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USA v Argentina Wednesday June 22 : USA are missing some key players because of suspension

USA v Argentina
Wednesday June 22, 02:00
Live on Premier Sports
A case for Mulder and Scully in Belarus last night, the weirdness of which would rival any X-File. Dinamo Minsk mysteriously lost 1-0 at home to a floundering Neman Grodno side who'd collected just one point on the road this season. The truth is out there.
Chastened by our Belarusian experience, we return to the Copa America Centenario. We've reached the semi-final stage, and the hosts USA face the tournament favourites Argentina.
This is being dubbed by some columnists as the most important match in the USMNT's history, a chance to reach a major final on home soil. After being outclassed in their opening match, a 2-0 defeat to Colombia, Jurgen Klinsmann's side have seen off Costa Rica, Paraguay and Ecuador. Veteran forward Clint Dempsey has led the charge, scoring in each of the last three games.
There's plenty riding on this Houston showdown for Argentina too. The Albiceleste haven't won a major tournament for 23 years. Last year they lost the Copa America final to Chile, and a year earlier they were edged out by Germany in a dramatic World Cup final.
Argentina's talisman Lionel Messi is once again the man the country is looking to for inspiration. He was in superb form in the 4-1 quarter-final win over Venezuela, scoring a goal and setting up one of Gonzalo Higuain's strikes with a sumptuous pass. In the group stage against Panama, he scored a 19-minute hat-trick in a 5-0 win.
The USA are without midfield hardman Jermaine Jones after he was sent off against Ecuador, while Alejandro Bedoya and striker Bobby Wood are also banned. There are also concerns about how many chances Ecuador created in the quarter-finals, opportunities they dare not allow Argentina to take advantage of.
Argentina have won all four of their matches so far, and despite this being very much an away fixture, that is unlikely to faze the likes of Messi, Higuain and Angel Di Maria. This unit has plenty of recent experience of playing big games, and they have a point to prove.

There are arguments to back Messi 1.94 or Dempsey 5.00 in the To Score market, but I'm playing safe and going for a comfortable Argentina victory against depleted hosts.


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