Argentina probable eleven versus Iceland at World Cup


Despite the fact that Argentina still have one friendly match ahead of their opening match at the World Cup, reports are already emerging about a possible eleven to play against Iceland.

Franco ARMANI, Paulo DYBALA and Cristian PAVON are all set to start for Argentina in their friendly match versus Israel on Saturday but not a single one is expected to start the opening match at the World Cup against Iceland. Per a report by TNT Sports, this would be the starting eleven for Argentina against Iceland.


Willy CABALLERO would get the starting spot as the goalkeeper over Franco ARMANI. That right side would be occupied by a more natural defender in Gabriel MERCADO and not Eduardo SALVIO. Giovani LO CELSO and Javier MASCHERANO, the midfield duo from the match against Haiti would repeat and Gonzalo HIGUAIN would start ahead of Sergio AGUERO.


  1. bad idea to start di maria and higuain. lanzini and mercado are semi bad ideas. but….it doesnt matter in the end. we will lose. 1-3. cant wait for this world cup to begin. cant wait for this world cup to be over for us. cant wait for the future. our present with these players has been nothing but a torture. fuck off finally will you please?!

    • I’ll wait for you coming with new innovative excuses after we smash all 3 opponents of the group

  2. Better to start with Pavon than Di Maria, as Diva is not fit for 7 matches and will bring more impact as subs. We need tall defender to avoid a high ball from Iceland and powerful CDM to protect their counter attack, thus Biglia will be good than Masche. Meza driblling and passing will be useful to counter the parking bus. We must win against Iceland as it will boost the spirit and bring confidence. Start with Kun and if leading can be replace with Higuain or Dybala not the way round.

  3. This is rumors only. i believe that Sampaoli is not sure yet for his final decition about Iceland match. after the game with Israel he will decide.

  4. Don’t like the idea of Mercado starting as RB but it is understandable Sampa wants balance and experience and doesn’t want to risk in first game. I am impressed with Salvio as RB. He is fast and technically gifted and skillful. I loved how Masche was spraying the ball against Haite. I recollect those old days of him who used to do it so gracefully. Hope Masche stay fit and play a blast in WC and doesn’t so anything stupid

  5. I have a belief that we are going to see the best individual performance in a world cup ever from Messi in this world cup.

    Sampaoli has finally created a team around Messi or as he himself calls Messi’s team which his predecessors couldn’t do.

    All coaches in the past 3 world cup made some crucial mistakes, Sabella less though.

    Pekerman didn’t use Messi enough. Messi already scored Golazo for Argentina before 2006 WC. He should have been a starter. Some coaches are pragmatic. His biggest blunder was not using Messi in the quarter against Germany along with taking off Riquelme. It was really a golden opportunity winning a cup. Argentina was playing superb football. Pekerman complicated things unwantedly.

    In 2010, Maradona played his favourite player Tevez in Messi’s position and asked Messi to play even deeper as a 10 when Messi the goal scorer had announced at the world stage. Pep had already shown Maradona where to use Messi, but sorry to say he was dumb enough to ignore that. Maradona’s biggest blunder though was ignoring Riquleme. Riquleme should have played in Messi’s position and Messi should have played at Tevez’ position. Playing all 3 made the team unbalanced which cost us the world cup. Messi was responsible to create the play (and he created most of the goals). Tevez like Dybala plays similarly to Messi, both take up the same space. If Maradona played a CM instead of Tevez (who played as a ST), Messi could still have terrified the defense.

    Although Sabella started with the same mistake that Maradona made, ie playing Messi with two other forwards, However, to his defense, the fab 4 along with DiMaria had played good attacking football during the QF round. At the same, the team was left hugely unbalanced and he had commented that he used to close his eyes every time the opposite team got the ball. By the time team reached the KO, he changed the plan (or was he forced to do it due to Aguero injury? – I can’t remember well enough). However, Sabella made the team much more defensive when the time the team reached the QF leaving Messi without an attacking midfield behind. There was no transition between defense and attack. That plan nearly worked though as Argentina was close to winning the cup.

    Sampaoli thus is the best coach Messi has got. He’s the only coach who has tried to use Messi fully. Hopefully it will pay dividends. The only drawback was he didn’t get enough to build a team around Messi and there wasn’t enough quality at some crucial positions. But I still think he is going to get the best out of Messi in this world cup. Finally, Messi free to do what he does best – ie creating and scoring goals. We just need a good start. Win by a good margin against Iceland. Get Messi score and assist a goal. Get the launch done well.

    My prediction – 6 goals and 3 assists from Messi.

