Jorge SAMPAOLI press conference, Argentina team confirmed

Jorge Sampaoli Argentina Press Conference

Jorge SAMPAOLI had a lot to say about the Argentina team at the last press conference before the World Cup Qualifier on Thursday

The coach talked about the team, Lionel MESSI, Javier MASCHERANO, Mauro ICARDI’s injury and Dario BENEDETTO. Here’s what he had to say:

Jorge SAMPAOLI on the Argentina team

“Everyone has the same chances of being in the starting eleven. I’m very confident in these players. The support of the public always helps, especially in difficult moments like these. I’m convinced we’ll be at the World Cup. The players will give it their all to be at the World Cup.

“Peru’s coming in good form and will look to get a good result here. I imagine us playing with a lot of fury. Tomorrow, we’re giving it our all. My style is to always attack and to play in the opponent’s half. We have to defend the parts of the pitch where Peru is most strongest.

“We always look for partnerships that work on the pitch. Because there isn’t enough time to work a DYBALA-MESSI partnership, we have to go with something more concrete.

“MESSI is vital for us when the team is in front of goal. To build a structure for MESSI is crazy. He has no position. He has to play like he does at his club. MASCHERANO is an important figure of the Argentina national team. BENEDETTO can be the 9 for Argentina. ICARDI’s come here with a knock that has been hampering him since the Australia tour. Alejandro (GOMEZ) can bring some freshness to the team. He’s in great form.”

Confirmed Argentina eleven vs. Peru:

ROMERO; ACUNA, MASCHERANO, OTAMENDI, MERCADO; BANEGA, PAREDES; Papu GOMEZ, MESSI, DI MARIA; BENEDETTO

Argentina line-up

The Argentina team to play on Thursday (Picture via Ole)

As we reported earlier, Jorge SAMPAOLI was thinking of going with Dario BENEDETTO up front instead of Mauro ICARDI. With SAMPAOLI stating that ICARDI is still carrying a knock from the Australian tour and mentioning Dario BENEDETTO the way he did, it’s fair to say that the Boca man will get the start.

68 Comments

  1. Pingback: Lucas BIGLIA to start over Leandro PAREDES - Mundo Albiceleste

  2. HaititoArg

    http://m.livetv.sx/en/allupcoming/
    This where I watch every game

  3. Dadir10

    Guys, I went to different websites to check if there is an update on the lineup but till now I haven’t even seen a single source on the inclusion of Biglia in the lineup. So, calm down I think the news is fake.

  4. david carvajal

    Time is flying!!! Super nervous, cant wait.. please dont add biglia

    1. Dadir10

      Where did this news come? Wasn’t the lineup confirmed by the coach? If Biglia is playing I really can’t watch the game. Better for me to sleep!

  5. Debasish Duttaroy

    Just for fun…

    The Chile vs Ecuador game is crucial. If by some means this game is a draw we have a good chance.

  6. Yves Bruno

    What the hell am I hearing about Biglia getting the nod over Paredes? Apparently some last minute change…. Ugh I am tired of seeing Biglia in the starting lineup. He brings nothing to the offense and Paredes cannot be worse defensively.. He’s for damn sure better than Biglia going forward.

    Can anyone confirm this??

    1. Dadir10

      I checked on Ole and TyC and there is such a news on these websites. I think it’s a fake news.

      1. Yves Bruno

        Pheww I hope so. This is where I got the news from…

        https://twitter.com/SivanJohn_/status/915977825542213632

        1. Dadir10

          Ole and TyC were publishing the update minute by minute since the training started 3 days ago. I think if there is an update on the lineup they would have publish it soon. I hope the news is fake!

  7. Debasish Duttaroy

    I hate this qualification nervousness every alternate cycle. 2010 and now again. We have too good a team every time to be in top 4. We don’t have to go through this heart attack.

    Anyway, it is what it is. I really hope we get an early goal – offside, handball, controversial penalty, own goal – anything!

    For people who are worried about Papu and Paredes being thrown into a crunch game, all I can say, this where players are born. These are games. If you cannot step up on this, someone else will take your place.

