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Jun 26, 2019


The Argentinian Captain have emphasized that the team is getting back to form, but it's very clear that against Venezuela he may have to take the majority of the workload.



Why Argentina's Hope against Venezuela will depend on Messi's Work Rate? #AllAboutFCB #FCBarcelona

Lionel Messi was very vocal about the performance of his team against Qatar which helped them to proceed to the knockout stage of the Copa America 2019. He emphasized how the actual Copa start from here and it's now a do or die scenario for them.


Exactly like the World Cup, they somehow managed to the next stage and now it needs to be seen whether they can proceed further. In order to do that, Lionel Messi needs to be in his absolute best, especially with his work rate. Let's see why his work rate is more important against Venezuela than his goals.




Countering Venezuela's Packed Midfield


Venezuela is expected to use 4-5-1 formation once again against Messi's Argentina. To an extent that would be an ideal formation to counter Messi. What it does is to put more players in midfield and allow to break any rhythm Argentina is building up.


Messi has a huge role in helping his team counter the five-man midfield lying ahead of the four-man defense. Argentina is expected to use the same formation as in the Qatar match. That means Messi will have two players lying in front of him and it is paramount for Messi to use these two players to stretch the defense and midfield.


He needs to constantly run at the defense from midfield drawing midfield to him and pushing the defense further back. That will leave space for him and other players to exploit. It is essential to not allow the midfield and defense to work closely in countering a 4-5-1 formation. If he succeeds to do that, Venezuela will be up for the taking.


Messi as The Ball Winner in Midfield


We actually never appreciate the real prowess of Messi as a ball winner in the midfield. He usually doesn't do that and that's the reason why we don't associate him with someone who could play a crucial role defensively in the team. Against Venezuela, he may have to put a double shift.


Argentina looks absolutely fragile against every break. If the ball is played on the wings, it's just a matter of time before Argentina is threatened. The defense looks absolutely soft and at times the defending is shambolic.


Messi playing at the tip of the midfield diamond means they usually have one person less while defending. Against Qatar Lautaro and Aguero was dropping down to help them. But against Venezuela, Messi needs to put his shift as a ball winner in midfield.


When Messi closes down on people, there is usually a bit of panic and if there is a small bad touch, there is no other player better than him to pounce on it. What it also does is he could immediately transition the side for a quick counter as he will have both Aguero and Lautaro ahead of him. Argentina's fate against Venezuela will majorly depend on how Messi plays this role.


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