Rumored Argentina line-up; AGUERO, HIGUAIN start


While Tata MARTINO has confirmed that Lionel MESSI will play against Bolivia, he did not state that he will start.

According to media reports, this will be Argentina’s starting XI against Bolivia on Tuesday:


  1. What impressed me about the Bolivia game was Kranevitter’s remarkable passing accuracy (nearly 100%) and Lavezzi’s tireless running. El Pocho was hands down the best player in the first half. Of course this was all against a poor Bolivian side but still…

  2. Banega growth at Sevilla has benefited the national team. If Banega was blonde and pale skin the media would pay much more attention to him as one of the best midfielders currently in world football.

    • exactly Kid. Banega has grawn a lot this season.Even his understanding with Di Maria is unbelievable considering the little time they played together. Starting from Biglia’s goal against colombia Banega is involved in the construction of our goals afterwards. Am not surprised when i heard that Messi proposed his inclusion for 2014 WC squad had Sabella been not stuburn enough to bring the glass made players like Gago and some aged players like Maxi Rodregez.

  3. And just for my own clarification, I read that all yellow cards are erased after the quarter final. Here are the players that are on a yellow card:

    Di Maria

    If these players get a yellow in the next game, they will sit out the semi-final.

  4. Martino has done very well so far in this copa.

    For this final group match, he managed to rest the first team players, tried out the backup players and yet was still able to secure another victory.

    I am confident that we can beat Venezuela, but the semi could be a little bit tricky as our semi opponent is getting two more days of rest before the semi final.

    I guess Martino will use the following lineup:






    • Lamela? No. I don’t think. Lavezzi instead.
      Actually Lamela isn’t impressive in this tournament and goal by ricochet does not convinced me.

    • Spot On… That Lineup is very good…..

      Lamela is a better passer & has more creativity than Lavezzi…. against parked buses we need more creativity in tight spaces…. We may not get many chances to counter attack….

      • Lavezzi running and working far more than Lamela. Faster, more active and usefull player.
        Sorry, but where is the creativity of Lamela in this tournament?

    • I am Biglia going to be back in XI. According to argentine media Fernandez performance wasn’t convincing. Martino consider Biglia important for his plan. To be honest i didn’t find Fernandez impressive too. He is a hardcore player but his passing not that good.

  5. Kranevitter was best.
    Lavezzi – good, as always in NT.
    Funes Mori was not good as LB
    Banega – good game.
    Higuain? Again useless. Aguero should play instead.
    Cuesta is always class.

    My 11:


    Mercado…Otamendi..Funes Mori…Rojo




    • The difference between Aguero and Higuaín is that Aguero holds onto the ball way too long for my liking. Higuaín is always better with Messi on the pitch, Higuaín create spaces around the goal area and is able to peel off of defenders unlike Aguero. Go back to the Panama game, when that ball hit Higuaín in the face, there were like two to three Panamanian players around him which gave Messi the opportunity to run in space for his first goal. No need for Aguero on the pitch when Lavezzi is working better for the team in a similar position. At least Higuaín style is different from all the rest of our attackers.

  6. Apologies as mentioned that banega will miss QF.

    During the match I was discussing with some of friends that Banega on yellow then he received that yellow, so I thought he is banned from Quarter Final. Even in commentary it said after Banega’s yellow ‘Argentina need to careful about any suspension but Banega is not helping here’
    Yellow cards so far:
    Against Chile – Rojo, Di Maria
    against Panama – Mascherano, Augusto, Gaitan
    against Bolivia – Cuesta, Banega

    So it’s really good that Banega will play but still I will prefer Kranevitter or Agusto to start alongside Mascherano.

  7. Few points about this game…

    Argentina started the game brightly and there was an amazing movement in the field, they were passing in tight areas and pass success rate was also quite high. All Banega, Lamela, Lavezzi and Kranevitter all played really well and within 30 mins Argentina went 3-nil up. It was a lineup Messi will always prefer to start with. But after such an exciting first half it was bit boring and disappointing 2nd half. It was same predictable Argentina side started the game very slowly and almost everyone tried to find Messi, who was surrounded by 4 players always. In the end no penetration in attack, no chance created and it was goalless pretty average 2nd half.

    I truly believe that Banega is very vital in the heart of midfield and capable finding players in tight spaces. His passing quality is way above than others (other than Messi off course). It’s unfortunate that Banega will miss the Quarter Final for that unnecessary foul that he could have avoided. He will be missed against Venezuela for sure.

