Jorge SAMPAOLI tries out an Argentina line-up in training


Argentina National Team coach Jorge SAMPAOLI put out ten players in training with Lionel MESSI, Sergio AGUERO and Cristian PAVON playing up front.

Franco ARMANI has now joined the Argentina National Team and coach Jorge SAMPAOLI has everyone at his disposal bar Maxi MEZA of Independiente who will join up with the team following his club match later tonight. With nearly everyone at his disposal, the coach tried this 4-3-3 in training:


He then made a few changes with Eduardo SALVIO coming in for Cristian ANSALDI, Marcos ACUNA for Nicolas TAGLIAFICO, Javier MASCHERANO for Lucas BIGLIA and Paulo DYBALA for Sergio AGUERO.

The starting goalkeeper is still not confirmed.



  1. Mascherano and Banega must sort it out the vulnerability while passing and receiving the ball that failed in recent past. They have to more physically agile while bringing the ball back.
    Young Tagliafico need to develop his speed while bringing the ball back or while going forward on wing.

  2. I think from a player standpoint, this team is a lot stronger than the one we fielded in 2014. Lets not forget, we barely made it out of the group stage if it was for 2 last minute heroics by Messi in the first 2 games if we are being honest..

    Defense wise, I would say it is about even:

    Romero > whoever starts

    Otamandi = Garay (maybe Garay with the slight edge as an overall CB)
    Fazio > Demichelis
    Ansaldi > Zabaleta (Ansaldi is better overall than Zab. Zaba rarely ventured forward)
    Tag < Rojo (this could be a toss up defensively)

    This is a big change from the last WC. We, as in Sabella pretty much had 3 CDM playing in the midfield with Enzo being the only decent offensive-minded player that would venture forward when clearly that was not his strength. Fast forward to 2018, we now have 2 players, with high work rate, that could push forward and releive Messi from his playmaking duties.

    Biglia << Biglia (Biglia was decent as a CM in 2014 but offered nothing going forward. Way too static)
    Lanzini = Enzo (different type of players/role but I like Lanzini a lot going forward plus he’s solid defensively)

    DiMaria = DiMaria (lets hope he stays fit)
    Messi 2018 > Messi 2014 (matured a lot as a player and a playmaker)
    Aguero > Higuain (no debating)

    Plus we have more capable back-ups (Pavon, Meza, Higuain, Masch, Acuna, Dybala)

    I think if this team gels like I expect them to, we could be a force to be reckoned with.


      Biglia < Mascherano (MAsch was a beast as a DM in 2014)

      Lanzini = Enzo (different type of players/role but I like Lanzini a lot going forward plus he’s solid defensively)

      Lo Celso > Biglia (Biglia as a pure CM was way too static in 2014. Lo Celso offers way more to our midfield plus the kid looks great moving forward and he’s a great passer too.

    • Taglifico is better. You will see that in this WC just like how Rojo was performing in last WC.

      Other big change is the mentality of the coach and team. From Sabella’s defensive approach to Sampaoli’s offensive approach.

  3. Making it simpler,


    These are all certain starters. At least during group stage (& after if fortunately all r ok)

    I will add this guy to the list:

    7. Lo Celso

    Excluding the goalie, it’s all about 3 more players…

    Sampoli have to choose between,

    Fazio (Decent CB) & Rojo (faster)
    Ansaldi (inexperienced, But talented) & Mercado

    Pavon, Lanzini & Meza — Our “Secret” ammos, very difficult to choose between.

    Friends, What do you think about the 7 “sure starters” & the rest?

  4. I believe Spain will not able to press that hard in actual world cup they would have already played 4 games before facing us.its not in Spain not get the crowd support what they got in Madrid.that match was just 1 month after the winter break all the Spanish players were fresh after completing gruelling season and already playing 4 matches in 15-20 days not easy to maintain the high intensity.

    • even if they do we have the quality to respond back to them same way. world cup game is completely different story from friendly. plus after humiliation from Spain in friendly our guys will enter like lions inside pitch for revenge and proove what they worth. their ego hurted and they have things to prove.

    • The squad without doubt is inferior to the top four (bra ger esp fra). But good squad doesn’t alone ensure world cup success. its about peaking at the right point in the tournament. But I still think we will get beaten in the quarters by spain by a couple of goals.

      • i believe we all (i include myself too) have underestimate Portugal. Portugal is very strong team too. they are European champions. so they have the power and it is possible they win their group. so we shouldn t be sure that we will play against Spain in quarter finals. Portugal is possible too.

        • Portugal, Russia, Uruguay,Spain… Anything can come.
          We will win all 3 games comfortably. So it will all depends on Chaotic group of Spain.

