Mexico and Argentina will meet for the fourth consecutive year in an official competition. Mexico beat Argentina 1-0 in the group phase of the 2004 Copa America while Argentina knocked Mexico out of the 2005 Confederations Cup (on penalty kicks) and the 2006 World Cup (in extra time).
There's no reason to think tonight's game won't be right up there in terms of drama and intrigue and downright good football. Neither side has lost this tournament yet and both are coming off lopsided semifinal victories, as Mexico beat Paraguay 6-0 and Argentina trumped Peru 4-0.
For Mexico, one of its important players might not be able to go. Nery Castillo has a bum ankle and he might not be able to start.
Hugo Sanchez told Ovaciones that he is unsure whether Castillo will start even if the striker is able to maneuver without too much pain.
"Above all because I like players to be at 100 percent. If he has some discomfort or injury, it will affect the group. I think it will be difficult for him to recover."
Still, hope won't be lost if Castillo does not start. The squad is playing well as a unit and though Castillo is a part of it, he's not the whole of it. Mexico has received contributions from players all over the field as Juan Carlos Cacho, Jaime Correa, Gerardo Torrado, Rafael Marquez and Oswaldo Sanchez have all played well.
If Castillo is a go, he'll have to deal with one of the best defensive midfielders in the world. Javier Mascherano can disrupt any offense and will be a problem Mexico must solve. Argentina's talent runs deep as Leo Messi, Juan Roman Riquelme and Carlos Tevez are a formidable trio.
Here are possible starting lineups from peru.com:
México: Oswaldo Sánchez; Israel Castro, Rafael Márquez, Johnny Magallón, Fausto Pinto; Ramón Morales, Jaime Correa, Gerardo Torrado, Andrés Guardado; Nery Castillo/Cuauhtémoc Blanco, Juan Carlos Cacho.
Argentina: Roberto Abbondanzieri; Javier Zanetti, Roberto Ayala, Gabriel Milito, Gabriel Heinze; Juan Sebastián Verón, Javier Mascherano, Sebastián Cambiasso; Juan Román Riquelme; Lionel Messi, Diego Milito.
My take: Argentina is playing excellent soccer, and Messi hasn't yet taken off and played like the Messi we're all used to seeing at Barcelona. But I think this Mexico team has come a long way in a short period of time and is playing as good as any Mexico team has played in years. Mexico wins it 2-1.