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World Cup: Argentina’s Predicted Playing 11

Argentina kick off their World Cup with a group stage contest against Saudi Arabia on Tuesday.

Argentina will be without midfielder Giovani Lo Celso for the tournament and manager Scaloni said it would be difficult to replace him.

“Football-wise there’s no similar player in the team,” Scaloni said. “But it’ll depend on what each match requires.”

Argentina are looking to win their third world title.

Here’s the lineup Scaloni may select for their tournament opener.

GK: Emi Martinez – He earned his first cap for the senior national team in 2021, helping his nation win the 2021 Copa América.

He also won the Golden Glove for the latter, keeping a clean sheet in the final.

RB: Nahuel Molina – The Atletico Madrid full-back has never lost while representing his country.

CB: Nicolas Otamendi – As a 22-year-old, Otamendi played three matches at the 2010 World Cup, including the 4-0 evisceration against Germany in the quarter-finals.

CB: Lisandro Martinez – The thoroughly no-nonsense centre-back made just one appearance in Argentina’s triumphant Copa America campaign in 2021.

However, he may start due to the absence of the injured Cristian Romero.

LB: Marcos Acuna – Given the nickname ‘el Huevo’ – the Egg – due to the number of bumps and lumps he would pick up while playing football as a kid.

CM: Rodrigo De Paul – The highlight of his career came during the 2021 Copa America, when he played an instrumental role in the Albiceleste’s winning campaign.

In the final game against arch-rivals Brazil, he provided the assist for Angel Di Maria’s winning goal.

CM: Leandro Paredes – The PSG loanee has started just three Serie A matches since joining Juventus in the summer but is an integral cog in Argentina’s midfield.

CM: Alexis Mac Allister – A player that can boast Scottish and Irish heritage, Mac Allister’s Argentinian father played alongside Diego Maradona for Boca Juniors and Argentina.

RW: Lionel Messi – The talisman of the Argentine team was persuaded out of international retirement by Scaloni following the 2018 World Cup.

Every Argentinian fan – and many neutrals – will be mightily grateful.

ST: Lautaro Martinez – Lautaro has gone four or more games without finding the net on three separate occasions already this season.

Despite this, he enjoys the trust of manager Scaloni.

LW: Angel Di Maria – In the 2021 Copa America final, Di Maria became the first Argentinian player to score a winning goal in a final since Gabriel Batistuta.

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