Final Argentina eleven from training


We have news from the final training session ahead of the match on Tuesday.

It’s been a day of rumored elevens. From Angel DI MARIA starting to Angel DI MARIA not starting, from Eduardo SALVIO getting the nod to start to him being a doubt. Argentina coach Jorge SAMPAOLI has his work cut out for him.

As it stands, the only thing confirmed is that both Mauro ICARDI and Paulo DYBALA will not be starting for the Albiceleste. With that said, we do have the last eleven which SAMPAOLI used in training. Here it is:

Argentina 11 in training


Only two spots appear to be up for grabs and both of them in midfield. On the right side, it’s between RIGONI and SALVIO. According to reports, SALVIO is not certain to start as the team is waiting on his fitness. The other is on the left between Papu GOMEZ and Marcos ACUÑA. Up front it’s Lionel MESSI with Dario BENEDETTO.


  1. I have a feeling…A STRONG FEELING.. that Sampaoli has a surprise master plan. Trump Cards. The reason why he picked Bendetto. This is the Altitude plus raining. Remember 2009 Maradona Belly Dive in the rain? Remember Palermo? When all the players gets tired after 60/65 mins including Ecuador. 2 fresh legs might come in (Icardi/Dybala) And one of them would do a Palermo.
    Vamos Albiceleste

    • I have a feeling also. My feeling is Instead of playing our best players, Sampa may attempt to kick Messi in the ankle to slow us down even more…this is a lousy liine up. If we lose there will be a lot to answer for keeping Dybala and Icardi on the bench. And if there is ANY chance DiMaria is not fit, do not play him we will lose a substitution and that is a big deal in altitude

  2. Starting Benedetto may not be everyone’s first choice, but it’s not a bad decision per se. The line-up is reasonable given the timing and the fact that neither Dybala or Icardi has fully gelled yet. (I think Icardi has a knock too.) And Dybala essentially admitted he’s not up to playing with Messi, yet. So it’s not a surprise why he’d be benched. Benedetto may not be a world class talent, but he has has been consistent at Boca (whom as a river fan I despise).

    I would have preferred Mascherano as a midfielder with Paredes in a double 5 role, but he’s been reliable the last few matches for Argentina.

    Di Maria is the real wild card. He’s had some bad performances lately, but he’s also one of the only players we’ve had who consistently performs well at Altitude.

    The team looks like it will shift from a 3-4-3 on attack to 4-4-2 when defending like this (from left to right)




    ———–Enzo Perez———-Biglia

    Messi ———————————-Di Maria


    And when Defending:



    Salvio——–Enzo Perez———Biglia————–Di Maria


    Goal here is to take the flanks away from Ecuador by giving Di Maria help with Acuna and Salvio help with Mercado. Biglia will administer the middle with Enzo Perez adding a little more pace to move the ball. My discomfort is the consistent failure of someone who can really distribute the ball forward. Biglia is a little limited and Enzo Perez a good box to box midfielder, does not have the defense splitting pass. This to me is a very reasonable approach to this game at Altitude against a side that is fast and like to attack down the wings.

  3. Can not wait ror the game! Such a big game it is. It will be nerve wrecking but I hope for the best, fear the worst. That is all what we fans can do. Peru game was good, but no goal. Now there has to be one. Let’s hope that our luck changes! All together now: Vamos Argentina!!!

  4. I am feeling bad for these players. It must be very difficult time for them. As a supporter we are like dying. How tough is it for them when they are playing away from home,in a cold night with possibility of rain and the infamous height.

  5. I checked the forcast looks like there will be thunderstorm and rain in Quitto. Hopefully it will not affect our style of play….Im just prayin.
    Vamos Argentina

  6. This line up is awful. No Icardi, no Dybala….Beneditto is better than them? in which sense? Stupid coaches.
    Why Di Maria is here from the first place? I expect a disaster.
    1-0 to Ecuador.