  8. ClacKamas

    Ain’t an Argentine but I guess few like me care for Argentina…Man, I can’t eat..sleep….walk..do nothing…I am so nervous. We must win!!! Please, guys, work until death!!

    1. JSaroya

      i am the same way, waiting for this game is sooo hard, i am just passing time somehow to get this game going. i pray we get the best result possible.

    2. HaititoArg

      The same here

  9. anuparno

    shit sampaoli done it again paredes dropped and biglia comes in oh shit not again now only messi dimaria can save us no creativity in midfield again with only banega a decent passer and he is slow oh my god save us im damn scared now peru is a great team and they r coming from 3 back to back wins

  10. Argentino Trucho

    I am so nervous and excited about this game. Even though Dybala is a great player, I think Sampaoli is wise to take him out. And I’m glad we are getting an actual formation instead of hoping that our forwards can play well without midfield support.
    Man, I’m still so nervous though. Peru has been playing really well.

  11. fanOFargentina

    Being Nervous is natural..but Argentina needs to play its heart out …if they do it..we will in..

    Papu and Messi will score today…Vamos Agentina..

  12. Payaso

    I havent been convinced by Benedetto either. But it’s clear that Sampaoli is try to align the crowds favorite in this crucial moment.

    I would start Alario before even thinking about Benedetto. I hope he proves me wrong tonight and score a tap-in. If not please bring icardi in at half time.

  13. Rhaelyn

    Nervous….nervous……
    Certainly defense is weak using this line-up but lets hope our attack makes up for it. Playing winger or AM in left back or right-back is not new barcelona play sergio roberto in RB. So acuna should be fine( or atleast I hope so) I like paredes but banega-paredes pair can harm our defense.

    1. saant

      You are right, we could be in danger of conceding on counters, without natural defenders or a proper defensive midfielder (as both Benega and Paredes are hybrids), but the logic here is to score goals (not a single goal) but goals and more importantly to outscore Peru. He’s put in a weak defensive unit as a whole, bacause he wants and sees a different match here, a match where Argentina can threaten to and score from various position and not relying on Messi and the no.9 to score. We have a striker (he’ll be man-marked) who’ll play inside the box, and with a crowded opp. defense, he’ll no room. Messi will ghost in and around the box. Di Maria can cut in from the right and for a natural leftie that’s the best position to be taking shot at. Same goes with Papu on the right. Paredes has shown glimpses of goal long- range shooting threat recently (that’s the logic behind him over Biglia) and Benega too has a goal scoring knack. Maximising goal-scoring possibilities is the only logic behind this selection.
      I thought we did everything well but score in our last 2 matches, and hence this move.

  14. San Isidro

    For all those getting lost in the excitement, PLEASE read this and REMEMBER when we end up in another stupid tie with Peru. Some think this is a daring line up, or an exciting line up, but after the game you will say, Sampaoli must go. Hindsight is always 20/20.
    We are benching Dybala and Icardi for Benedetto and DiMaria. Does it sound smart to give up on Dybala after 3 stupid games? Does a guy for Boca who can’t even make it out of the domestic league a better choice than Inter Milan’s captain that scored for us already? The WORST thing any player can be is inconsistent…AKA DiMaria. One game he is good, one game he sucks, one game he gets injured.
    I don’t have an issue with anybody else, but my God we can’t score shit and the 2 most prolific scorers in Europe are on the bench while some Boca hack starts and an inconsistent as shit headless chicken starts for us…This is about as stupid as it gets.
    I pray I am wrong and that we win, but this is some stupid shit we are playing. and unless we get a cheap penalty or cheap goal early we will be shitting ourselves until the next game.

    1. Dfox1942

      I hear ya loud and clear.

      I am tired of looking at different players, formations, tactics…..etc

    2. saant

      I can agree with you about the selection. This is a gamble that Sampaoli is forced to take, as he mentioned this is no time to continue experimenting with the Messi-Dybala combo. There’s still time for that. As far as selecting Di Maria ahead of Dybala in the left forward role is going to be the turning point here. Di Maria in that position is a totally different players, as the Peruvians will discover later today.
      And Benedetto above Icardi? Icardi is apparently is carrying an injury since the Venezuela match (no wonder he has been struggling to score for Inter since then, 0 goals from open play in 4 straight matches). Benedetto is in great form and home ground settings might favor him. Icardi can be bullied and man-marked out of the game and made to starve for the ball like the Venezuelans did, since he’s an out and out box player, Benedetto is not, he moves a lot and has loads of pace, so he can move around and put off his man-marker. But, to be able to bring those qualities to such a pressure cooker match is the point here. If he can do that he’s not only gonna book himself a ticket to Russia, but he would bring the limelight to lot of other consistent local league players.

