Argentina v Paraguay: Messi & Co. looking to get up and running in Brazil
Argentina will hope to belatedly get their Copa America campaign up and running when they face Paraguay in Belo Horizonte on Wednesday. Lionel Scaloni's men fell to a disappointing 2-0 defeat to Colombia in their Group B opener in Salvador at the weekend, with Lionel Messi again coming for criticism after what was perceived by many as another sub-par display on the international stage.
Five-time Ballon d'Or winner Messi will be hoping to get Argentina firing at the Mineirao against a Paraguay side that were held to a 2-2 draw by Qatar in their opening match. Nicolas Burdisso, who played with Messi at the 2006 and 2010 World Cups, remains confident the Barcelona superstar can lead Argentina to their first senior title since 1993.
"He's a leader who asks for the ball. He is the type of leader the team needs to win these matches, someone who makes decisions on the pitch," Burdisso told TyC Sports. "You can also have a leader by personality and, obviously, the coach. They help each other, they complement each other and do not fight between themselves.
"We always get caught up on Messi because he's the best in the world and has earned that respect." It has been suggested Angel Di Maria will lose his place to Rodrigo De Paul for the match, following a bright second-half cameo from the latter winger against Colombia, while Lautaro Martinez could be picked ahead of Sergio Aguero up front.
Paraguay boss Eduardo Berizzo is also said to be considering changes, with Gustavo Gomez potentially set to be drafted into the centre of defence. Paraguay took a 2-0 lead against Qatar through Oscar Cardozo and substitute Derlis Gonzalez, but Almoez Ali reduced the arrears before an own goal from Roberto Rojas ensured the spoils were shared.