  5. I really want to see what this training camp does to our team.sampaoli never had this much amount of time with the players.we have started the camp very early so we are getting close to 1 month before the wc starts.each and every players are there no club commitment.and the tournament is 1 month long so if we reach semis we would have 2 month playing together.sampaoli always gets 5-6 days with the with more time he can work on his defensive tactics.90% of his squad is right choice.under him our passing game already improved by leaps and bounds.defensive players need understanding which needs time plus sampaoli needs to practice them in a way that these defenders can withstand high press like Spain did to them.actually they got nervous due to the big crowd and Spain’s high press and crumbled badly.

    • too much concern for defence, Brazil and Spain had best defence in 2014 humiliated by Germany and Holland respectively. Argentina defence is Good, Fazio is ucl/sere A one ot the best defender, Otamendi won EPL best defender award, only full back is concern also back up. If rojo find previous season form then everything will be fine. Only no5 is big concern for Argentina

      • team without good defense never won world cup. at least from 1974 till our days. everything begins from defense and continue. defense is not only about names of players. it is matter of tactics and mentality. Brazil and Spain in 2014 has just glamorous names defenders. their tactics and mentality was shitty.

      • our team maybe don t have glamorous names defenders but if they work hard their tactics and mentality of defense we have the power shock the world. i trust Sampaoli. he is good coach. so i expect work hard to build our defense strong as was in 2014 world cup

      • but we won’t face Brazil until final so we should not worry that much about them.
        as for Spain – they do not have that much quality in attack, they are strong mostly in a midfield. so this decreases hazard a bit

  6. My team:
    —————Lo Celso
    Messi——Dybala—–Di Maria

    Yes, of course I know Lanzini will get the nod ahead of Dybala….But this is my team:-)

        • Striker behind a traditional no.9.if I’m sampaoli I would have played dybala as a sub to aguero.that’s his best position.

          • In my team he is like a striker behind a #9, this could also be called a #10 or a kinda playmaker….There is no reason why this shouldn’t work….if he is given time. He can also be used as a pure #9 or a half #9, and be Aguero’s sub like you say.
            I am ok with Lanzini taking Dybala’s place in my team though:-)

    • Yes dybala won’t. You correct..
      And putting dybala as playmaker isn’t a wise thing to do. He’s too Messi type,with much lesser vision & skills. We can’t afford him. That spot should be given to an attacking winger.
      I will go with this order.


  7. According to me this group is the group of death we need to be very careful if we don’t want to be eliminated like 2002

    • thats what i am saying since the draw….very very dangerous…but i am calm…i think we will lose all 3 games and i am ready for it…

      • in worst senario we will finish second in group. stop afraid so much. we are ARGENTINA. we are not Iceland Malta or Saudi arabia. they should afraid us. not we them.

  8. The following players are starting 100%.

    Lo Celso

    Build your rest of the 11 around them :p

      • I’m not saying Lo Celso is exceptional…but he is young and will improve with each game. The other option we have in that role is Banega who is super inconsistent.

      • Madrid game is old.he improved a lot plus he will play in attacking midfield role not in defensive midfield role.he is weak as a defensive midfield role but super as a more advanced option.

  9. β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”Armaniβ€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”-




    Messiβ€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”Di maria


  10. the 2 of Mascherano Biglia or Banega should be in line up because with only one of them the balance between defense and offense is destroyed. i am speaking about the games mostly between us and Germany Brazil Spain France or Portugal. this type of teams. if we do oposite the resault will be probably as the game in 2010 with Germany when our team was cut in 2 pieces and defensively Mascherano was running in midfield about defence for cover 3 players. Sabella see and change that in 2014 world cup. the resault we all know.

  11. ———————Armani——————-

    Ansaldi. Otta. Fazio. Tagli


    Messi—————————Di maria


    • I have jus edited ur team pattern… The same team was in my mind too… Kudos…
      Hope Lanzini can defend as well…

  12. Having Ansaldi as our right back is akin to having an extra winger with defensive perks. He is as confident with the ball as any other skillful winger can be. Im sure Sampaoli is well aware of his great attributes and might just deploy him to make our right side a force to be reckoned with.

  13. I think line-up may be:
    GK Armani DF Ansaldi Otamendi Fazio Tagliafico
    MD Mascherano Bigilia Lanzini
    FW Di Maria Messi Aguero

    • Putting mascherano and biglia in the centre is committing tactical suicide. Our midfield and transition from defence to attack will be as sluggish as a tortoise walking on peanut butter. Furthermore Messi would be compelled to retract all the way deep just to get the ball and leave aguero isolated in front ( the last thing we would like to see in our games). Anyway Sampaoli knows best and he would’ve analyzed his team’s disastrous performance against spain.