      • Arnav bhatara, you’re right about argentina2018. We keep logging in every minute to see new posts and you get people like him asking why is icardi not included, it has been stated why and i personally have commented why on previous posts, they just come here and dump all of their negativity and ask questions which have been replied to a million times. Dont take this personally man i mean in generak but you just happened to be an example

        • That wouldn’t change my perception about the situation. Shitty line up if you ask any intelligent football analyst out there. I mean really shitty and fucked up. No goal scorers, no strikers. Even Higuain would be a better choice than the idiot Beneditto. Come on people, you know it. Messi doesn’t like potential talents to steal his thunder so he prefers mediocre players like shitty di maria and Beneditto play next to him. I love Messi but I also can understand his strategy to be the sole player and everyone pass to him. Why do you think A list strikers refuse to join Barca this Summer?

          • @Argentina2018, If Messi’s strategy is to surrond himself with mediocre players and never wants good players play alongside him, why was he angry about Neymar’s selling to PSG and on top of that why he always asks Barca’s administration to buy high quality players for the team? Messi likes to play with the best and brightest NOT mediocre players as you are accusing him.

        • Argentina 2018

          You can’t even write Benedetto’s name properly let alone to know about him anything (that goes for most people here). He is not Beneditto, he is Benedetto and Sampaoli is playing him because he saw him in many full games of Boca unlike you, Argentina 2018, and , to be honest, unlike most of people here. Perhaps Sampaoli saw something interesting in him if starts Benedetto once again.

          • Gonzalo, i have a strong feeling if we fail to qualify it will be because of Benedetto (his goal scoring mistakes), but if we win because of Messi or Di Maria, remember my words, i look into Benedetto maximum an easy tap-in after a great Messi or DM pass

          • Csabalala,

            what? “if we fail to qualify it will be because of Benedetto (his goal scoring mistakes)”

            are you kidding?! You want to manipulate now all qualifiers games? You want to falsify facts sneaky man? As if Benedetto was our starter No.9 all the matches? Once again: please to count how many miutes in this qualifers had Higuain, Aguero, Icardi, Dybala, Bendedetto. Benedetto had least minutes. Higuain, Aguero, Icardi, Dybala scored together 1 goal in qualifiers and you want
            to say “if we fail to qualify it will be because of Benedetto (his goal scoring mistakes)”.

            What naive man you want to convince by this distorted interpretations?

            Another thing: “easy tap-in after a great Messi or DM pass” – I know very well your double standards. If it was about Higuain or AGuero – it wouldn’t have mattered for you what kind of goal he will score. But if it’s about local league layer you want to see him scoring rabona goal. Double standards once again from you. Just like your emphasizing River lost away in Bolivia and ignoring their 8:0 in home by saying: I want to se them against Real Madrid. Double, sneaky, manipulated standards.

          • whatever his name is/was, he made a fool of himself last game. Not good enough to be a starter for a team on the calibre of Argentina, also we criticize both Higuain and Aguero but hell both can do a better job than this guy’s erratic run. As for Di Maria, no need to say anything about him, he’s the sacred deer of Argentina.

            Back to Messi and Neymar, yes Messi likes to play with top performers only if they have under the bar personality and can serve him. Dybala and Icardi are not that type, even Dybala said that he doesn’t like the idea of being compared to him because he wants to be remembered as Dybala no Messi wanna be. Both guys have strong personalities that can’t fit messi’s agenda. Messi wants someone neutral- introvert- poor personality on pitch like Di Maria.

          • Csabalala, your favourite strikers Higuain and Aguero failed all the qualifiers. Another two, much disliked by you – Icardi and Dybala – you were so much criticizing after his last NT games. So which striker actually pleased you.

          • Argentina 2018

            what kind of better job did Aguero and Higuain in his many more minutes than Benedetto? What is their rate goal to minutes in qualifiers to make such statements? The strikers were so invisible when got their chances. Benedetto is at least more in movement.