    IMO our biggest concern is player’s mentality when Messi is on the field and slow midfield with double pivot. I really like Bigila as he is no nonsense player and I would love to have him in our team but no way could he be starter considering the attacking players we have. Apart from one long rage shot I didn’t find any notable contribution from Bigila. Rather I will say once Bigila was introduced the attacking fluidity of the midfield was completely destroyed. As he had the tendency to sit deep in the midfield, Lamela also need to move deeper and that completely nullify the impact of Lamela. But still Bigila is must for the team when we need to protect the goal as he rarely loses ball position and makes any mistake.

    With Banega out for Quarter Final I won’t mind if Lamela retains his position in the starting XI in place of Banega as he looked very comfortable and confident. He is strong, hardworking and possess some serious goal scoring threat. Now in midfield I want Kranevitter to partner with Mascherano but no way have I wanted to see Bigila in the starting XI unless we are in serious trouble. All Agusto, Bigila and Kranevitter are defense minded midfield but Kranevitter’s passing is way above than others. Today in first half he made 38 passes with 100% success rate. Few long rage passes were just treat to watch (one to Lamela, one to Kun and other one to Lavezzi). This is one quality we lacks in the midfield and Kran is very good in that. In right wings I will prefer Lavezzi over Gaitan and in the upfront Messi behind Higuain. We simply cannot afford to start both Higuain and Kun together as they made a habit playing poor for us. Still I will prefer Higuain to start as his link up game is better than Kun and Kun is just too slow these days and has the tendency to hold the ball longer to slow down the game. Hope after Copa Tata will think over young strikers.

    So my starting XI in the Quarter Final would be..

    Romero; Rojo, Otamendi, Mori, Roncoglia (if Mercado is not fit); Mascherano, Kranevitter/Agusto, Lamela, Lavezzi; Messi and Higuain.

    However I have no doubt that Bigila will start alongside Mascherano and Messi will play 40-45 yards away from post and we will remain same predictable football. Hope Argentina and Tata will surprise me against Venezuela, who I believe would be a tough test for us.

    • The football that we saw today has two clear pointers – how we play when a team plays normal football against us, and if a team park the bus. 2 clear halves.
      If a team attack us, its clear we will create enough chances to score. But if a team park the bus, we will struggle, especially if Messi is asked to occupy the no.9 position, as the creativity suffers very badly.

      Every one seems to say, in the second half every body was looking for Messi. Ok, when Messi comes to the centre circle everyone is looking for him. But when is in the final third, I dont think so. Someone please count how many balls Messi received in the final third. I think Aguero, who held a lot of ball, passed to him just once! May be am wrong. But i will watch it again later.
      Anyways, everyone get ready for a tough Quaterfinal match. Venezuela will sit deep for sure.

      • that’s my concern. Venezuela will park the bus and to penetrate that you need to variation in attack. Unfortunately with a Mascherano-Bigila midfield you cannot expect anything and without Di maria and Banega all creative pressure will come on Messi. So simply I want some players who can add some different dimension while attack, probably Lamela, Lavezzi and Kranevitter can…

    • Apologies. During the match I was discussing with some of friends that Banega on yellow then he received that yellow, so I thought he is banned from Quarter Final. Even in commentary it said after Banega’s yellow ‘Argentina need to careful about any suspension but Banega is not helping here’
      Yellow cards so far:
      Against Chile – Rojo, Di Maria
      against Panama – Mascherano, Augusto, Gaitan
      against Bolivia – Cuesta, Banega
      So it’s really good that Banega will play but still I will prefer Kranevitter or Agusto to start with Mascherano.

  8. next game formation will be
    romero; mercado,otamndi, funes mori,rojo;banega,mascherano;lavezzi,messi,lamela;higuain

  9. Mid has improved in this tournament for sure. It is everything. I would prefer to have a stable and reliable mid than having infinite forwards. Assigning Banega to take a deep lying role is paying off,infact only some of us were optimistic about his inclusion, almost the whole mundo was bushing him with out auggesting any geniuene pure mid player than him.

    If Tata decides to ruin this mid our forwards will struggle to score and will deploy deep in to mid to collect the ball as usual.

    So, i will stick with Banega and Maschie as mid back bones and Gaitan Lamela along with Leo as an attacking/counteratracking horses and Higuein upfront for Venzuela match.

