Football Previews

Brazil v Argentina predictions & line-ups as Lionel Messi starts

By J Smith

Published: 16:30, 15 November 2019

Arguably the greatest rivalry in international football resumes on Friday night when Brazil and Argentina clash in Saudi Arabia.

Despite being a mere friendly, there is plenty of anticipation surrounding this match, which will be Lionel Messi’s first for Argentina since being handed a three-month ban for criticising tournament officials in the wake of his nation’s disappointing Copa America campaign.

Brazil were the winners of that tournament over the summer and, as ever, the Seleção have named a squad jam-packed with mouthwatering talent.

Read on for Brazil v Argentina predictions, preview, team news and TV coverage information.

When is Brazil vs Argentina and where can I watch live?

Competition: International friendly

Venue: King Saud University Stadium, Riyadh

Date: Friday, 15 November 2019

Kick-off: 5:00 PM (UK time)

TV coverage (UK): This match will not be televised in the UK

Last five meetings: Brazil v Argentina

02 Jul 2019: Brazil 2-0 Argentina (Copa America)

16 Oct 2018: Argentina 0-1 Brazil (Superclasico de las Americas)

09 Jun 2017: Brazil 0-1 Argentina (Superclasico de las Americas)

10 Nov 2016: Brazil 3-0 Argentina (Fifa World Cup qualifying)

13 Nov 2015: Argentina 1-1 Brazil (Fifa World Cup qualifying)

Aggregate Score: Brazil (WWLWD) 7-2 Argentina (LLWLD)

Ones to watch

Brazil: Thiago Silva

If there’s one area Argentina are strong, it’s in the attack, especially with Messi returning.

Thiago Silva has done a fine job of nullifying La Albiceleste in the past and even at 35 years old, will be charged with doing so once again.

Key stat: Thiago Silva has made more interceptions (18) than any other PSG player in Ligue 1 this season.

Argentina: Lionel Messi

Argentina have a ton of attacking talent but there’s only one man taking the headlines for Lionel Scaloni’s team: Lionel Messi.

After serving a three-month ban from CONMEBOL, the Barcelona man is set to make his return to the international stage. It’s not quite fallen into place for Messi and Argentina so far but rest assured, the 32-year-old will have one hell of a point to prove, starting here.

Key stat: Messi has scored four direct free-kick goals in La Liga this season, making him the only player in the division to do this more than once.

Team news


Neymar remains sidelined with the same hamstring injury sustained during the previous international break.

Aston Villa midfielder Douglas Luiz is a surprise inclusion to the squad, while Real Madrid’s Rodrygo has also been included.

Confirmed XI: Alisson; Danilo, Marquinhos, Thiago Silva, Sandro; Arthur, Casemiro, Coutinho; Willian, Firmino, Jesus.

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As mentioned, Messi has returned and is likely to receive a good chunk of playing time as Argentina seek to redress the balance against their old rivals.

Spurs midfielder Giovani Lo Celso has been included once again despite his fitness struggles.

Confirmed XI: Andrada; Foyth, Pezzella, Otamendi, Acuna; Ocampos, Paredes, Paul; Messi, Dybala, Aguero.

Squawka prediction

Argentina have scored just two goals in their last six meetings against Brazil and have really struggled against their rivals in recent times.

However, the return of Messi will be a major boost and after years of struggle on the international stage, the Barcelona man will have a serious point to prove. Don’t be surprised to see him take the headlines here.

Scoreline prediction: Brazil 1-2 Argentina

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