DOHA, QATAR - Saturday, November 26, 2022: Argentina players sing the national anthem before the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group C match between Argentina and Mexico at the Lusail Stadium. Guido Rodríguez, Lisandro Martinez, Alexis Mac Allister. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Alexis Mac Allister’s Copa America knockout route plotted after rare break

Alexis Mac Allister is one of several Liverpool players to reach the knockout stages of an international tournament this summer, with Argentina qualifying for the quarter-finals as group winners.

The Reds have seven representatives in the Euro knockout stages and have a further two in Copa America with Mac Allister and Luis Diaz set for the final eight of the competition.

While Argentina qualified as group winners, Diaz’s Colombia can still finish first or second in Group D, which will be decided in their final match against Alisson‘s Brazil on Tuesday.

Mac Allister watched from the bench as his side secured their top spot in a 2-0 win over Peru, a rare break for the midfielder after three successive international starts this summer.

The 25-year-old played the third-most minutes of any Liverpool player in 2023/24 (3,506 minutes) and with his international commitments on top of that, it’s been a taxing year.

DOHA, QATAR - Saturday, November 26, 2022: Argentina's Alexis Mac Allister during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group C match between Argentina and Mexico at the Lusail Stadium. Argentina won 2-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

And with the business end of Copa America now ahead of him, it was welcome to see Lionel Scaloni leave Mac Allister on the substitutes bench for the entirety of the match.

He did the same with Lionel Messi, Julian Alvarez, Rodrigo De Paul, Nahuel Molina and Lisandro Martinez as he ensures his side is as fresh as possible for their quarter-final tie.

Argentina will meet the side that finishes second in Group B, currently Ecuador, but that could change in the final round of group games with only goal difference placing them ahead of Mexico.

The match will be played on Thursday evening in the United States, early Friday morning for those in the UK, and means Mac Allister will be expected to miss at least the Reds’ first pre-season game.

Argentina’s side of the draw means he will not meet any of his Liverpool team-mates until the final or third-place playoff, should any progress that far.

With players to get up to three weeks off after their international commitments, even an exit in the first round of knockouts would see the No. 10 report back around July 27, the day Liverpool meet Real Betis in Pittsburgh.

With Argentina the favourites to win Copa America, it is more likely that Mac Allister only reports back in early August.