23 March 2019
The international friendly match between Argentina and Venezuela that will be held at the Estadio Wanda Metropolitano in Madrid will see the 2-time World Cup winners looking to stretch a four-game unbeaten run against the South American rivals (W2, D2).
Deprived of the services of Leo Messi and several other first-team stars, the South American heavyweights have pulled off two identical 2-0 triumphs over Mexico during the last international break. Barcelona stalwart returns to international football after missing all six of Argentina’s friendly challenges in the post-World Cup period. During that time, Lionel Scaloni’s men have registered four victories, a draw, and a loss. The only defeat La Albiceleste suffered without Messi has come against arch-rivals Brazil (1-0), and it was the only goal they’ve allowed under Scaloni’s guidance. Interestingly, all four of Argentina’s wins after the final tournament have seen them score 2+ match goals while finding the net in both halves in each of those games.
On the other hand, an evident lack of quality and their inability to build on rare positive moments have seen Venezuela picked up just three triumphs in their last 15 games. As many as eight of their clashes in that period have ended in a draw, with 62.5% of those stalemates ending with the same 1-1 scoreline. Rafael Dudamel’s main worry is his team’s dreadful movement in the final third that has seen them score over 1.5 goals per match only four times in 15 of their previous encounters. However, they have improved their offensive output recently, bagging eight goals in their last five games. Dudamel can surely be happy about the fact his players have kept two clean sheets in that sequence, restricting their rivals to a maximum of one goal per match on the other two occasions.
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