Argentina rumored line-up versus Israel, MESSI and AGÜERO up front

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The rumored line-up for Argentina’s friendly match against Israel on Saturday is already out and up front we would have Sergio AGÜERO and Lionel MESSI.

With the 4-0 friendly match against Haiti behind them, coach Jorge SAMPAOLI is working towards the last friendly match before the start of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Per a report by La Nacion, SAMPAOLI put together a group of players doing exercises where they were pressuring the opposition (up against a sparring team). Among that group of players were Marcos ROJO, Lucas BIGLIA and Sergio AGUERO. And up front, Lionel MESSI.

It would appear as though the coach has the eleven in his mind but there is one real doubt. The starting goalkeeper. While Willy CABALLERO played in his fourth consecutive match for Argentina, he is facing competition from River Plate’s Franco ARMANI. The following is the rumored eleven for the match against Israel.

Argentina Israel
Argentina’s rumored line-up versus Israel. Photo via La Nacion.

CABALLERO/ARMANI; TAGLIAFICO, ROJO, OTAMENDI, MERCADO; MEZA, BIGLIA; DI MARIA, LANZINI; AGUERO, MESSI

Per the report, when attacking, the two full backs TAGLIAFICO and MERCADO would move forward up until the invisible line where BIGLIA is standing and the other midfielders (LANZINI, MEZA and DI MARIA) would move up right behind AGUERO and MESSI. This would sort of explain the 2-3-3-2 formation which SAMPAOLI mentioned in one of his press conferences.

Per contractual reasons, should MESSI take part in the match, the AFA would get an additional 300,000 dollars to bring their total up to 1.4 million dollars for the friendly match. Federico FAZIO flew from Barcelona to Sevilla with SAMPAOLI’s permission to witness the birth of his child. He will fly back to Barcelona at night.

63 Comments

  1. I am from Kolkata, India. The support for Argentina here is also massive. I was there when Argentina Played a Friendly match with Venezuela here in 2011. Sabella’s 1st match as coach and Messi’s first match as captain. Hope they finally win it this tiime around. VAMOS

  2. Sampaoli is not fit to be a Argentine boss. When you given this team to simeone with messi he could 100%win the cup. He is the only person how to use messi with 4 3 3 formation. Attacking football is not fit for messi. He always used toto to play like Barcelona and Spain (slow and passing) game.
    My concern is to coach. My best choice is simeone. AFA lost the moment.

    • Meet the dumbest comment at Mundo.

      Sampaoli is unfit.

      Simeone can use Messi with 4-3-3 😂

      Messi is not used to attacking football 😂😂😂

      As if AFA rejected Simeone 😂😂😂

  3. There is no sense for argentina managers. DI MARIA is a left foot person when he is using his foot with left position how can he cut inside the box and meet target with left foot. He can use his foot for crossing. Instead of di MARIA, coach can use right footed person in that place which is suited for Lanzini his shots can meet the arget with is right foot in left position. His shots are reaching target top of the right corner through curling shots. Who is playing like coutinho.

    Dear coach,
    please use the people in their position sensibly. If u want to know plz refer their clubs.

  4. Argentina’s defensive record was only advanced by runaway group winners Brazil, but that does not mean they do not have problems in that area of the pitch. It’s all depend on tactical, Argentina biggest problem is the AM. Sampaoli selecting 6 versatile winger which is a clear indication he’s plan on pack the bus on defense, the first line of defense will be the attack, midfield then linebacker, am not worry about the back, more worry about scoring. when you know your defense is not good, you pack is that simple.

  5. People need to realize this, Sampaoli have now played 11 games with Argentina, and at no time he has started the same team in any one of those eleven games. If you go back and analyze Sampaoli first game against Brazil and his last friendly outing against Haiti, all the teams have been different. Sampaoli is always changing things and always analyzing players and formation with the national team instead of being predictable. None of Sampaoli world cup rivals can say they know for sure how this Argentina team is going to play and which players he will have in the starting XI. 2014 world cup team was predictable, it was fantastic four/counter attack from the start to finish, teams like Iran, Holland and Switzerland figure this out and made life difficult on the pitch for Argentina. Going by Sampaoli recent history with the Argentina national team, I am not surprise with the changes for the game against Israel, it clearly follows a trend line under Sampaoli coaching tenure with Argentina. The team that start against Israel won’t be the same team starting against Iceland in the opening game at the world cup.