          • Icardi and Dybala played poor so far, but world class players, they can score from nothing, Benedetto played poor too but sadly he’s a mediocre striker at max, if you have 2 of the 10 best strikers in the world but still plays with the hmm 150th 200th best forward, why why why? In this case you are a crazy fool (Sampaoli). The same case in Rigonis, Acunas, Salvios, Gomez’s situations. These are mediocre footballers, who so far even missed the easy tap-ins (Messi’ve created all of them). You don’t even believe in Benedetto and co., man Aguero is not here, Higuain is not here, Di Maria played 50 mins in the last 3 catastrophe matches. In your book these lads are better choices than the ones who played 3 major finals, what”s the problem? We will destroy this weak Ecuador right? They are world class players right? Question? And what you do and will do if we fail? You will blame Messi as always, and the others (the 3 consecutive finals generation). Everyone who have eyes sees these guys are not on Argentinas NT level, cant create anything on their own from nothing, and never will, B-category, C-category footballers for God’s sake. I never forget when you’ve described before the U20 WC Lautaro Martinez as our nemesis, the worst CF, lazy striker like Aguero who will cost us a lot. And what happened? The exact opposite of course, (falling because his ban) I saw he is a world class striker material, you don’t, football blindness as so many times in your “career”, when you don’t see who is B-category, the Argentine league is mediocre, the Nt is better without Messi, Benedetto is better than Icardi. Simply football blindness. Of course i will support today with these guys, but after this match have to drop all of them, when we have rea quality players.

          • Ofc I critized Dybala who is a phenomenon, but played bad, i always critized Icardi, who never give support for build ups, but a real predator in the box on the highest level too (and that is not the local league’s caliber, where a lot of time and space for everything, Benedetto), but they are real quality, man, and when they not play its simply inexplicable. Inexplicable. A football nation who makes the same mistakes over and over again (playing with not the capable best pla
            lyers for some reasons) that deserves his fate. WC98, WC 2006, WC2010, WC 2014 and NOW. In my country everybody laugh on Argentina in the football forums because of these lineups.

  7. Another good news coming late for argentina. The head coach of Ecuador is banned from the touchline for an alleged exchange of words with arturo vidal in their prev game. Let’s take advantage of this as well. Vamos !

  8. Pleasure at the end of the pain or the cold cruel truth. What’s it gonna be?
    The wait and all the anxiety is unbearable. My biased heart says we’ll make it but my logical mind refuses to believe it.

  9. First post in Mundo…This is a do or die game for the team. Should stick to basics and get a goal in the first quarter. at this point it would not be wise of changing things and trying out new stuff.

    I think the altitude factor cannot be ignored.

    I still feel Banega should have been in the team. He may be a super sub along with Dybala in the second half to push forward if we are not able to crack the defence open..

  10. The verdict is out finally. Sampaoli will be going for a more conventional 442 system ! The lineup is as follows :

    Sergio Romero; Gabriel Mercado, Javier Mascherano, Nicolás Otamendi; Eduardo Salvio, E. Pérez, Lucas Biglia, Marcos Acuña; Lionel Messi, Darío Benedetto and Di María.

    I believe mascherano will be doing a lot of overlaps in this game although perez will definitely be pushing himself more into the opponent’s box just to create some distraction and add crucial numbers.

    In my honest opinion, Salvio will be our MOST crucial player here as he is known to dribble players along the line thus forcing opponents to stretch their defence and create pockets of space at the centre. His partner on the right who will most likely take advantage of it is, yes you guessed it our el capitan 🙂

    • I am not very happy with the lineup, but with regard to the circumstances i won’t give a damn shit abt the lineup if we just won the game. I am shit scared, but i will don the albiceleste at least one more time. I will cheeer the team atleast one more time.
      Vamos Argentina!

      • Mascherano is in defence NOT in midfield and Papu isn’t in the lineup. The formation is 3-4-2-1 Acuna and Salvio play as wingbacks, Perez and Biglia are in midfield.

    • They are still not sure about salvio’s fitness and hence he might not start. That’s the last thing u want, an unfit player starting at altitude.

  11. Ecuador this year:

    Lost to Paraguay 2-1
    Lost to Colombia 0-2
    Lost to Brazil 2-0
    Lost to Peru 1-2
    Lost to Chile 2-1

    No need to be scared. Argentina will win.

  12. After a lot of struggles in my life(includes dropping out of college,accident,drugs, unemployment………etc) I thought at last I’m en route to maturity and can survive any struggle in my life….But then comes this… Argentina…just want to see you lift a trophy in my life time…want to complete my life within this life time…I’ll watch the match…Am I confident that we’ll win???Answer is both an easy yes and a pessimistic yes…..Easy yes from my heart and the other from my brain…I thought I was an aethist….No I’m not even that…What if we don’t qualify…Does that make any change???No….I’ll skip football from my life till Argentina’s first qualifier match for next WCQ.
    Sorry guys…I don’t know what to write…But I want to support my beloved Argentina….Is there any other way to show my support…Let’s be together for this one day…..just one day….just hope we make it….###Just support Argentina….Don’t make us cry for you Argentina……….

