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Brazil's defence will make Argentina sweat: Gabriel Jesus

Famed for flair, Brazil have yet to concede in four matches at the Copa America

Argentina attackers Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero will have to sweat if they are going to break down Brazil's watertight defence in their Copa America semi-final tomorrow morning (Singapore time), says Selecao striker Gabriel Jesus.


Hosts Brazil have yet to concede in four matches at the tournament, while Argentina have improved defensively and kept clean sheets in their last two matches.

Jesus expects a tight contest in Belo Horizonte and says Brazil's defence won't give Argentina's forward line an inch, reported AFP.

"It's tough to get behind a defence that doesn't concede goals," the Manchester City forward said of Argentina's backline.

"It's also a long time since we conceded a goal. It's very important to have a solid defence.

"It won't be easy for Argentina to get behind us.

"Obviously, they have Messi who is the best player in the world, and they have Aguero, one of the best centre forwards, but they're going to have to sweat to get in behind (us)."

Should the Albiceleste find a way past Brazil's defenders, they will still have to beat Alisson, who former Selecao custodian Doni regards as the best goalkeeper in the world.

When asked if the Reds shot-stopper is the best player in his position, Doni - who was his country's No. 1 when they last won the Copa America in 2007 - told Liverpool's website: "Yes, without a doubt.

"I am very impressed with how quick he was able to adapt to the way the (English) Premier League is played and how quick he obtained success in England.

"Besides being an overall complete player, I really like how he is able to maintain calm and control."


Alisson could be set for a busier time than he has had so far in the Copa America, with Jesus saying he is sure "Argentina will attack us".

What is clear, though, is that this is the most keenly anticipated match on the continent, between the two giants of South America.

Brazil are the most successful team in World Cup history with five titles to Argentina's two, but at a continental level, the roles are reversed as Argentina have won the Copa America 14 times, compared to Brazil's eight.

Should Argentina win it this year, they would match Uruguay's record of 15 titles.

"These are two giants, from countries with a lot of history," said Jesus.

"We're playing at home and we have more pressure to win, but it's a 'Clasico' against Argentina."

The last time the sides met in the Copa America was in the 2007 final, which Brazil won 3-0.

That day, Julio Baptista opened the scoring after just four minutes, and he believes another early goal could decide the outcome of tomorrow's match at the Mineirao.

He told Spanish daily Marca: "A goal at the start changes everything. In 2007, I scored early and they didn't know how to play us after that.

"The most important thing for Brazil is to not concede.

"If that happens, Argentina will be able to wait for them (on the counter)."

The defeat in 2007 is part of a horror run for the Albiceleste in the Copa America's showpiece, with the second-most successful team in the tournament losing four of the last five finals.

The only time in the last five editions that Argentina failed to reach the final was on home turf in 2011, when they were sent packing on penalties by eventual champions Uruguay.

Brazil, meanwhile, have their own historical baggage.

The venue of their Clasico with Argentina is also the site of their greatest humiliation, their 7-1 drubbing by Germany in the 2014 World Cup semi-final.

Said Brazil centre-back Thiago Silva: "Nobody will forget what happened then. That match against Germany was horrible for us.

"But that was a different situation. Now we are facing Argentina and we need to focus on playing our game. We will need to be careful because it's a team that has the best player in the world (Messi)."