Doni -v- Argentina’s Attack
Doni was considered something of a flop in Brazilian football wandering between clubs before to the surprise of everyone he fetched up at Roma. Another surprise was the fact Dunga named him in his starting 11 when everyone expected him to be on the bench. He’s been at fault for several goals already and many Brazilian fans will be nervous at the thought of him facing the full force of Argentina’s attack.
Alex -v- Tevez & Messi
Alex is good in the air but you do not expect Argentina to ping high balls into Tevez and Messi. Playing their fast intricate game along the ground could expose the frequently cumbersome football of the former Santos man and Argentina are likely to target him instead of the more mobile Juan. How he lives up to the challenge could decide the game.
Josué & Mineiro -v- Riquelme
Josué and Mineiro are old São Paulo colleagues and know each other’s game inside out and it will be their responsibility to work together to stop Riquelme drifting around to pick up the ball and arm Argentina’s attacks. Problem is they can catch him as Riquelme is slow by today’s standards but doing that is no guarantee you will rob him of the ball, so good is he at shielding it.
Elano -v- Heinze
With Gilberto Silva suspended Elano looks set to get another chance following his demotion to the bench after the first games. He was the player who unlocked Argentina in the friendly last year in London and while we will have to wait and see exactly how Dunga plans to use him, if he is given license to do his customary hard running on the right of midfield he will look to test just how complete Heinze’s recovery is from his post-World Cup dip in form.
Ayala -v- Robinho
Argentina’s captain is one of the wiliest central defenders in the world, but relies on his positioning to make up for lack of pace. Robinho still looks the unfinished article despite being Brazil’s key man this Copa but one thing Brazilian fans know is that his speed and trickery can torment defenders. He’ll need that today as despite what Blatter says Vagner Love does not look a striker ready to overly trouble Argentina’s back four.