  13. I feel this is an Excellent line up and very attacking with defensive solidarity. We have Di maria and Rigoni in the wings, Papu and Messi partership in the middle , Biglia and mascherano to be DM, Fazio and Otamdendi both can score in Corners, only Question mark in Beendetto..Icardi would have been better, but overall Sampaoli has lined up best what can be done based on current situation, we have 5 players who can defend..I think if we have some luck we will definitely win..I support Argentina for Life..Vamos Argentina..

  14. Biglia is good but he lack the special feature of great midfielders bcoz -HE NEVER MAKE FINAL PASS TO FORWARDS & just pass to his left or right side meaninglessly

    • Mascherano will be the the man of the match tonight. Remember that semifinal vs Holland he was all over the place and when the penelty shootouts were starting he said to Romero it is your chance to show the world who you are and take the team to the final. We can rely on Masche tonight though he isn’t the same Mascherano of two years ago, but he can take more than his fair share. VAMOS ARGENTINA!!

      • Mascherano will play with his entire soul. He may not be as young and fast as he used to be, but he has stepped up in the biggest of moments. He won’t be in Russia if we advance, but he deserves to finish his cycle helping this team to get there.

  15. InshAllah, despite all shortcomings we will win today’s game against Ecuador by 3-0 & Messi will score a brace. Allah willing Argentina will qualify for wc 2018. Vamos Argentina

  16. Worst count down of the life.. every second goes as if it is eternity.. also that 90 minutes.. longest longest time in our life.. if we had bought our television in July instead of June in 1986 may be I am blessed.. What the hell really happened to us? Any how I decided to watch a movie like Hangover first part and sleep happily. Let the happiness continues tomorrow. Always.. always.. blues..

  17. Argentina is qualifying for the WC. Mark my word. I am not worried at all about losing or not qualifying. Because Argentina is winning even with this team.

    Ecuador has named the squad with all unfamiliar young home based players. They are gonna play attack and wont park the bus. Said Ecuador Coach (An Argentine). They dont need points cos they are already out.

    But thats not ideal for Argentina. We should have already qualified by now.
    My problem is
    Due to the easy opponent maybe Benedetto get a goal. And that would not be ideal for the WC cos the competition would be tougher. Dybala and Icardi may not even play but Argentina would still qualify. We need Dybala and Icardi to play in WC. It would be very essential and for that the game against Ecuador was essential for Icardi-Messi-Dybala to start getting used to each other against a weaker side.
    Only a miracle can stop Argentina from qualifying against such a weak team. Tomorrow Argentina would face the most weakest and easiest team they have face so far in the qualifiers. lets put it like that.

  18. I think the line up is somewhat good. Sampi doesnt want ecuador to have any scoring opportunities and wants to control midfield.why not start defensively, play the outsides and cut in to find messi or benedetto… if still 0-0 at half he needs to play with some risk . Hope to see dybala

  19. Am I the only one who is even planning to skip the match because it’s almost impossible to think the unthinkable during the game………………I don’t know…Just hope God is giving us this burden just to make the world cup glory the sweetest experience ever in our life….

  20. A friend of mine said that he wont be returning to his native village due to the incessant mocking he would face from his Brazil supporting friends /juniors. Argentina, Oh Argentina! what a roller coaster u r!

  21. Aaaah why not peredes instead of biglia…..? Mascherano and peredes can add strength to defence and offence respectively. Whereas Mascherano and Biglia both are defensive minded players.

  22. This line-up makes it easy for Ecuador. Leave Fazio unmarked and put two men on Messi. Where is the threat gonna come from?

    We cannot gamble on a draw because results elsewhere can keep us in 6th place. This is a must win game.

  23. I think Sampaoli is looking to secure at least a draw. probably he is afraid of the altitude thing and trying to prevent us from conceding. how else does a Mascherano-Biglia midfield make sense!?

