Concepcion, Chile: Paraguay, the only team to have scored against Argentina at the Copa America, can talk with authority about what it is to face the favourites when they are in full song.
Their warning to hosts Chile, who face Lionel Messi’s team in Saturday’s final, to beware of leaving gaps in defence comes after a 6-1 roasting in their semi-final on Tuesday.
“Chile must be careful because we know that if you go out to attack Argentina you can have happen to you what happened to us. You get caught wrong footed,” said striker Lucas Barrios.
“Chile are a great team with great players ... but Argentina are favourites. It will surely be a great final,” added Barrios, who scored twice in two clashes with the Argentines, in their opening 2-2 draw and Tuesday’s consolation goal.
Chileans want to see what they regard as their best ever generation of players crowned with the country’s first Copa America title.
This Argentine generation, though, have even more talent and are determined to end the country’s wait for a major title after losing the World Cup final to Germany in Brazil a year ago.
“If Argentina play at this level, it’s very difficult to counter them,” Paraguay’s Argentine coach Ramon Diaz told reporters.
“Chile are a great team but it’s very difficult to play against this (Argentina) team.”
Messi will be hoping he is third time lucky after also being on the losing side when Argentina were beaten by Brazil in the 2007 Copa America final in Venezuela.
It was a matter of when rather than if Argentina would translate into a bagful of goals their dominance of their rivals who have all lined up massed defensive ranks against them in the tournament.
An added bonus for Argentina is that their players are in good shape which was not altogether the case in Brazil last year where Angel Di Maria, scorer of two goals on Tuesday, missed the World Cup final through injury and Sergio Aguero was not entirely fit.
Messi, Aguero and Javier Mascherano also avoided a second yellow card so Argentina will be at full strength in the final.
Fans could be in store for a goal fest after Argentina more than doubled their tally to 10 after Chile had scored 13 goals in their five matches.