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Argentina predicted lineup vs Brazil - Copa America 2021

Max Cooper
Gunning for glory
Gunning for glory / Pedro Vilela/Getty Images

One game of football separates Lionel Messi from immortality status among the Argentina faithful.

The Barcelona forward has won everything on offer at domestic level, but he has yet to lift major silverware in the blue and white of his beloved home country. At 34 years of age, and 90 minutes away from fulfilling his destiny, Messi may not get a better chance than Saturday night's big showdown.

Argentina travel to the Maracana to take on Copa America holders and hosts Brazil, aware that they could end a 28-year drought in the competition by winning a final for the first time in five attempts.

So, with the odds stacked against them, it's time for heroes. But who should start? Here are the 11 players that should be selected in Saturday night's 2021 Copa America final.

Argentina predicted lineup vs Brazil - Copa America 2021

1. Goalkeeper & Defenders

Emiliano Martinez
The penalty master / Andressa Anholete/Getty Images

Emi Martinez (GK) - The hero of the semi-final shootout, there is absolutely no doubt over this call. He's Messi's new favourite player too, by the sounds of things.

Nahuel Molina (RB) - The Udinese man was not at his best in the semi-final victory, but his direct competition, Gonzalo Montiel, hasn't particularly impressed, either.

German Pezzella (CB) - It'll be a huge night for Pezzella, who will end a difficult campaign with Fiorentina by competing in a Copa America final. What a turnaround.

Nicolas Otamendi (CB) - The former Manchester City man can be a bit of a liability, but with Cristian Romero still a doubt, he should complete the centre-back partnership for the final.

Nicolas Tagliafico (LB) - An adventurous full-back, Tagliafico is the final name in the backline. He faces a challenge in stopping Brazil's fluid forward line.

2. Midfielders

Rodrigo De Paul, Lionel Messi
Pointing the way / Alexandre Schneider/Getty Images

Rodrigo De Paul (CM) - The spark in the centre of the park. De Paul blew Serie A away again last year and will be hoping to cap off a sublime season with a major honour.

Leandro Paredes (CM) - The Paris Saint-Germain midfielder will have a tough evening ahead of him, but it won't be the first time he's experienced the thrill of the big stage.

Giovani Lo Celso (CM) -
A feisty opponent in the heart of the midfield, Lo Celso's battle with Casemiro and Fred will be well worth keeping an eye on.

3. Forwards

Lautaro Martinez, Lionel Messi
The boys / Pedro Vilela/Getty Images

Lionel Messi (RW) - The greatest player on the biggest stage in South America. Time to shine and fulfil his destiny. Bring it home, Leo.

Lautaro Martinez (ST) - Argentina sneaked beyond Colombia in the semis, and it was thanks to Martinez's goal that it went to penalties. Watch out for his linkup with Messi.

Nico Gonzalez (LW) - It's a close call for the left-wing spot, but Gonzalez should get the nod. Competition from Alejandro Gomez and Angel Di Maria is strong, though.