Doesn’t matter the sport or the gender of those playing the game, a matchup between Argentina and Brazil is always promising. The rivalry is so deep, so rooted in soccer culture that certain electricity always goes around before the initial whistle.
In the women’s game, things are a little bit more one-sided than in the men’s, with a very clear-cut advantage on the overall head-to-head for Brazil. But these two teams, for the first time, will meet each other in different circumstances, at least in this context.
FanDuel Sportsbook has the Brazilians a -1800 favorite for Friday afternoon’s match which kicks off at 3 p.m. ET.
Brazil looks to justify heavy favorite status
Brazil is improving, game by game, tournament by tournament. Changes include the decision to give equal pay for matches regardless of gender and the decision to appoint Pia Sundhage as their head coach after the team’s quarterfinal exit in the last Women’s World Cup played in 2019.
Since then, Brazil got to the quarterfinals of the Olympics, losing eventually on penalties against would Gold medalists Canada. The Brazilians were also part of the She Believes Cup in 2021, again facing Canada along with the United States and today’s rivals Argentina.
Sundhage has adapted her style of coaching and playing to something very close to the roots of the Brazilian football DNA. That is, a lot of attacking-minded players, full backs pumping forward (particularly Tamires), and flair and creativity on the boots of Marta, Debinha, Duda, Bia, etc.
Argentina, on the other side, feels like leaving a long dark tunnel, and this is the first game trying to exorcise their past ghosts. Sportsbooks seem to cast this match in the same light.
Argentina comes in with a chance to establish itself
Argentina also has a new coach, Germán Portanova, who replaced Carlos Borrello. Borrello had been the head coach of Argentina since 1998. Yes, you read that right. 1998.
Portanova’s credentials are local, managing one of the powerhouses in Argentina’s women’s league, UAI Urquiza. Under his leadership, the club won two championships and qualified for the Copa Libertadores. Portanova was also part of the youth evolution of some national team players during these years like Kansas City‘s Mariana Larroquette, Juventus‘ Dalila Ippólito, and Madrid CFF‘s Florencia Bonsegundo.
Tactically, we might see something quite different since Portanova favors attacking more than Borrello did. Bettors probably won’t see that low-block, defensive scheme that Argentina brought to France in 2019 and United States in 2021.
Also, with this change in managerial duties, some of the “old guard” that was left out for clamoring for better conditions after the last World Cup is returning. The aforementioned Bonsegundo makes her return to international contention while the Argentinians are still waiting for Estefanía Banini to return.
As said, historically, Argentina and Brazil is a one-sided affair with 14 wins for Brazil, a draw and two wins for La Albiceleste. 57 goals were scored by the Canarinha and only 14 for Argentina.
The last Argentinian win was in 2014, in the Copa América, 2-0 thanks to goals from Banini and Aldana Cometti. But, in fairness, the last meeting between these teams in the She Believes Cup was a 4-1 Brazil victory. A clean sheet for either side is probably unlikely again today.