    • agreed, kun look very average today-again he is doing a di maria impression of not knowing when to hold the ball,not knowing when to release it and is taking 2 touches to many.

  10. Romero….. Not tested though looks ok
    Rocanglia ….. Does not Match Mercado
    Otamendi…. I liked that head and air swipping which got Bolivian striker fall like a stone
    Cuesta…. Quick and nice tackles, Good sub
    Funes ….. This guy looks ok with LB, though sometimes forgets and moves central
    Krane…… Promising future in place of Mascherano.
    Banega….. I see this game best for him than the last two
    Lamella…. Di Maria , you can rest until the final. Though Tata will use him or Lavezi in the up coming matches, since we all expect Mascherano-Biglia with Banega just front , the messi,Higuan & Possibly Lavezzi/Lamella.
    Biglia….. his best game since WC- Not sure of next games
    Lavezzi…. I like this tireless man , his speed and experience. Good option in Di maria abscense
    Aguero…. was a threat all the time.. Lavezi would not have scored were it not been deflected ( that shot)
    Higuain … Still no.9 in the QF,, I hope lucks comes back to him . Unlike Aguero when he loses balls always tracks back .Very Thirsty .
    Messi…. If that free kick was some few inches inside , story would have been different, It was very difficult game to get scoring chances bolivians were playing 10 man behind the ball , so don’t expect messi magics in that game , also if you all noticed there was one guy I think jersy no.4 who was all the time marking messi and support from his team mates
    Midana…. ( Cant comment )the time was introduced Bolivians were just defending

  11. The second half was a practice session; the team definitely hold back. It’s hard to motivate yourself after scoring 3 goals in the first half plus sealing a spot in the quarterfinal by topping the group. The 3-0 score line was perfect, no need to humiliate the opponent. I’m one that never believe in hammering a team despite them being down and out. The group stage was a great team effort by everyone, I love that our defenders are scoring goals, CB scoring goals in a tournament is always a good sign of a championship winning team. Ten goals in the group stage is good enough, Argentina have scored the most goals in the tournament, there was no need to be greedy by humiliating Bolivia. Argentina is by far the best team in the tournament when it comes to our starting XI and our bench depth. All of our wins in the group stage back in Copa 2015 was ugly, we scored then had to defend for our lives for the last 15 minutes of the games against Paraguay, Uruguay and Jamaica. So far this has not been the case in 2016, the team is playing with a lot of confidence. During the 2010 world cup group stage Argentina struggled to score goals, the same for the 2011 Copa America, the 2014 world cup, and the 2015 Copa America. Going by the last four tournaments, 2016 has been free flowing thus far. Hopefully we can take this form over into the latter stage of the tournament.

    Krane had a great game, but he was barely pressed throughout the game from the Bolivian players. Krane had a lot of time on the ball to do whatever he please because the Bolivian players were not adequate enough to close him down, so it’s hard for me to use this game as to why Krane should start, a sub role is best for him at this stage in his career with the national team especially in a tournament. Krane would have struggled against Chile and Panama in midfield if he had play. Overall I give an A minus for the group stage team performance.

    • I totally agree with this statement
      “I love that our defenders are scoring goals, CB scoring goals in a tournament is always a good sign of a championship winning team”

  12. Why the second half seemed boring..?

    1: Bolivia was more concentrating on defense to avoid big loss.
    2: Banega was missing. Biglia and Banega are totally different players.
    3: Everyone tried to pass to Messi.
    4: No urgency needed as we were 3 goals Up in 1st half.
    5: Safe play to avoid injury and suspension.

    • I really think that Banega is the key here. Him playing as a deep lying playmaker like Xavi is really working well.

      I also think that Lamela is almost ready to take over for Di Maria.

      It would have been nice to have Dybala to compete with Higuain and Aguero up front though.

  13. sec half was so boring. I think first half was awesome, our formation was amazing and the speed of movement caused trouble. sec halve tata changed things and it was so slow in boring, i am not sure what was he trying

  14. Solid game with a fantastic first half and a 2nd half, which was essentially a practice session for our boys.

    To be honest when I saw the lineup of kun, pipita, pocho and lamela with only krane and banega protecting the back 4 I had to relive the nightmares of the maradona days for few seconds but then I remembered that this was bolivia and I relaxed.
    I will give tata credit because that lineup worked! The boys were industrious, hardworking, keen on countering and kept asking questions to which they got 3 answers!
    Kun and pipita looked sharp and worked hard but the former dribbled too much while the latter hardly got any service but they were fit, keen and showed initiative so it’s all good in my book.
    lamela had a great first half as did mori who is surprisingly a capable fullback, thanks to his excellent ball control and sharp crosses. With saying mori still lacks rojo’s pace, which would come in handy in counters.
    Kranevitter was excellent but I wouldn’t start calling for him to replace Mascherano anytime soon since you all need to remember that Bolivia didn’t play a physical game like panama nor did they pressure like chile so we still don’t know how the kid would do against stronger midfield but one thing is certain; he has a future with the NT!