  6. There are two things in the game against Iceland that are very, very important. The first one, if Higuain will start, the perfect scenario is: he scores after Messi’s assist. That will definetly boost his confidence, and for sure, get a lot of pressure of his shoulders. The other thing is, Messi scores a goal from his first goal scoring chance. We need that badly, so the World Cup starts good for our best player. We don’t want the reolay of 2010 WC, where he had a lot of chances in the group stages, but failed to score a goal. Vamos Argentina!!!

    • “If Higuain will start, the perfect scenario is: he scores after Messi’s assist. That will definetly boost his confidence, and for sure, get a lot of pressure of his shoulders”

      was he better after goal against Belgium in last WC? Was that boost his confidence for semi and final? Let’s back to reality – it’s just Higuain. Some people seems to have their first big tournament with Higuain while we have many experiences with this looser.

      • Since Higuain has been selected and is sure to get some game time, let’s get behind him and all other players whether we like it or not.

        Higuain is a quality player, works hard, links well with Messi and other players. No doubt about that.

        He also scores a lot of goals at club level. He has been having some mental block with the NT. Hopefully, he is able to recover from the same in this wc.

        • Higuain has mental issue & that will never change. He is serial choker who will continue to miss empty nets. normally some one like that should not be near the team but we have other deranged selfish cry-babies in the team.

          • glued: agreed he is a serial choker (4 crucial missed in 3 finals) but he did do so well against the power house called haiittt no hitteee ummmm what were they called??, some one needs to remind me of how many goals he scored, infact lets go back to find his last n.t goal.

            hig should not be at this world cup but in saying that of course i back any one in the blue and white and he will be no exception except im not expecting a lot from him at all, we can only dream hig will become the “paolo rossi” for us.

      • Dude, it’s useless to get in a discussion with you, becuase you’re making assumptions. How do you know this is a first big tournament with Higuain for me? How do you know I wasn’t there for all the last three finals where Higuain’s misses costed me almost everything? But yet, unlike you, I understand that Higuain was hit by that harder than anyone else. That’s why I’m saying that the goal on a match against the Iceland will mean a lot to him. And I’m pretty sure thst it will for the other as well. And, if he scores, I will celebrate it as hell. At the other end, if you’re a true Arg fan, what do you actually have against the scenario that I’ve elaborated? You wouldn’t like that Higuain scores and we take a lead in the game? I’m just surprised you didn’t bring your boy Pratto into to story. But yet, since you’re predictable, I can see it coming in the new post

        • If Higuain fails miserably in the group stage it would be the best for Argentina Team. I am saying this as a true smart Argentina fan. Group stage goals are not the problem for Pipita. He freezes in The Finals. If he fails in group stage Sampa will bench him in the KOs. We want to see Aguero and Dybala in the KOs. And we want Higuain in the bench when knock out starts. We dont want to be frustrated anymore. Hopefully Aguero will be used enough in the Group Stage and Dybala gets some play so they can be warmed up for knock outs. We will win the Group Stages i am not worried about it. Even with Higuain and Wayward Dimaria.

          • @shOvwar: Since clearly you all are thinnking I’m Higuain’s fan – let’s get that out of the way. I don’t like him a bit. Him being a Juventus player contributes to it even more. Now, the other thing… Group stages goals are not the problem for Higuain? Where did you come up with that conclusion? I don’ t remember him scoring any goal in the group stage of the last World Cup. And, in I believe two games he was in a starting line up. The only goals were in WC 2010, a hatttrick against South Korea. Now, I’ll agree with you on Aguero over Higuain. But, in the case if Higuain starts against Iceland, and that’s what I’ve stated – why do you guys don’t want him to score? We want Higuain high on morale and confidence as well, so when Sampaoli benches him in the KOs, if he enters the game as a substitution, he enters it in a good mood.

  7. I can easily identify four weaknesses in the rumoured squad:
    – Mercado, Mascherano, Di Maria and Higuain
    If Sampaoli wish to replace these 4 players with right options (which we already have in the squad), the team would look terrible, and can beat any of the so called favorites in this world cup.
    My choice would be:
    – Ansaldi instead of Mercado
    – Biglia instead of Mascherano (sad that i have to choose Biglia, but at present he is better than Mascherano; we wont see the old Mascherano, he has become old and too much error-prone which would make us suffer in crucial moment)
    – Lanzini instead of Di Maria (just to replace Lanzini in his usual position in West Ham)
    – Dybala instead of Lanzini’s position
    – Aguero instead of Higuain ( I am saying NO to Higuain, he is an useless player)

    So, if Sampaoli replaces 4 players like above, and rearrange 5 positions, the team looks totally balanced. However, lets wish that Sampaoli picks the right 11 against Iceland.