      • i disagree with you. against big teams mostly the balanse in midfield is destryed defensively. 2 of Mascherano Biglia or Banega should be in the lineup.

        • i wanted to say biglia and mascherano together will not play ever.biglia-locelso or biglia-banega or if biglia is injured mascherano-locelso or mascherano-banega can be employed.but no biglia-mascherano.biglia mascherano in same midfield will make us slow and also vulnerable in back also.

      • Yes Mascherano is a direct sub for biglia. Hope Biglia does his duties well of controlling the tempo of the game and delaying passes to attract opposition’s attackers to him to open up play for our midfielders and attackers.

    • Mascherano might be a substitute to Biglia or the other CM to the lead defend.. said that we don’t have much options left other than Lo Celso sho is weak defensively & Banega, who is inconsistent

    • Biglia -Back pass midfielder..
      Mascherano is fine ,makes some good forward pass though his age is concern but he is not old

      • Biglia in our team will make us less vulnerable in defense.he may not be busquets or kante but he is quite decent as a dm.with locelso lanzini dimaria and Meza in our ranks we will create all right.messi and aguero also will help us in build up play.we need biglia and plz no mascherano.suddenly he lost form become a weak player.I don’t know what happened to him.i miss that warrior mayb due to age mayb due to complete inactivity in Barca this season mayb playing in substandard league like in china he completely different player now and should not be picked.there is Pizarro ascacibar battaglia all better condition than him.

  14. Some players have the skill to play…but when the big stage is set and the pressure mounts only a few of them will deliver…
    As far as the world cup is concerned its quite usual that the players expected to perform may not be going to do things but some unexpected stars will….
    Hope argentina produce some of them from the list and old warriors like masche messi and co will stand tall with them…vamos…!!!

  15. How is ansaldi?? Is he any good defensively?? Reading some tweet where some people were saying he is shit.and some saying played 5 matches in right back position in whole of his life.what can we expect from him??

    • Defensively he is safe a decent tackler but when going forward there is no better attacking full back in the Argentine team atm.

      • The main question is can he defence against fast wingers like neymar coutinho Ronaldo dembele mbappe isco asensio etc.his defensive attributes will determine our future in wc.if he can help in attack that would be an added bonus.the most important thing is defensive work.

    • @ anuparno, in 2009 Rubin Kazan defeated Barca in camp nou 2-1. Ansaldi was their lb and Messi was the right winger. Ansaldi made 8 tackles that day, more than any players. He was 22 years old at that time.

      Ansaldi can defend certainly. Don’t worry.

      Some tweep said ansaldi is shit because they are inter fan and they are butthurt that icardo was omitted and former inter man ansaldi and banega got selected.

      Ansaldi was one of the most consistent performer for Torino this year. Ask any Torino fan if you know any. I saw a Torino fan poll where he was one of 5 to be selected as MVP.

      His biggest strength is his skill on the ball. Good dribbler, good passer and good tackler….and yes he is fast, let’s say twice faster than zabaleta.

      • yes i actually worried regarding our defence.some tweet were saying he is shit also some argentina websites some comments saying he is not good.never watched him play so was worried baout our rb position.

  16. Why do we want Higuin Out>>??? He and Dybala just won the league so its a great duo to have.

    Off topic we really need to think of these injuries,, has anyone thought about taking injured biglia and augero?

    losing Romero was like a knife in the heart!!! he not only makes great saves but his communication with defence has been clear. When cabelaro came on against Spain and dropped down like a log on one of the goals I lost faith in him. Romero would pick up the ball and get his team ready!

    • Romero isn’t good with feet neither he has form, if past reputation matter than mache should be starer who is responsible for goals against Nigeria and Spain, and cabarello had great understanding with Otamendi, not only best argentine defender but also in EPL conceded error against Spain Therefore cabarello shouldn’t be blamed otherwise sampaoli drop him like paredes ,

    • Romero is the best Argentine goalkeeper and his loss is big blow for our team. but life goes on and we should hope that Armani will show that can replace him for the good of our team. we will see

    • r This World Cup is staged like they all have been since 1968… There’s three ways they’re stage it, the Argentina way, Brazil way or less likely the French way. Odds are it’s Argentina. But who do they play in final…

      The finalists of the Champions League final managers who lose on – World Cup year their country of origin lose the World Cup final.