    Let me say this, I’m a big fan of both Higuain and Aguero and I don’t care who starts over who, I mention this in one of my earlier post. Even Dybala could start ahead of both players for me if it can help the team in a certain game. Sampaoli need to give Dybala some playing time against Israel, let the guy at least kick a ball in one of these friendlies before the world cup starts.

    • Agreed plus sampaoli has selected a versatile squad with players being able to play in varied positions effectively. I am excited about Argentina squad after a long time, exciting times ahead with some beautiful & amazing attacking football regardless of the result of this WC. Also worth mentioning, sampaoli has already included young blood in the squad with a lot of sense & purpose. Just watch out for Meza, Lo Celso, Pavon, tagliafico etc.

    • For mess I always used to play in 4 3 3 formation. I think the coach who is not good. He never read the players profile. He doesn’t know which player is suitable in which position.
      Messing always wanted to play like Barcelona (slow and steady pass game). When you are deploying the attacking formation how can they adopt.

  6. Sampaoli will test everybody. this is the reason of friendly games. which will play in end is other thing. from how everyone will look in to the pitch the final decitions will made. i don t get exited or sad every time i see different combinations of our players. for me the important is to see in the end one team ready and capable to win. i don t care to see my favorite players in the line up and if i don t see them to start speak bad and blame everybody i don t like. The only i want is to see my national team winning without care who is playing.

  7. Di Maria is garbage. I’d rather see both meza and Lo Celso play together as starters.

    Get rid of the headless chicken Diva Maria

    • You don t want Di maria play. ok no problem. you have the right to prefer others.
      just show respect for somebody that have offered in this team years now.
      He offered little? he offered many? doesn t matter. HE OFFERED. so please don t use bad words like last sentence. no reason. friendly speaking.

  8. Can someone explain me the typical of play of meza? Haven’t seen too much about him. Is he good for DM position? Or he’s a creative type for double pivot position? Or box-to-box ?

    • he was the best player against spain and good against haiti.didn’t have any mistake in both matches.
      superv workrate,speedy,good passer.
      can play as a winger or in the mid.

  9. Wow, it seems interesting. Meza in central midfield. He reminds me Enzo to some degree, so why not. Pavon should play too instead of Di Maria. I hope the team will start. Aguero as well.

      • I agree with you, Gonzalo. Meza reminds us of Enzo. I am a big fan of Enzo, but the fact that he won’t go to Russia makes me sad.

        I’m curious about the new role of Meza. With his amazing skills and hard work I hope he will shine in that position.

  10. That attacking strategy is hot and cold. Meza has huge task of quickly covering back position when being countered, since we have only biglia at mid back when attacking leaving lots of space between mid and flank.

    And I guess lo Celso is a better alternative than him. Pavon should start too imo replacing di Maria.

  11. I dont think meza is going to play in a pivot position in the worldcup.its locelso/banega for sure…
    If he want to test him its ok…lets see if he clicks or not…but if sampaoli really want to decide in between lanzini dimaria meza and pavon it would be better to start banega with biglia and put meza and pavon in a more advanced position which they usually play….
    And more importantly its time to decide who is the keeper .if its cabellero then its better to start him to bring the chemistry between him and others because he is too new to the squad….
    I would start with cabellero banega meza and pavon….4 changes….

    • Meza may play that position. Samapoli is looking for best options and versatile players. Biglia, Mascherano, Banega are not guarantee of anything.

      • Sampaoli planning for 4-1-3-2, So Meza will be at the center with the responsibility of both offense and defense. IMO Meza will excel in CM/CAM position. He has good ball control, dribbling, and an ok defending ability.
        After all, he is in WC team because of his performance against Spain where he got chance because of Enzo injury. Now he has replaced Enzo in WC squad. Let him do a better Enzo.