    3. PAimar

      @San Isidro Totally agree… not the first time, we get all pumped up discussing formations, seeing the finalised line-up, imagining dream plays, then when the whistle blows and the game starts, the nervousness begins.

      All too often we have seen the team piling on the pressure in the opponents. First 5 mins, then 10 then 15 then 20 mins sneaks by and still nothing. The team starts to panic a bit, plays gets more rushed and harried and suddenly we’re losing the second balls… and before we know it, first half ends, nothing to show for and no more nails left to chew on for the second half… sigh…

      Yes, based on this, it does look as Sampaoli’s brave and willing to give it a go with these 2 decisive games left. Only when things unfold tomorrow will we know if it was a wise gamble at all… or a foolish choice. I hope it’s was a brilliant tactical plan and play but deep down, any fishing win will do. Sigh… how did we get into this mess?!

  15. ClacKamas

    This is the payback time for Muscherano. His horrendous back pass concedes a goal and we are in this situation right now!!

    1. Dfox1942

      True, that game was WON & DONE until that stupid play that cost the nation 2 crucial points BUT there were plenty of issues prior and since that game that have attributed to team’s current state!

  16. vis

    I think the black background {in the website} can be changed to white and the blue background for typing is terrible, Roy kindly consider

    1. Whizzard

      the black is fine when it is white, the site looks dull.

  17. Gonzalo

    This is both exciting and risky line up but, to be honest, I don’t think the new players didn’t desrved for this. Neither Paredes nor Benedetto started for Argentina as far. Both played only a half an hour. Papu only against Singapour. Although they deserved because of their clubs performances.

    People may say that’s so risky and nervous from Sampaoli to play crucial game with 3 new players as if the well known with many caps were any guarantee od success. We must face the facts that players like Higuain are not guarantee of success of long time. If they were really so good Argentina would have guaranted place in WC long time ago. But we aren’t still qualified and that’s with the involvement of that experienced players I’ve been hearing about game by game they are atleast guarantee of decent result.

    1. vis

      Agreed. The so called experienced players have only EXPERIENCE OF DEFEAT. This is a bold move by Sampaoli though i am not convinced by Icardi”s injury

    2. saant

      Playing at this venue is a double-edged sword. Being close to the supporters unlike at the monumental, where you are completely isolated has it’s fair share of advantage and disadvantage. Advantage is the players can hear the cheering from the crowd a lot louder and can motivate them, at the same time the opposition will be put off by the screamings off the home fans.
      On the bad side, the longer it takes for us to find the net or in a worse case scenarion we find ourselves down, then the crowd could go silent piling more pressure on our players.
      Gonzalo, for me experience doesn’t count at this point, because we have already discovered our so called experienced players going weak on their knees under pressure, so there’s no argument here. My only concern with this line-up is defending and defending well. Acuna has the lungs to track back, but can he defend clean, and not give away stupid free-kicks and even worse a penalty?
      From my point of view, I think Sampoali has gone with 80% logic and 20% gamble,Because he is well and truly nervous. When he took over he knew this manager seat was going to hot, but at this point he has realised it is beyond boiling hot. We can truly forgive him for this gamble. I’m sure he’ll regain his poise if all turns out well.
      Who is my pick for the star of the day??? ADM.

  18. Leandro

    I very much like this line up. Benedetto is used to the atmosphere there and in good form, Having both Papu and DiMaria (in opposite flank) gives us outside long range scoring threats, this is crucial! especially against parked bus teams. We have severely lacked in this attribute (only Biglia tried it) and always insist on dribbling every goal into the small box. Long range threats force the defense to pressure the shooters, making spaces for Messi and Benedettos runs. Furthermore, DiMaria and Papu offer some creativity and pace to help Messi in build up play.

