer as they currently share the record with Uruguay, with both having won 15 titles apiece.

All eyes will be on the current world champions for this one expecting something extraordinary. Read on for my Argentina vs Canada prediction, accompanied by team news and match odds.

Argentina vs Canada Betting Tips

  • Argentina -2 handicap @ 11/5
  • Lionel Messi to score two or more goals @ 9/2

Argentina vs Canada Odds

Argentina are the 1/4 favourites to win here and get off to the perfect start in Group A. This gives them an implied probability of 80%. Canada are priced at 9/1, which gives them just a 10% chance of victory. The draw can be backed at 4/1 (20%).

Both teams to score is available at 6/5 and over 2.5 goals is on offer at 4/6.

Argentina forward Julian Alvarez is tipped for a profitable campaign in front of goal, and he is valued at 6/4 to score anytime on Friday. Talisman and veteran Lionel Messi is 11/4 to open the scoring in Atlanta.

Copa America 2024 Odds

Team News

La Albiceleste manager Lionel Scaloni made the tough call to omit Angel Correa, Leonardo Balerdi and Valentin Barco from his final 26-man squad, but that is a testament to the squad depth he has.

Seasoned defender Nicolas Otamendi has been a key figure in defence for many years, and he looks to be partnered with Cristian Romero for this Copa America campaign.

Atletico Madrid midfielder Rodrigo De Paul looks to be guaranteed a spot in the middle of the park, and Scaloni needs to decide who out of Alexis Mac Allister, Enzo Fernandez and Leandro Paredes, will play alongside him.

For Canada, the standout name on the team sheet is Bayern Munich defender Alphonso Davies, and he will be looked to for inspiration by his team mates. Up front, Lille's Jonathan David will be hoping for a fruitful summer after an impressive goalscoring campaign in Ligue 1.

He also has 26 in 48 international appearances which shows that he is more than capable of delivering on this stage.

Argentina -2 handicap @ 11/5

After failing to win in their last four matches, I expect Canada will have a slow start in this tournament. It doesn't help that they are facing the reigning champions and World Cup winners Argentina, who are going to be a difficult force to stop this summer.

Scaloni's squad are still riding the wave of their recent successes and they will look to continue while they still have one of the greatest players of all time (Messi) in their ranks.

Seeing as there was no value in Argentina to win, or to win to nil, I have selected them to achieve victory by a -2 handicap. They put four goals past Guatemala on Saturday in their final warm-up game, and they have more than enough quality to put Canada to the sword.

Les Rouges are on a disappointing run of games and they recently lost 4-0 to the Netherlands in a friendly, so I think Argentina can score a similar amount of goals.

Canada boss Jesse Marsch is going to have a tough time trying to keep the likes of Messi and Alvarez quiet, and I think the duo could be in for a fun evening.

Argentina -2 handicap at 11/5 Lionel Messi to score two or more goals @ 9/2

Messi has been mentioned quite a bit already in this preview, and rightly so. Despite being in the final years of his career and plying his trade in MLS, he continues to be as strong as ever on the pitch, particularly when playing for his national team.

Having collected the Copa America and World Cup titles to add to his incredible trophy collection in the last three years, the former Barcelona man has what most people say 'completed football.'

However, the professional that he is, he will still strive for more. Messi could potentially see this as his final Copa America and he could look to bow out on a high. He scored twice against Guatemala at the weekend, so he will be extremely confident heading into this Group A opener on Friday.

As ever he continues to be a great shout to finish the tournament as top scorer and I believe he can get off to a strong start with a brace against Canada.

Lionel Messi to score 2+ goals at 9/2 You can read all our latest Football Betting Tips at our dedicated Betfred Insights content hub.

 

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