    It was strange for me initially when I noticed how the second half came to a screeching halt especially with messi being introduced but honestly I think tata told the team to treat the game like a practice session since first place was assured and that’s why they did.

    Looking forward to the venezuela game because it’s gonna be a tough one but as long as the albicelestes play like they did against chile and control the gaps in the midfield then our boys will be just fine.

  15. Next step for Albiceleste, all the way over to Massachusetts for a quarter-final date with Venezuela. Against Bolivia with 82% possession , the boys must be tired although enjoying the game. Kranevitter is excellent with his passed but doubt he can be a partner with Mascherano under Tata scheme. Higuain is still missing the chances and better we start with Kun Aquero; Lamela is growing and can replace Di Maria. Vamos Arg

  16. If we ever needed evidence that the team isn’t necessarily better with Messi we got it today. Almost 80% possession and zero chances created. Play was too slow and predictable. The ball goes to Messi when better options are available. Good performance in the first half though. Cuesta and Lamela stand out. Romero had a day off. Looking forward to Saturday.

    • It’s not the problem…. Most of the time the ball is with the Mid Field (Biglia. Kranevitter) & the Defense… Side Passes & Back Passes…. Lavezzi & Lamela went missing for the entire second half…. Aguero/Messi have to come deep to move the ball forward….

      • I feel the same way. I think that Messi could have come in for either Higuain or Aguero and it would have worked fine, but Biglia in midfield made it worse.

        4-4-2 seems to work the best for us. (Even though Lamela’s goal was a deflection, the other 2 goals were totally earned.)

    • ken is off the pace, trying far to much and simply is not looking good, if only a icardi or dybala were here as hig is also not looking sharp

  17. So Bigila is fit In QF Tata will be back with his traditional double pivot with Mascherano and Bigila 🙁 Honestly It’s not that I don;t like Bigila but the fact is he is not needed in our starting XI considering the attacking qualities we are posing. Bigila is only needed when we are trying to protect a goal….even Kranevitter would be better option to partner with Mascherano.

  18. Lamela had a great game. Banega and Kranevitter playing good. But Lavezzi….even though losses ball many times but still scored one, then assisted one and his tirelss running..easily best player in the first half

  19. This is practically a test match. Great to see everybody work hard while there’s nothing at stake anymore. Pipita lost the ball, tracked back and won the ball back 30 meters on. Great attitude. He just needs to score to get his confidence back. Nine goals in the Copa and none from our 9.

    • I want the same formation for all the game with 3 changes, Lavezi to Messi, Kar to Mach and Rojo and Lamela to Maria… We have enough talent in attack we should use them instead of sitting on bench.

    • agreed and it frees messi up more to cause even more trouble. we need 2 upfront and messi just as he is at barca free top roam any where he chooses.

  20. 2 upfront is a must and i hope it works today meaning tata will have to continue it. as we have seen far to of turn a loan striker is to easy to mark out of a game and to see a number 9 coming back to half way to get the ball is wrong meaning its no wonder we see so many balls/crosses to no one in the center.

    • I totally agree.. I really hope it works out. And it would be ever better, once Messi comes in to sub off lavezzi and drop down lamela. I really want to see hig, aguero, and Messi play together. I feel as though they will put a great attack where the other team would have to stay back and defend

      • If Messi comes in for Lavezzi, would that turn it into a 4-3-3 instead of the 4-4-2 we should be starting with. Didn’t we have problems with that formation in the past?

  21. Otamendi is our main defender for this Copa. As Garay isn’t arount this time, I think it would be wise to give him some rest too. If Nico get injured, it would be worse for us. I would rather pick Maidana to play against Bolivia.

    Tonight’s match will decide, who’ll be our no 9 for the knock out rounds. It’s a must show for players like Lamela & offcourse Higuain.

    Vamos Argentina!

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