Copa America 2019: Argentina players "need support and not pressure", says coach Lionel Scaloni

Press Association Sport 08:20 23/06/2019
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Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni says their must-win Copa America game with Qatar is “not life and death”.

La Albiceleste have endured a wretched campaign in Brazil so far, losing against Colombia and drawing with Paraguay ahead of their final group game with the Asian invitee on Sunday.

Brazil’s 5-0 win over Peru on Saturday has helped their qualification cause, but Scaloni is not going to worry too much about what happens.

“These guys need support and not so much pressure on them,” he said in a press conference. “It’s not life and death, it’s a football game.

“We have to win it and that’s enough. If what happens, happens, it doesn’t help. They need positivity to do their best.

“If we win we will go through the round, the result of Brazil against Peru did not change much for us because we should win and we are focused on that.

“Psychologically and emotionally we are well. We have to raise the game to go out and win and we will do it.”

Much has been made about Scaloni’s potential team selection, with reports that Paulo Dybala will join Lionel Messi in attack.

“The team is decided and the players know it. But I’m not going to say it because it would give the Qatar manager an advantage,” Scaloni added.

“Qatar plays football well, the coach makes them change systems in the same game and it is a difficult team. I always respect the rivals and this one even more because it is still everything at stake.”

The Asian Cup winners drew 2-2 with Paraguay in their opening game but lost to Colombia.

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