Argentina lineup confirmed for Qualifier against Chile

Gonzalo Higuain Argentina

Argentina’s starting line-up for their World Cup Qualifier against Chile has been announced.

In typical Edgardo BAUZA fashion, the starting eleven has been confirmed ahead of time. The rumored line-up had either Manchester City’s Sergio AGÜERO or Inter’s Ever BANEGA. The final decision is that it will be the England based AGÜERO who will start in the number 10 role. Here’s the line-up:

Starting line-up:

ROMERO; MERCADO, OTAMENDI, ROJO, MÁS; MASCHERANO, BIGLIA; MESSI, AGÜERO, DI MARÍA; HIGUAÍN.

An injury to Manchester City’s Pablo ZABALETA means that Gabriel MERCADO is the undisputed starter in the right back position. The suspension to Everton’s Ramiro FUNES MORI means that Argentina will have an all Manchester based center back pairing with Manchester United’s Marcos ROJO as his replacement alongside Manchester City’s Nicolas OTAMENDI. On the left, Emanuel MÁS covers for ROJO who will play alongside him.

In midfield it’s the partnership we have become accostomed to seeing. Javier MASCHERANO and Lucas BIGLIA will play in front of the back line. It’s the (not so) fantastic four which was formed by Alejandro SABELLA during his tenure as coach which we will see up front for Argentina.

Lionel MESSI will be on the wing with Sergio AGÜERO in the number 10 role playing behind Juventus forward Gonzalo HIGUAÍN with Angel DI MARÍA occupying his usual left wing spot.

Lionel Messi Gonzalo Higuain Argentina

Lionel Messi will start fkr Argentina while Gonzalo Higuain has been given the responsibility of being the starting forward.

Edgardo BAUZA has also spoken about the team selection, Paulo DYBALA and more. Here’s what he had to say:

The team:

“The team will be ROMERO; MERCADO, OTAMENDI, ROJO, MÁS; MASCHERANO, BIGLIA; MESSI, AGÜERO, DI MARÍA; HIGUAÍN.”

About Paulo DYBALA:

“He won’t even be on the bench. We’ll see if he can get there on Tuesday (against Bolivia).”

AGÜERO and HIGUAÍN

“With DYBALA out, the best one there is is Kun. It’s for that reason I’m putting him. HIGUAIN knows that for me, he’s the starting number 9. I have a lot of faith in him.”

Ten of the eleven players who will start for Argentina on Thursday took part in last year’s Copa America Centenario defeat. The ten being ROMERO, MERCADO, OTAMENDI, ROJO (who received a red card and was sent off), MASCHERANO, BIGLIA, MESSI, AGÜERO, DI MARÍA and HIGUAÍN. The only one to miss out was Emanuel MÁS.

Of the eleven starting against Chile, seven of them took part in the World Cup final defeat against Germany. ROMERO, ROJO, MASCHERANO, BIGLIA, MESSI, AGÜERO and HIGUAÍN. It would have been seven had Angel DI MARÍA been fit to play.

15 Comments

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  4. shaun hugo

    Romero needs to be bloody moving to get first team football, how can the keeper of the Argentina national team be a sub for his club, go and join Seville or something they might like him.

    Biglia has been a choker in the past hope he’s back to his best. I think our biggest problem is centre backs.

    I like that bauza is saying he has faith in higuin I think we should just forget his past and build him up see how he does. Aguero well u all know the story with him he’s hit and miss and do maria is just an unknown quantity at times sometimes brilliant others times sucks. Game should be interesting to observe, excited.

  5. mamoun elpipita

    I hate to sound negative before the game even starts but for the love of god NOT THIS AGAIN!!!!! Bauza tried this formation before (with Dybala being there instead of lio) and it was a mess.
    First of all Kun is not a 10 even stevie Wonder could see that and more importantly the reason why the fantastic four worked before was because of Gago! When he wwas fit he was a superb deep-lying playmaker who could get the ball to Messi and the fab 4 with his pacey one touch football and vision and sadly Biglia, who has plenty of heart, lacks that necessary skill to make the whole system work! Sabella was astute enough to know this but Bauza sadly doesn’t.
    Honestly I was the one calling for Bauza to be hired because I thought he’d bring experience and grit to the NT yet I am ashamed of how naive I was, the guy’s got no clue what so ever!
    If (and that’s a BIG IF) Argentina does win this match then it will be due to messi magic and nothing else, meaning another patch up instead of a fix up.