  24. what do we know about the Opponent? are they resting key Players? what has their Coach to say…i hope they give us this game and let us live….

      • I am really not looking for any team game for this , rather than depends on the individual brilliance like the last 3-4 years, so in that aspect i guess we need dybala just to some individual sparks .

  25. Mascherano and Biglia as DM’s yet again???… tried and tested 347 times… for defense it may look good… but what about offense?
    Who is gonna create? No one.
    Even if out of the black one creates; no Argentine striker will score.
    Anywayz all Argentina coaches are loosing their brain when they take over the NT.
    God save Argentina.

    • then stop commenting here, we don’t need that kind of negativity on here. yes I agree with you on biglia and mascherano that they are not good offensively, but as I commented before that we are already playing with 3 defenders, so the least we can do is have a balanced midfield between offense and defense. it is a plus if biglia and mascherano can create which by the way mascherano can create and we saw that in the peru is not only biglias duty to create, at the end of the day he is a DM. Do not worry argentina fans about the team creating chances, because we always are, worry about us scoring goals and that is it.

      • Argentina is on a negative trend… ask any blogger here… that is why everyone is angry and are forced to write. If Argentina is doing well… am i crazy to write rubbish.
        Btw, Mr. Majd do you by any chance own this blog. If so i will surely stop writing otherwise we all can go about our business of blogging. Thank you.

        (if you are so irritated at the name chalz… skip reading mine alone; as many bloggers here do not read mine and im 100% ok with it… my fren Miskan reads thats enough😊)
        Lets all vote for a win.

  26. Intresting, i like the idea of mascherano in the midfield but what i’m afraid of is our back line, but valencia and montero wont be playing but we still have to be careful. This is a super attacking formation. I am pretty sure that mascherano and biglia can hold the defense and mascherano can do some nice passing in the midfield. Personally i am not with either salvio or rigoni but if i had to chose i would go with salvio. One very important thing and can change the game is that i hope di maria will be in a good form, he can do alot of addition and i want to see everything from him except his crosses if they are not useful just like in many matches and in peru’s match. As for messi it is messi and he will surely creat chances, bendetto our best striker but he is giving it his all and the two chances that he missed the header and the shot on goali before messi continued it yes he didn’t score but he was in a good position so what i concluded about this guy is that he knows where to stand to recieve the ball, all that is left is the excution. Gomez or acuna i hope that sampaoli picks the one that is going to be a + for us. Not goinf to get into the matches details like altitude, but i am going to that the ecuador team is very average and we need to remeber something they play open football unlike other teams that we have faced and managed to create real chances. If we win tommorow we can guarantee atleast a 5th place if not a 4th. If we tie first match that we have to put our eyes on is the paraguay vs venezuela match lets jus hope that paraguay dont get the 3 points. But if we will tie we are going to have into consideration 3 matches which are brazil vs chile, paraguay and venezuela and colombia vs peru. Each match has it’s importance for both teams except for venezuela. Looking at the brazil vs chile formation all brazil stars are starting and it looks like they are in it to win it but who knows, not everything is as it seems on paper. Paraguay need a win to even think about qualiying so they are going to give it their all and it is on their home ground and venezuela are already out, but the thing with paraguay that they are so inconsistent and venezuela are still not easy so who knows. As for the colombia peru game, i think that match is going to bea killer match between the 2 becausw whowever wins will qualify, lets hope they draw or a colombia win

    • Who do you want ? Just tell me. You talk as if we had kroos or modric in our team. Yes biglia is not creative but is a great dm, you need a good dm in a 3-4-3 formation. And mascherano is a great dm but is creative so there is a mix of both. It is already risky with 3 defenders, the least we can do is have one or two good dm even though i consider mascherano in the middle more of a central midfielder or who can do both.

    • And stop with all the bullshit that says biglia isnt creative, he is a fucking dm. And more than that he isn’t creative but we still are creating real goal chances, so i know that is too late outr eyes should be fixated on our attack and hope that they can score

      • Biglia is underrated by this board. His positioning and reliability in the midfield make him an asset. The problem is he won’t wont dribble through a midfield or dictate the game with his passing. That’s okay, as long as his counterpart takes that role. Is he Xavi or even Xavi Alonso, no. But that’s not why he’s included.

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