      -2002 German manager loses CL – Germany lose World Cup vs Brazil
      -2006 French manager loses CL – France lose World Cup vs Italy
      -2010 Dutch manager loses CL – Netherlands loses World Cup vs Spain
      -2014 Argentina (Simeone) loses CL – Argentina loses World Cup vs Germany
      -2018 Liverpool (Klopp) German vs Real Madrid (Zidane) France vs Argentina/Brazil?

      I don’t have time to explain it but there’s an big big big chance LIVERPOOL will win the CL meaning that France will be in the World Cup final and LOSE to Argentina (or Brazil)

      Germany or France will make the final and LOSE against Argentina (or Brazil).

      So it doesn’t really matter what goalkeeper comes in, Armani I could imagine.

      Argentina have always reached a final with a River Plate goalkeeper won it 2 times.
      Argentina have always gone to a final with Mexican based goalkeeper.
      Argentina have reached the final 4/5 times they’ve played their first game in the stadium hosting the final. Argentina vs Iceland played in Luzhniki Stadium hosting the final.

      I knew Argentina would lose to Germany it was staged. All to do Messi’s shirt number 10:
      Germany won 1-0 = 10.
      Argentina took 10 shots.
      Germany took 10 shots.
      Schurrle (number 9) assisted Gotze (number 19) a difference off 10 numbers.
      For the record, Gotze scored on the *13*3 minute, the game was play on the 13th.

      I do believe the people above in football want a repeat of 1976 where Liverpool won UCL win and Argentina won the WC for 2018.

      • Very Interesting!! Hopefully we will win this time.

        Liverpool should win the Champions league !!Also Not a single Argentine player in the CL final.. Amazing!!

        • SulaV

          2006 Messi won his first Champions League in Stade de France
          10 years later…
          2016 Ronaldo won his first trophy for Portugal in Stade de France

          2008 Ronaldo won his first Champions League in Luzhniki Stadium
          10 years later…
          2018 Messi to win his first trophy for Argentina in Luzhniki Stadium???

          Ronaldo was was 31 when he won for Portugal
          Messi will be 31 this World Cup

          You cannot make this stuff up, it’ll be good for the Argentines but what is that for football in general as a sport.

          Also Peru have been knocked out in every World Cup to the team that wins it. Peru can meet Argentina.

          I believe Argentina journey will be after group stages:
          Round of 16
          Argentina vs Peru

          Argentina vs Portugal (I feel they’ll stage a Messi vs Ronaldo match)

          Argentina vs Germany (Once losing a final the country win against them in the next WC if faced).

          Argentina vs France (or Germany depending on who loses UCL) Argentina win.

          The game between Russia vs Argentina; Aguero scored in the 86′ minute in the Luzhniki Stadium… is that the score of the final?

          Maradona faced Israel in a friendly before winning WC, Argentina play Israel.

          • A Player like Messi is born to win the WC. And all the signs are in our favour!!
            Personally I would avoid Germany. They seem to have psychological advantage over us now!! Just want Germany and Spain to get knocked out in group stages or 2nd round.

          • @sulav German team is not as strong as 2014 version. We can beat them any day now. Most of their senior players are either declined or not in great form especially Mueller, Hummel’s, Jerome etc. look at Bayern now..

        • SulaV I saw a report from Sergio Romero’s wife saying he isn’t as injured as they claim. I believe it’s true.

          He’s injuried but only about 2 weeks. Argentina are kicking him out.

          Malabarini 100% about Germany.

      • YES! thx for pointing that out! all of you are right wirh your calculations!and let me add just two calculations i found out on my own.

        1. 86-68=18…the year we were champions the last time
        2. 78-60=18…the year of our first title

        ladies and gentlemen..this is bullet proof evidence we will be champions in 2018. its mathematically totally correct. i rest my case. we cannot lose. thank you and good night.

  17. 99% confirmed Argentina line-up for world cup Cabarello (GK) – Ansaldi (RB) Otamendi (CB) Fazio(CB) Tiagofalo(LB) – Lo celso Biglia – Lanzini Messi Dimaria – Aguero (CF)

  18. I love the fact that dybala come in for Aguero at the #9 before higuain! Dybala doesn’t get enough credit for his shooting ability! Also Dimaria coming off the bench would be huge! Angel would be a super sub and an added boost late in games to get us ahead ina close game

  19. Those who wishing injuries to players are, forget being fans, very rare kind of human beings, if at all on can consider them as humans.

    • β€’ agree “pallab”, our midfield looks a bit light with respect to the balance of the central midfield.

      β€’ we need someone like enzo perez in their.

      β€’ I with really like banega to have a good world cup, because Argentina needs a player like him to perform good.