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  7. Debasish Duttaroy

    These players will play from their memory of playing together in the past for many years. Don’t expect any tactical transformation. Hope we can pull out a win. It is possible. I think they are just trying to qualify. Hope we get some luck and put in the couple of chances we get.

    Friendlies we should try new teams. The brazil friendly in Australia is something we are sure to lose by 2,3 goals. Now if we play our strongest team it only kills the confidence of this group who is already very low on confidence. But if we play new ones we have an excuse. But not sure if Bauza of AFA is brave enough to chose players over what the senior players want.

  8. Richard

    Let’s hope for a good result because Colombia will move ahead of us in the standings after they beat Bolivia at home earlier today.

    I agree with the posters that the team average age is too high. No players below 25. This Argentina team is a team of the past and not one for the future. Without integrating new players the next coach will (apart from Dybala) bring a complete new team when this generation retires. Germany played a friendly against England that I didn’t see but there were so many young players in the line up. Germany is building for the future, integrating youth amongst their stars. Our coach is not looking forward but counting on a generation that is facing the end of their careers.

    1. msi75

      Let’s be honest… We arent in a position to build for the future atm. That should have been done after the Copa America loss in 2015. Now we need get points immediately. Not to build for the future. Bauza, himself, isn’t a coach for the future either. Finally, to build for the future, you need a long-term project which can only start with the youth NT (sub-15, 17, 20). Currently, Argentina is completely devoid of it. We are cumulating ridicule after ridicule (sub-20, Olympics Games, sub-20, sub-17). There’s no AFA and clubs are always piss poorly managed (though the latter has been always the case for decades).

      Finally, something, i think, needs to be said frankly. Let’s not kid ourselves with the current crop of young players. There are simply inferior in many metrics compared to the previous ones. Every coach have their bias, preferences that can be very irritating sometimes. But if you have a pair of “big talents” coming up, they would be called up. Unfortunately, while players born in the 70s and 80s were really really good (despite not winning a WC), the ones born in the 90s, so far outside of a few exceptions, have been underwhelming.

      1. Debasish Duttaroy

        I completely agree with you. This is the only thing I agree with Kid also. Our new generation is pathetic.

        Having said that, there is no need for wholesale changes, I don’t think anyone is asking for that. But couple of tweaks are needed. Rulli needs to get some time over Romero. Someone like Lanzini in midfield. Not an automatic starter, but give some minutes. Also is defense.

  9. shabeel abdulah

    Argentina loose.

    Score : Chile 2 Arg 1

    😀

  10. no one

    Average age of players of starting lineup is near 30 years. This coach will win nothing.

  11. guled

    Aguero as 10 and the failed fantastic four is back. this is unbearable.

  12. LavezziMessi

    Messi needs to be the number 10 behind Gonzalo, and have Aguero on the right side. Wish Lio could play the maestro role similar to Roman Riquelme but we know that won’t work out in this system. Our weak side will be left wing bc Angel will be too much up, Biglia or Mas then have to pick up counter attacking Chile, and most likely Alexis Sanchez

  13. EnganChe

    This appears to be a 4-2-3-1 formation but Aguero is not a creative playmaker or attacking midfielder, he is just not. Banega should be playing as # 10, not a rocket science. If we had a proper box-to-box or a deep lying passer playing alongside Mascherano then this line-up could have worked. We might still win but likely due to the genius of Messi as usual and nothing else. If things turn out differently I will stand corrected but not holding my breath. Also, they better not concede goals from open play with Biglia-Mascherano protecting the back four, that’s the least they can do.

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