    Very happy to see Paredes, we need a deep lying playmaker.. Banega is ok, but we need new blood. Personally, I would have paired Paredes with a more physical and dynamic holding midfielder than Banega, I expect Banega to be subbed off at half time due to fatigue.

    Acun~a I hope works out, as others have commented, Messi does best with a ball playing right flank (Alves, now DiMaria) to build up play.. and a pressure release late run into the box wide left winger to feed through balls as Messi sucks in 4 markers and makes a huge opening on the opposite side.. How many assists has he given Neymar, Jordi Alva, etc.. Acun~a being available on that flank could create a lot of openings, lets hope he has the stamina to pull off a Sorin like performance, man we miss that guy.

    Extremely happy Mercado is back, he is by far our best defensive player. Solid, disciplined, strong and capable of late runs into the box. He is the best LB after Zanetti we have had (honorable mention Zabaleta).

    I personally dont like the short pair of Ota and Masch at back, but its solid enough, same with Romero. Maybe not World Class, but just about. So long we have alternative CBs on the bench with height and great aerial ability for teams like Uruguay which will shower us with crosses we are good.

    VAMOS ARGENTINA!!!!

    1. Julker9

      How are you Sir? Reading you after a long time

      “Banega is ok, but we need new blood. Personally, I would have paired Paredes with a more physical and dynamic holding midfielder than Banega, I expect Banega to be subbed off at half time due to fatigue.”

      When i read it, the first name came to my mind was Enzo Perez. He is more dynamic than any other current midfielders we have. I don’t like the idea of playing Acuna as LB. Mammana could be better option imo.

  19. dollon biswas

    Hahahaha …I am very confident and Relaxed about Mascarano’s places .No metter how old Mascarano Right Now but he is best defender of our Current Rank ..who single handed manage Cristiano Ronaldo.,Gizman and bale many time in the past but can’t manage Peruvian.. ..it was best jokes to me ..

  20. anuparno

    I am commenting here after 3 long years after Argentina final loss to germany I was so distorted after that was a silent reader now I’m back hope we reach wc by winning the both matches vamos Argentina whoever plays now they hv to play like their life and death depends on it only this attitude will win u games passion for national team what u need

  21. EnganChe

    This is a risky line-up but we desperately need 3 points so it has to be an all out attack. I think Acuña is playing as a left-back in order to receive diagonal through passes from Messi, the way Jordi Alba does at Barcelona to stretch the play on the left. Mercado will probably be more conservative in his approach and stay back more often. It may end up being 3-3-3-1 in attack. We’ll see.

    Since Icardi is carrying a knock and the venue is La Bomobonera starting Benedetto make some sense although it is still a bit of a gamble. As others have noted Hguain in these sort of do-or-die games is a terrible idea, in case some of us have selective amnesia…

  22. fanOFargentina

    I have a gut feeling today…Papu Gomez will score today…

    1. George Kun

      I agree, he is going to be massive today…

  23. 10XEEM

    Hello to all.

    I want to know will recardo centurion get his chance under sampaoli,why we are not utilising this wonderful winger.

    1. Dadir10

      A 16 year old Italian is a starter in Genoa and Centurion is a bench warmer for that teenager. I was surprised by Roberto Baggio’s interview with Sport Italia when he referred Centurion as his heir and said he is a big fan of him.

      1. vimaldass

        Surprised with Baggio’s remark too although the lanky pellegri is not a winger but instead an out an out centre forward.

  24. Dadir10

    Papu Gomez, Paredes, Benedetto, and Acuna all on the same lineup, does that mean we will at least see one or two goals outside the box? All these players have powerful shots esp. Papu, Benedetto, and Paredes.

    1. vimaldass

      Good thinking Dadir but you forgot to mention one of the most if not the MOST dangerous player outside the box in the world , messi. As cool and composed he may be, he could easily release a stinging shot from outside the box if given the slightest space.
      I was hoping the same too after viewing our probable starters. Our main problem is our preexisting midfielders like biglia, banega, mascherano and pizarro who pose minimal to NO threat outside the box hence encourage teams to sit deep and mark our dangerous attackers like messi and co.
      Players like papu, paredes, messi and benedetto are a huge threat outside the box and could easily disbalance teams that sit and defend deep. I believe Sampaoli would’ve analyzed our attacking limitation in this past few games and came up with this brilliant plan. Let’s see what transpires from hereon.

