Copa America 2011, Argentina Vs. Costa Rica: Lionel Messi, Albiceleste Fight For Life Against Sub-22 Ticos

All that stands between Argentina and their redemption is Costa Rica's second team. After two poor performances to open the 2011 Copa America, Lionel Messi and the Albiceleste will make it through to the quarterfinals of the competition in second place in Group A if they can just defeat Costa Rica's Olympic team, one that includes none of Bryan Ruiz, Celso Borges, and so on. Seems simple, right?

Well, defeating Bolivia seemed simple as well. Thanks to a lack of creativity in the midfield, leaving Messi to work himself into the ground trying to be himself and Xavi Hernandez at the exact same time, Argentina drew Bolivia 1-1. After a terrible error gifted Bolivia a goal, Argentina only scraped a point through a Sergio Aguero wonder strike. 

Even with that poor performance against Bolivia, Sergio Batista changed exactly nothing in his front six for the match against Colombia. Javier Mascherano, Ever Banega, and Esteban Cambiasso once again made up the starting midfield, while Ezequiel Lavezzi and Carlos Tevez started up top with Messi. Cambiasso, Tevez, and Lavezzi were ineffective. Again.

Will Batista learn from his mistakes on Monday? Even if he doesn't, Argentina might be able to scrape by. Yes, Costa Rica kept it close against Colombia and defeated Bolivia, but this is a fairly average team. Saprissa forwards Joel Campbell and Josue Martinez might be future starters for the first choice national team, but they are not good enough to earn that distinction at present. Costa Rica shouldn't be able to get a result Monday night.

But, of course, Bolivia shouldn't have been able to get a result. Venezuela shouldn't have been able to draw Brazil. Peru shouldn't have been able to draw Uruguay. This tournament has been wildly unpredictable, so making a prediction on the result of this game would be ridiculous.

However, there's one game-related prediction we can make. If Argentina are eliminated from Copa America in the group stages, Sergio Batista probably won't have a job come August.

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