      β€’ but let’s wait and see what sampaoli does.

      β€’ I read on here yesterday that some guys say that “meza” is slow… does these guys even follow Argentina closely. I don’t get to watch Argentina football league as it does not play in my countries(south Africa) sport channel, but what I’ve seen from meza vs Spain makes me wonder if these guys even know who they talking about.

      β€’ and for those of you who wish certain players must get injured…please go away.

  20. really i can t wait to see the friendly match against Haiti. i can t wait to see inside the pitch Sampaoli s thoughts.

  21. I know you guys been saying a lot about this team good and bad, but I have a good feeling this team is going to prove a lot of people wrong, I’m from Haiti πŸ‡­πŸ‡Ή and I’m a diehard ArgentinaπŸ‡¦πŸ‡· fan, can’t wait for the game πŸ‡¦πŸ‡· VsπŸ‡­πŸ‡Ή…. Good luck Argentina at the World Cup.

  22. some sources reporting that from tomorrow mercado will join the training and will train with everybody.good news i guess if true

    • Mercado will start training tomorrow..its either positive or negetive for him…i dint know…if he is not fully fit he has to suffer and make way for another player…wait n see….

  23. Thanks Anuparno. It was a good read and very well be the real reason behind his axe from team. He was definitely not fit plus no game time.

  24. one of the Argentine news channels was showing the following line up:

    Ansaldi Otamendi Rojo(Fazio) Tagliafico
    ———–Biglia—————Lo Celso

    This is a good line up considering our defensive frailties. We can have difference in opinion about the personnel especially the wide forwards or wingers but the system looks good considering the resources available.

    • Against Iceland Ok. Masch & Bigila playing together means Messi far from opposition goal. We should play in such a way that Messi gets a touch on the ball continuously. Take Masche out and put Meza in ahead of Lo Celso. OR else Sub Masche/Bigila around 60 minutes during Group stages and see how they performs. I could see our new guys getting enough playing time as i strongly believe we will score enough to sub our players.

    • Lol…just noticed that there is an extra one. that’s why it looked too good. but you remove that extra one the line up needs messi to play right so that lo Celso can be the playmaker

    • Lo Celso has emerged to me as an indispensable player along with messi in the attacking half of the pitch. He should be the Enganche

  25. Diego Maradona’s most recent interview summary:

    “This Argentina team has nothing, no experience, no core, no tactics. Sampaoli is an idiot who wants to play 1930’s 2-3-3-2 formation at WC. This team has lost the winning momentum. “

    • How come a legend say this kind of things?? And who said no tactics…I still can remember 2010 humiliation by Germany.. Maradona thins every one like idiot like him.. he deploy same player in the attacking segment no midfield no creative.. he is a great and legend footballer that’s its. Argentina don need his advise or anything just keep ur mouth shut like other legend..

      • Diego is not idiot. please don t be disrespectful. we don t agree with his opinions sure and some of them time to time is silly true too but that is Diego:-)that he was always been:-) this is his character fortunately or unfortunately and will never change:-) but we will LOVE HIM forever anyway:-)

        • Not really. He’s a real freaking asshole. His ego gets the best of him. I wish he would shut his freaking mouth sometimes and stop embassaring the nation. Up there with the Best of all time but he’s ruining his legacy.

    • Sampoli with 11 men from from local based South American players are capable enough to Rape Maradonna,’s 2010 fucking team.

      • my friend don t be angry with Diego. Diego is Diego as he always has been:-)
        don t give so much attention to his words:-)we just let him speak as he wants and we just respect him. it doesn t mean we should agree with what he is saying.

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    I work in software company and you want to build it I can talk with my CEO.
    I will try to make it as cheap as possible.
    Asking Roy for his valuable thoughts.

  27. If in case Mercado is missing it, Sampoli won’t wait too much, i want him to be replaced by Enzo.
    With Ansaldi & Salvio, right side is not the most dangerous zones we have even in Mercado’s absence.
    A fighter like enzo will be missed especially with Aging Masche.

      • Ansaldi had been playing in RB Position lately. I don’t think Sampoli took his to team as a Full time lb.
        He had Rojo Tagli & Acuna.
        He’s meant to be played in Right Only.
        I doubt if Mercado, even if fit, will start ahead of Ansaldi in RB.

    • Sounds like Sampaoli wasn’t in favour of Romero as he clearly didn’t listen to him. Also the way Romero’s wife is reacting in social media it adds fuel to the fire. Romero had a good 2014 WC but there is no gurantee that he would have been able to repeat that in 2018. I would say good call. Willy and Romero are around same level at the moment. Lets see how Armani does.

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