      1. Dadir10

        Vimaldas, I totally agree with you Messi is a great scorer from outside the box. But I’ve in mind that the Peruvians will try to strongly manmark him and prevent him having the space ne needs to show his magic and that will be a huge benefit for others like Benedetto and Papu if they take advantage of the opportunities they will get.

        1. vimaldass

          Agreed and that is a given. If their chemistry is good, messi could easily weave his magic and open the other dangerous players up especially papu who is a huge threat outside the box.
          Also if we manage to score a goal early, the Peruvians are gonna have a very frustrating match.

  25. Sabellista

    Sampaoli is a coach with balls to change whatever he deem necessary. I like a coach who take risks. First of all a lot of you have already forgotten that the match is at La Bombonera. The support for the local boys Benedetto and Perez will be automatic. I don’t like the atmosphere at the Monumental. It’s like the fans wait for the team to score first before they can get vocal. The players, like other performers of other kinds, are affected by the audience’s vocal support psychologically. In the other cities/stadiums the fans get behind team with their singing, whereas at the Monumental is like they’re performing for chicken.

    Now on selection and tactics, I like the fact that Icardi and Dybala are subs. This is beginning of a strong reliable bench. At least if we fail to score there will be superior fire power than Benedetto coming on. Icardi can still come in with a different threat. Of course if Aguero was fit I’m sure Sampaoli would have started him as he seem to select players based on current form. Dybala can also play as a CF, if needed be. Higuain needs to work on his psychology. A good striker but these games call for strong characters. Recently after the Barca vs Juventus UCL match, even his coach Allegri, called him out for his weak mental character and big game temperament.
    Acuna as LB will work. He likes to occupy wide position and hardly cuts in. That is more like how modern game LBs operate. Defending is for a player of his calibre is very easy. There is no place for conventional wingers anymore in today’s football. All wide players should know how to defend the flanks as well as joining MFs to minimize spaces or press the opposition for the ball. Therefore Acuna at LB is fine. The inclusion of Paredes can be a changer here. There’s no way Biglia is better than Paredes currently, I was appalled by Sampaoli not giving him a chance. I’m sure the kid showed his quality and came through in training to convince Sampa otherwise. Goals will come if we score early.

    1. Arjunanmessi

      i agree…

  26. pallab

    Very tensed moments coming and already started.

    Under Pressure Argentina has to deliver the best performance.

    Peru may park the bus and play on counter attack. …

    We are doubtful on Benedetto but let’s see him first half at least. .
    Dybala will surely come as sub. …..
    Benedetto may surprise us and score quick Goooooaal.

    I want a quick and first goal for argentina in 20-25 mind. .

    This will allow us to play in attacking style …

    Hope peru team becomes 10 9 men after being red carded. ..

    Bcoz they will closely mark messi ..Their coach has seen what Girona to messi did in laliga…..what ever they say they will surely man mark messi. …..here comes the importance of Pablo Dybala

    Injecting speed accuracy mobility finishing by Dybala is important. …..

    Peru surely will try to blunt our attack. .They are happy with Benedetto playing. ….Icardi or Dybala starting may cause great harm to their mentality. …….

    Argentine players has no space for confidence. …Midfield specially has to work very hard and make so creative pass toward goal scorer….

    Good news we have many players who can score other than messi. …..

    May be #mercado #paredes will score…..

