La Albiceleste Fight For Life Against Ticos

After two disappointing draws, Argentina are in need of a big win against Costa Rica to ensure passage into the Copa America quarterfinals and to calm the fury of a frustrated fan-base.

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 La 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, Emilio Izaguirre, 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 and fare better against Costa Rica? 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. Joel Campbell and Josue Martinez might be future starters for the first choice national team, but it's too early to tell if they are good enough to earn that distinction at present. Costa Rica shouldn't be able to get a result against mighty Argentina.

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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