Lionel Messi’s Argentina faces Uruguay on Monday in what will be the team’s final fixture of 2019. Argentina is hoping to end the year on a high note by extending its undefeated streak to seven matches in a row. Barcelona talisman Messi scored the only goal of the game when Lionel Scaloni’s side clinched a 1-0 win over Brazil on Friday, but friendly foe Uruguay is riding an impressive run of its own.
How to Watch:
When: Monday, November 18
Time: 2:15 p.m. ET
Live Stream: fuboTV (watch for free)
The “Clasico del Rio de la Plata” is considered one of South America’s most heated rivalries and one of the most played derby in football. Argentina has won 89 of 197 meetings, while Uruguay have triumphed on 61 occasions (47 draws). These teams finished scoreless the last time they met in August 2017, a most unlikely scoreline considering Messi, Paulo Dybala, Mauro Icardi, Angel Di Maria, Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani all started that game.
Messi made a resplendent return from suspension in the recent win against Brazil, and Barca will watch through gritted teeth if its star is back in Scaloni’s XI at Bloomfield Stadium in Tel Aviv, Israel.
He hopes to hand La Celeste their first defeat of 2019 (in 90 minutes), with Oscar Tabarez having led Uruguay on a nearly unblemished record so far this year. Their only technical defeat was a penalty shootout loss to Peru in the Copa America quarterfinals in June following a 0-0 draw.
Neither of Argentina’s Paris Saint-Germain based attackers—Di Maria and Icardi—will be involved in Tel Aviv after Scaloni omitted both from his most recent squad.
Tabarez—Uruguay’s coach since March 2006—watched his side beat Hungary 2-1 in a friendly of its own on Friday, when Cavani was joined on the scoresheet by Los Angeles FC star Brian Rodriguez. Winger Rodriguez, 19, has exploded onto the international stage with three goals in his first five Uruguay caps, despite having yet to score for his MLS employers at the club level. His goals in the recent months have been crucial to extending Uruguay’s unbeaten 2019 slate.
Argentina hasn’t conceded a goal against Uruguay in its last three meetings (two 1-0 wins and a 0-0 draw) and last penetrated La Albiceleste’s lines when won, 3-2, in October 2013.
Messi & Co. are sure to have been motivated after their recent clash with rivals Brazil, though they’ll hope to have left something left in the tank for what could be an even feistier duel opposite Uruguay.