    Can’t wait. …
    Vamos argentinos

    Leo Messi Zindabad

  27. Arjunanmessi

    sampolli the best coach i have ever seen… what he did to spain brazil in the world cup.. he will find what mistakes he makes… and change suddenly in the next match… every body saying mache is old he is going to have a poor match… but reality is not..

    centerbacks..

    marcado–otamedi—macherano.. these three man perfect for sampoli play.. some of them have many choice but fazio garay mussachio pezzella… extra they dont have enough face… to play sampolli… i will tell you these three are better than others..

    marcado: he can play as rb and center back… in back three so no problem in both formation… but others like wont play except(mamana) in right centre back
    and he was former sampolli player;;;

    otamendi: in the middle we have many players but why otamendi.. no one plays in the other half in every season like otamendi.. garay has a support pezzella has support whille defending… but pep is like sampolli.. his team plays opponent half only… like fazio stuggled last match… because of this.. if anyone makes wrong decision opponent will score easily… so otamendi improved under pep.. so he is the no one choice and good with air.. not like pezzella and fazio.. but he has advantage.

    mache: the best tackler ever… and best game reader thats why pep put as a center back when he plays with midfield every time he get the ball from the centre backs and makes long diagonel pass.. and his back pass makes us draw against in the previous wcq match.. so he is not a defensive mid…. but he is the one of the best center back rightnow… he has the face compare to other cb.. he is playing that position last five years.. and he can make run with open space while we have position… and if someone loose the ball he will reach quickly..

    parades: what he impressed me the most is his calmness he drag the player near him and makes simple pass.. biglia wont do this and some long pass it will significantly help us… example calmness makes busgets into world class

    banega: he has no pace less on defending…. but he is the best passer we have in the midfield player(other one pastore but he is too much weak in defending) banega find messi with some pass.. and some time he over dribbles.. i hope sampolli will tell him what to do…

    dimaria: many of them hate this player here i am too but not as a player… where he playes if he plays on the left wing… with no mind poor pass poor dribbles.. and poor cross.. total disaster.. but defending wise he is better.. but remember guys.. his goal against switcherland in the wc 2014 he at right wing curl past the goal keeper.. and after the final we played against germany he was the man of the match one goal and three assists.. whille playing at right wing.. and we beat chille 2-1 in the group stage copa america 2016 at right wing.. all the match messi missing .. messi comes he change position on left wing thats total disaster for argentina… he never had good match on the left side..now he is playing right wing with messi.. and he can defend well better than messi in this posstion if messi plays he is the best right wing we all know but messi wont track back every time untill he loose the ball i know as a messi fan.. that is the problem for argentina so long…. but every weakness turning good now..

    messi…:: my superstar.. he is good at center forward wing back and no 10… attack wise but defending wise he wont defend playing in the right wing this will be used by other teams.. but now no 10 he wont defend well so he can concentrate in the attack only… it will help him greatly… he gets free roll this time.. sampolli finds his best position… dybala can play no 10 and messi can play in the right wing but attack wise best but defending wise it will cause some problem… as far as now we have to put best line up… not choose best players… later we can use dybala messi in the line up and develop their partnership..

    benetteto: he is not good as icardi… but his home ground so he will get more chance from gomez messi dimaria acuna and banega… if he wont use that in the first half he wont make final 23 members in worldcup squad..

    acuna: he plays right wing back against uruguay… he is poor than dimaria on that match… but he replays dimaria on the left wing back he tremendously done a good job and put good crosses and his gross earned one point for us.. so he is best left wing back argentina have

    gomez: many times i have said he is the best left winger but not a left wing back he can cut inside and put some lovely cross and he can make huge difference on the leftside attack hope… we will see some lovely attack with gomez and acuna combination,,, dybala left foot so stuggled in that position but…. gomez will take easily and he can take long shot on that position…

