Argentina, Colombia open Copa America looking to end drought

AP
Published 12:47 p.m. ET June 14, 2019

SALVADOR, Brazil (AP) — Will it be more of the same or the starting point of a prosperous cycle?

The question applies to both Argentina and Colombia ahead of their Copa America debut in Brazil on Saturday at the Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador.

Both teams enter the South American championship going through a revamping process, with new coaches and younger players coming in to replace former stars.

Saturday will mark the first competitive match for Argentina since its elimination in the round of 16 of the World Cup in Russia last year. The team’s disappointing performance led to the departure of coach Jorge Sampaoli and the absence of veterans Javier Mascherano, Lucas Biglia and Gonzalo Higuain from this year’s squad.

Now on the bench is Lionel Scaloni, the former player who took over despite no previous head-coaching experience. Scaloni is expected to field a starting 11 with six players from the World Cup in Russia: captain Lionel Messi, goalkeeper Franco Armani, defenders Nicolas Otamendi and Nicolas Di Maria and strikers Angel Di Maria and Sergio Aguero.

Among the newcomers are Renzo Saravia, Leandro Paredes and…

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