  8. exist a lot of days till Iceland match. 12 days. long period for be sure for 11. many things can change till then. anyway Sampaoli probably will not have Aguero 100% ready if he use Higuain. or he will make substitution in second half.

    • Iceland wont be much problem for us. The one advantage iceland has is their height, they can be a threat in corner kicks but if we score in first half they will be more open and we may score more

  9. I am sure this rumoured lineup is wrong.i am damn confident even Sampa not sure about his starting eleven.its all rumor guys don’t believe in it.

      • Pratto in this list :D, Löw prefers Mario Gomez over Sandro Wagner (much better striker than Pratto) insane? Useless Lewa in the poland squad? OMG insane

        • Facts apparently are painful for you as Pratto was the one who had 2 goals in qualifiers having very little minutes comparing to our famous strikers.

          • Pratto just a fallen Serie A footballer like Centurion (2times), what”s the point of this discussion? Not even Genoa caliber, nobody cares why lack of skills, mental weekness, slow thinking etc. Sorry but argentina Primera or brazilian first league strength like Serie B’s or spanish Segunda Division’s atm. Martin Palermo NT record 15/9, absolute great, one of best PD goalscorer ever, but sadly we saw the reality in Spain on the next level. So why not Palermo over Crespo and Batistuta? Yes maybe in Maradona’s crazy mind. And Pratto in your crazy mind…

          • YOu have not any counter argument when Pratto scored in qualifiers and Higuain does not. You may talk something about weakness of Argentina league but fact is the Serie A player was poor on the highest level of our qualifiers and Pratto scored 2 goals on the level and then no comparisons between league are valid. The only level of comparison are the NT recent matches and Pratto was better. Now you can’t deny this and leagues comparisons are off topic.

  10. How can a team select their line up even 10 days before the WC start ? Whether playing bad or worse dimaria definitely will be 1st eleven. My line up….
    Armani. Ansadi otamendi fazio taglafico. Salvio. Lo celso. Mascerano. Pavon.
    Aguero. 4 – 4 – 1-1

    • Absolutely how can someone select a starting 11 ten days before the cup… I don’t believe in this… Even though I think this will be the line up due to injured ageuro or rather keeping him fresh for final third of the tournament… Still can’t find the reason behind dropping Icardi… May be Leroy Sane is the answer…

    • it is only rumors. media need something to say every day. if they don t have something to say one day they just…..create it!!!

  11. Lets start guys…relax…as the tournament goes on there will be some corrections thing is sure that we can not win it with 11 players only.its better to make the mistakes early and peak at the right time..this eleven can easily beat iceland for sure..
    Some of Pavon meza banega aguero biglia will get 25-30 good thing is that we have some bench strength atleast in midfield and attack this time and rotation can be done…
    If we are going to win first couple of matches then there will be some changes in the third..lets see who grabs the opportunities and that will define our starting line up in knockouts which will be more important….
    Couple of matches mexico vs germany and spain vs portugal will decide our route map to the final….

  12. Considering the fact that we will be playing in Iceland’s half, spaces will be tight. Aguero is used playing in opponents half, whereas Juventus is more of a counter attack team. Pipita is used to have a lot of space before him. Starting Pipita is therefore not a wise move.

    • That’s not true Richard, Higuain drop deep into his own midfield for Juventus which allow his attacking team mates to roam forward, making the Juventus team unpredictable. I.e Higuain assist to Dybala from deep in midfield against Tottenham or Higuain drops deep into his own midfield which allow a guy like Khedira to push forward (I can see Lo Celso playing this role). If you go back and watch the Haiti, there were times when Higuain drop in midfield and Messi stay in the forward role. Higuain presses and he some times force the opponent defence into making unforced errors, you just not going to get this from Aguero, and Higuain barely gets injured. If Aguero doesn’t score he offers little to nothing. Higuain is a much more complete player than Aguero. World cup goals and experience speak for themselves and only Messi and Higuain have scored the most goals on this current team at the world cup. I don’t want sound rude but I haven’t seen anything special with this Icelandic team, but everyone is free to hype them up though. The same was being said about Bosnia (2014) and Serbia (2006).

      • There is Messi, Lo Celso, Lanzini, Di maria and Mascherano to take care of distribution from midfield. What we need upfront is a proper 9 who stays with the opponent backline and has good conversion rate of chances and half chances that come his way. If he stays with the backline, it gives Messi the space to work his magic between the lines .

      • “Higuain is a much more complete player than Aguero”

        I was not for any of the two guys to see them at mundial at the expence of Icardi, Martinez, Pratto. But I can’t understand how anyone can prefer Higuain over Aguero. Now Higuain is not good on any element of play. He can’t even control the ball as professional player. All the alleged characteristics of his playing mentioned above are either myth or past. Somehow I saw us playing more movable footbal against Haiti with Aguero and not Higuain.