    so sampolli finaly rectifies all the problem we have… i think goal will flow…

    while attak this team will act

    —— marcado——————otamendi—————–mache—-

    ————————- parades ——————————

    dimaria———— messi—————–banega———-acuna——-

    —————————–gomez—–

    —-benetteto—

    while defending

    —–marcado——otamendi———–mache————–acuna

    dimaria————pardes———banega——–gomez

    —————– messi————–

    ——– benettetto——

    1. saant

      Two positions are a concern for me. The left back position, Acuna is not a natural left back, and playing someone out of his natural position is like going in with 10 and a half players. But, you can’t blame Sampoali since Argentina for a such a great footballing nation doesn’t have world class left backs. Shame!
      The second position is the no.9, Sorry I don’t blame Benedetto, but for the past decade that position is cursed. Whoever dons that no.9 Argentine jersey looks shit on the pitch. So, we are going with another half a player. That makes it 10 against 11 against Peru.
      I still feel Sampoali should have risked playing Messi a a false no.9, and included another combatting tireless deep lying midfielder, to give us more cover agianst the fast and the furious peruvians.
      But coming to the positives, like ArjunMessi mentions, playing Di Maria and Papu in their natural positions could be the turning point in this match. Di Maria is one the hated players in this forum, but to be fair to him, he’s played in any position he’s been asked to and has never played much in his best position (the unavailable position that Messi occupies, and for which Dybala is waiting in line). Go back to last season with PSG, he had a poor first half to the season, and in the second half of the season he played on the left side of the attack and he was devastating including destroying Barca in the Champions league. If he wasn’t injured and had started the second leg he would have buried Barca in their home turf. Fingers Crossed.
      Coming back to Benedetto, it is a strange coincidence that he is the man playing this once in a lifetime crucial match for Argentina, with the likes of Higuain, Aguero, Icardi, and even Alario, who have come and gone before him. The last time Argentina were in a shit hole, it was an unlikely 36 year old Boca man, who was not suppossed to be playing in the first place bailed us out against the same opponents. History repeating itself! Fingers Crossed again!
      Whatever happens, We are all going to watching one of the great Thriiler-Dramas of our lives. Many a heart-beats are going to skip a beat or 2 many a times during those dreaded 90 minutes. Do or Die!

      1. Arjunanmessi

        saant …. i understand your point but… acuna not going to play as a left back… we are not going to defend like atletico madrid… you dont have to worry… we are going to play 3-4-3 or 3-4-2-1 while defending the formation will change 5-3-2 messi and bennetetto at the top dimaria and acuna will act as a wingback…not a left back and right back… if dimaria misses the ball marcado will act as a right back still we have otamedi and mache to cover the players… and acuna will come back from the wing to defend or parades wil act as a another center back banega will occupy the defensive mid field role.. if acuna loose the ball mache will act as a left back otamedi and marcado as cb and dimaria will do the job at right wing back.. but surely it wont happpen becaues when we loose the ball marcado and mache will win the ball easily in this system dont worry and they have the pace to keep the players…

        and about benetteto im not a fan of boca forward… but if this match will be played in campnou every body know messi will score atleast one goal… beacause his last 10 matches at the campnou 2,2,2,1,2.. so he knows how pace the ball will come in the campnou… for example atletico madrid pitch always hard… so teams like real barca never had a good game there … passing wont work that pitch… and atletico madrid players knows the pitch in and out… they always won there… so benetteto knows the pitch very well… he never going to be better than aguero icardi even higuian but… if he wont score home pitch we can easily drop him from the final 23… and we can replace with icardi so dont worry.. give him the chance … and he will get support from local groud more than the other players… that will motivate… and he will give extra.. so even if he score 3 goals icardi will replace him in the next match… and enzo or pablo perez could get the chance as a substitute…

  28. Richard

    with Rojo, Funes Mori and Aguero fit the line up would look different. During qualification a team of super stars did not work. At least we now have players who will work hard.

    1. Dadir10

      Rojo and Mori may have their places in the lineup, but Sampaoli isn’t a big fan of Aguero.

  29. Arii

    The choice of Benedetto tells me Sampaoli is very nervous and ready to gamble, after all who is Benedetto? a 27-year-old who is playing in the local league and has never started a game for Argentina. If you are dismissing Dybala for no chemistry with Messi, what about Benedetto who has never played a full game with Messi all his life? are you sure about the chemistry for this important game?

    I think he is extremely nervous and is ready to gamble with a wild card, I hope it works but I am not quite sure about this.

    1. Dadir10

      Dybala isn’t a center forward and can’t be an alternative to Icardi.

      “who is Benedetto? a 27-year-old who is playing in the local league and has never started a game for Argentina” So, what is wrong with being 27 and playing in the local league? Is that a problem? I think that isn’t a reason for a player not to be included in the lineup. Benedetto is a professional player and he knows how to put the ball in the back of the net. He scored many amazing goals and he is a player who can score with both foot as well as his head. He has all the qualities a center forward has to have and more. The other thing you talked about is he is new to the team and has no chemistry with Messi and others. It all comes down to the player’s willingness to gel with others and how hard he works during the game. Benedetto is a hard worker and I have no doubt about that. Vamos Argentina!!

