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SPORTS | 21-06-2021 11:31

Scaloni says Argentina ready for 'uncomfortable' clash with Paraguay

Argentina face Paraguay at the Estádio Nacional de Brasília Mané Garrincha at 9pm on Monday in Group A of the Copa América 2021.

National team coach Lionel Scaloni says Argentina are ready for Monday's Copa América clash with Paraguay, a team he described as "very uncomfortable" and "difficult."

The two sides face off at the Estádio Nacional de Brasília Mané Garrincha at 9pm on Monday in Group A of the Copa América 2021.

The Albiceleste, who hope to secure qualification for the tournament's quarter-finals, will face a "very difficult" opponent, said Scaloni, who praised Paraguayan coach, fellow Argentine Eduardo Berizzo. "They have a generation of good footballers," he added, when asked to assess the opposition's players.

Scaloni, who said there was "no pressure" on Argentina to win the Copa América, recalled that the two sides had drawn in their last two meetings, recording 1-1 ties last November in World Cup qualifiers and in the 2019 edition of the tournament.

Asked if he expected Paraguay to line up defensively, Scaloni said that Berizzo had "a very marked way of playing," though he praised the side's attacking players.

"It is a team that has offensive players, that knows very well how it plays and that makes them an uncomfortable rival for any side," he said.

The 43-year-old former right back, who won seven caps for the national side in his playing days. said there were doubts over the fitness of Nicolás González and Giovani Lo Celso, both starters in last Friday's 1-0 win against Uruguay.

Scaloni trailed that striker Sergio Aguero might be recalled to the starting 11, though he said he was satisfied with the performances of Lautaro Martínez, who has yet to hit the net in the tournament. Midfielder Leandro Paredes, who missed the last match with injury, has declared himself fit to play, though he may not return to the line-up, given that his replacement in the starting line-up scored the winner last time out. 

– TIMES/AFP

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