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Confirmed Argentina team news: Who will be in the lineup for the Copa América opener against Canada?

The likes of Lautaro Martinez, Enzo Fernandez and Alejandro Garnacho miss out on a spot in the starting XI alongside Lionel Messi.

Argentina's selection headache for Copa América opener
Agustin MarcarianREUTERS

Argentina will kick-start the 2024 Copa América with an opening night clash against a talented Canada side on Thursday. As reigning champions, Argentina will open the tournament at Mercedes-Benz Stadium and Lionel Scaloni’s side will be desperate to get off to a winning start.

La Albiceleste were the heavy favourites going into the tournament and it’s not difficult to see why. After a 28-year trophy drought Argentina have now won Copa América and the World Cup in quick succession, boasting an impressive squad and commendable team spirit.

They will have Lionel Messi leading the team, in perhaps his last ever international tournament, but it would be wrong to say that this Argentina squad is all about the 36-year-old magician. Alongside Messi, Scaloni has the pick of the likes of Julián Álvarez, Lautaro Martinez and Alejandro Garnacho. It’s a real selection headache, but this is how Scaloni’s team will line up against Canada...

Predicted Argentina lineup: Emiliano Martinez - Nahuel Molina, Cristian Romero, Lisandro Martinez, Marcos Acuna - Rodrigo De Paul, Leandro Paredes, Alexis Mac Allister - Lionel Messi, Angel Di Maria, Julián Álvarez

Will Argentina win Copa América?

Well, at this early stage, it looks like a pretty good bet. They are the strong favourites for a reason, even in a crowded field of contenders at this year’s edition of Copa América.

What stands Argentina apart, aside from that World Cup win just 18 months ago, is the completeness of their squad in comparison to their opposition. They have quality in all areas, despite some concerns about defensive pace and slight question marks over the ‘elite level’ credentials of their fullbacks.

The other pre-tournament favourites don’t look like they’re quite ready to dethrone this unified Argentina team. There are some with impressive squads that lack cohesion (Brazil, USMNT), and others that have built real momentum in recent months but don’t have the same depth of talent (Colombia, Uruguay). It’ll be a fascinating tournament, but Argentina are the well-deserved favourites at this early stage.