      1. Arii

        I agree with you but this is not what I was saying… I am saying Jorge is nervous that is why he is pulling this, it is like when Diego called up Palermo.

  30. yvelot brianvil

    Macherano always prove that he is one of the best or strongest defender whenever he played…

  31. Dfox1942

    What needed to be said has been said already……….we desperately need the points, they are playing at home in front of an extremely passionate and motivated crowd and we have the best football player on the planet and possibly the best ever…….. LETS GO ALREADY.

  32. pallab

    Masche is vital in this team…..
    Gago in team(may be In bench) vital..

    Icardi & Dybala not in starting xi is vital……

    Higuain aguero will be back if we win. ……..

    Just a win we need now…..

    Buddies or WC2018 ?

  33. pallab

    Good line up

    Benedetto has to score as he will receive most assist from messi & Co.
    Injured Rojo is missing badly ..

    Enzo -Gago -Biglia is slow

    So sampaoli select a side that is best in form at present.

    Like Bauza Sampaoli confirms the starting xi ….I don’t like this in a crucial match …
    I will be happy if this xi may not start. ..

    Icardi has knock ?
    From Australia tour ?
    Is there something privately happening!!!!!!

    Ok no problem messi

  34. KidultHood

    Mascherano as a defender played the most minutes under Luis Enrique at Barcelona, so what are you on about? It’s not like Pique and Umtiti have been special. Umtiti haven’t accomplish anything at Barcelona to be consider a better defender than Mascherano, and the only thing Umtiti has going for him is pace. Mascherano have been Barcelona leader at the back since Puyol retired, he just doesn’t get credit in the media because he doesn’t look like a flashy guy from a boy band group.

    1. Istiaque

      In case you didn’t notice it’s 2017, not 2015.

      Masche has aged, and not like a wine. It’s normal because he’s an athlete. He is now an average centerback who makes a lot of mistakes.

      1. pablo dennison

        istiaque: agreed masc is not longer the player he once was, as he has set such a high stranded for so many years no one can keep that up forever.
        sadly time is no one friend especially and this is very true for a footballer over 30 but id still have him in the squad as to close out a game he is perfect for and for cover their is no better player to bring off the bench.

  35. Istiaque

    I don’t like the line-up. Acuna as a LB is a very very bad idea.

    But I guess practically its a 3-4-2-1 in possession, with Acuna and Di Maria as wingbacks, Messi and Gomez as wide attacking mids and Mercado, Otamendi and Masche as CBs. I don’t like inverted wingers in a 3-4-3 or 3-4-2-1. Di Maria at right wing will be an issue as it was with Acuna as RWB vs Uruguay.

    1. Antonio Montana

      Mercado is the other wing back not dimaria .. dimaria will play a more scoring role cutting in to his stronger left foot from the right… we will have 5 midfield players on the pitch some playing different roles ( mascherano, percedes, banega, dimaria, acuna), but this will help with possession and unlocking the defense of Peru and providing Messi with much needs space. Dimaria and Messi together on the right side will be a good thing as well as the both will be cutting from the stronger foot… vamos!!

  36. MMH

    Only Masche scares me from this XI otherwise a strong team and by far best selection so far.

    1. KidultHood

      The guy who played in three UCL finals, and several international finals scare you the most? If Masche can play against the best in Europe then I don’t see why he can’t play against Peru. You should be worried of the fact that neither Aguero or Higuain is on the Argentina roster. Where are the goals going to come from outside of Messi? Benedetto? Oh please, how can you start an uncapped player for such a crucial game?. Sampaoli took a big risk and if the team draw or loses then he will have to explain why Higuain was not on the roster. Icardi will be Argentina downfall, sadly it will have to go this way, but this guy should have never been on the squad. I agree with my mans Diego Maradona 100%.

      1. Istiaque

        He doesn’t play against the best of Europe’s right now. He is a backup who subs for the best defenders in his team since last season.

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