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BELO HORIZONTE, BRAZIL - NOVEMBER 10: Messi #10 of Argentina a match between Brazil and Argentina as part 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Qualifier at Mineirao stadium on November 10, 2016 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. (Photo by Pedro Vilela/Getty Images)

Brazil Vs. Argentina Copa America Semifinals Preview: [Schedule, Start Time, Odds, Predictions]

The heated rivalry between two of the top South American teams rekindles on Tuesday when the host nation Brazil face Argentina in the Copa America semifinals. Despite Brazil losing Neymar Jr. in a friendly against Qatar before the tournament, the Brazilians are still favored to win the tournament with their roster of immense depth. Lionel Messi is looking for his first international trophy with his home nation.

Argentina beat Venezuela 2-0 in their quarterfinals game thanks to strong defensive stand and two goals from Sergio Aguero and Giovani Lo Celso. Messi was quiet in their quarterfinal, playing more of a central role instead of his usual right-wing role. Since the Argentine team plays a 4-4-2, their wide midfielders aren’t as involved in the buildup-play as the central players. Messi may find it tough to find space in the middle of the park, as Brazil likes to play with two central-defensive midfielders. If Messi can find himself out wide, he may be more expressive in the attack for his country.

Brazil contains firepower all across their front line, with Roberto Firmino leading the line, Philippe Coutinho shadowing right behind him, and Willian and Gabriel Jesus on the flanks. Fernadinho and Arthur Melo hold down the middle, looking to shut down any build up from Messi and Aguero, and also providing passes of their own to help the attacking four. Alisson Becker will remain in goal for the Brazilians, as he saved a penalty kick in the shootout against Paraguay that sent them through to the semifinals. The backline anchored by Thiago Silva and Marquinhos will be essential in Brazil’s effort to shut down the Argentines. They have yet to face a team this Copa America who has truly opened up their offense and attacked their defense. Expect the Argentines to go at that back line.

Oddschecker has Brazil as favorites to go through at 22-25, while the Argentines are sitting at 9-2. The game is on Tuesday, starting at 8:30 p.m. EST. The game will be broadcasted on Telemundo Deportes, and can be streamed live on the Watch ESPN app.

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Written by Tyler Pence

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