      • Spot on, Kid. Higuain puts more effort in the game than Aguero. He does drop deed and works hard and forces errors. All true, but not my point. In small spaces Aguero is technically better and therefore more dangerous. Iceland will park the bus, we are looking at 60-70% possession and passing the ball around their box area. Spaces will be small and chances far and few between. In such a game we do not need a striker to drop deep, but someone who is very good in small spaces. Aguero would be my choice.

        • If we really needed striker that puts more effort than Aguero… so where is Pratto?!
          He was way more hardworking than Hiaguain and scored goals in qualifiers unlike Higuain. Two in one.

    • Yes, you’re correct. This is also the main reason why Argentina never needs a forward player like Icardi (target #9). There won’t be any space for Argentina. Aguero would be better in those games.

      Higuain can be preferred in the match against Croatia where we would need more pressing from the top.

      I hope we score an early goal against Iceland, otherwise it would create a lot of pressure. At worse, I hope we get a result like Iran in 2010 wc.

      But I’m hoping for the best, we are going to win 3-0. Messi to score 2.

  13. Iceland is going to defend and wait for counter attacks. We have to break them early so spaces open up. Starting Higuain isn’t going to be as effective as starting Aguero. But I hope he proves us wrong…

  14. I think Di Maria knows fully well that he’s performing bad. Hope he could up his game, train hard in crossing and shooting and improve his team work aspects, because he still has the potential like what he had showed during one of the WC 2014 knock out game or that CL final with Madrid, which he need to prove.

    Trying Pavon as starter wouldn’t be bad, though.

  15. Now you understand why Argentina is not classified as one of the favorites by football pundits. The mentality of Sampaoli and his tactic errors he exposed in the games against Nigeria and Spain, and now he’s including dead woods in the starting 11. That’s why Argentina is written off from top flight of favorites and I don’t see the team advance in this competition since we still have Higuaín, Diva and Mascherano.

    • Sampaoli isn’t the reason they’re not considered favorites. It’s because it took them so long to have any consistent, tactical management. Hopefully his system gels w the players in the little time he had to set it up.

      • Nope he was criticised after claiming he excluded certain players because they didn’t fit with his system where he doesn’t have a system from the first place. Visionary system would be the right term he should have used but he’s not that smart coach to recognize the difference between these two terms let alone the capability to make those players gel well into his imaginary system!

        • He isn’t thoughtless or without ideas. How long has he had to work with the team? Much less time than most/any other WC managers.

  16. I made my mind on the favorites: Germany might get eliminated early in the competition and is not favorite. The only two teams that are favorites for me are:
    Brazil and France.

  17. I think Jerusalem is the right place for Sampaoli to announce his marriage to Higuain and make it public.

  18. -Aguero isnt fit enough to play 90 minutes.. he is coming off a minor knee surgery remember … work his minutes up besides having a fresh Aguero in minutes 65 is a beautiful things.
    -I would like to see Dimaria as a sub and Pavon starting
    -Dybala instead of Lanzini against Israel is interesting
    -mascherano is a key for ball distribution and leadership in defense

  19. Germany excludes Sane in the final squad, because he is so similar to Di Maria who dribbles with no brain and lack of final pass and smart decision. German’s tactics is so disciplined that they will not have players like this.

    Sadly, we have the headless chicken in our starting XI.

    • You can’t do that it’s a tricky group we have to first ensure we qualified and also top the group it’s not the place for experimentation

  20. Can live with Higuain not DiMaria–the guy is just not good. He loses the ball in the final third or makes silly decisions…that is one of the reasons Ancelotti sold him and he said he never regretted it. How you can take Di Maria and leave Perotti and Centurion at home is a mystery. Crazy

  21. Can live with Higuain not DiMaria–the guy is just not good. He loses the ball in the final third or makes silly decisions…that is one of the reasons Ancelotti sold him and he said he never regretted it. How you can Di Maria and leave Perotti and Centurion at home is a mystery.

    • I don’t think it’s a mystery, very clear to media, fans, and football legends in Argentina that it was one of the rules of Club de Amigos.

  22. Why Higuain??? Doesn’t make any sense on recent form or past performance to chose him over Aguero. Though ideally we wish not to have DiMaria in the 11, Pavon is still inexperienced to be given a starting role over DiMaria

      • That mentality is completely wrong. The only thing we can think of right now is Iceland game. Nothing else!

        Do we have any guarantee to play in the later stages of the tournament? A big NO is the answer. So Aguero must be used from the beginning.

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