  12. Something that makes me super excited about the team this time around is that our subs are generally just as good/almost as good as those in the starting 11 (except for Messi, no one is even close to THAT good) or they bring something different to the table. I know that Higuain has choked big time, but I bet Spain would kill to have Aguero and Higuain as their forwards. And as long as our midfield passed the ball around and gets it forward to either Messi or Aguero (or Higuain or Dybala if he is subbed in) we will be doing really well.

  13. An article on espn about how Iceland got to the world cup finals. Check the last paragraph where the Icelandic manager mentions that Argentina are just individuals and don’t play as a team. That if they nullify Messi then that’s job done. Prick! 😡😤

    • Let them try to nullify him if they can then
      They are Argentina’s first WC opponent and Messi will be fully recovered and fresh. They will not be able to nullify him.

    • Argentina was like that. Now Sampaoli has worked on this. Locelso, Lanzini, Dimaria, and Aguero will be Key when they close Messi.

    • the thing is he is absolutely spot on correct with what he is saying. and we will lose to iceland. 1-3. they are loaded with confidence. their fans are fantastic and will support them big time. and they want our scalp. and they will get it. and it is absolutely correct to say if you put messi out of the game we are a dead team. we would have drawn to haiti without messi. get real man. if u still dont see how shitty we are and how easy to stop then your are just blind man. get yourself ready for the most embarrasing wc you ever saw as argentina fan. will be a good reality check for a lot of guys here who think we can go all the way to he final again.

  14. Certainly I am very much impressed with the line up. I have always said, keep Mascheranho and Higuain out from the world cup also. The only thing is to bring back Lautaro Martinez in case of any injuries to Aguero. If you want to win trophy, then you have to believe in young blood.
    Just 4/5 selected defender need improvement in speed while bringing back ball. That’s all. These things will add enough confidence to zero goal concede with the trophy.

    • When was the last time a team with ‘’young blood’’ win the world cup and the UCL? Only delude people come up with the idea ”we need young blood in order to win the world cup.” My question is, then why haven’t Argentina win a U20 title or Olympic Gold medal since 2007 & 2008 with all the talented ‘’young blood?’’ With this logic, Liverpool would have won the UCL because their team was much younger than Real Madrid. At club level, none of the top teams have anytime to groom young players, they either ship them somewhere so that they can improve and get playing time. Check the rosters of the last three world cup winners, and even if you find two or three young players on those squads, they were playing for the best teams in club football leading into those world cups (Perfect example is Asensio for Real Madrid). If Ansensio was still at Mallorca he wouldn’t be going to the world cup with Spain in 2018. If you don’t have experience at winning some form of trophies either at club level or U20 or U21 or U23 level the likelihood of your team winning the world cup is nil. Not because you’re young and energetic means it improves your team overall compare to a seasonal experience player.

      • You didn’t understand my point at all. I think everyone who understand football will get my point. But you are referring under 19 tournaments. Why??? Other teams had better young players. so what??? You said about big clubs. Meza, Pavon are playing which big clubs??? Didn’t you watch match against Spain and haiti and thier performance. These young talented guys will always have area to improve themselves ( Stamina, speed, skills, pass. where old fat slow Higuain and Mascheranho have no area to improve to compete with teams like Germany and Spain and Brazil but these young quality players do. Look dybala, higuain, Icardi all are playing for top clubs for money. But they can’t beat teams like Spain or Germany. Why??? These are now remained in names. We can’t include players for names. If name was the criteria then Maradona, Zannetti would have included in this team. End of the day Argentina plays win with big margin not for invluding players for show
        Think before letting shits

        • and you should understand too my friend that you can t put inside the pitch 11 young players only. if it is like that all the teams will suppose use in world cups their U20 teams. it is important you have experience too. the young guys evolve beside older experience players. Mascherano is 34 not 44.

        • “Other teams had better young players. so what??? You said about big clubs. Meza, Pavon are playing which big clubs??? Didn’t you watch match against Spain and haiti and thier performance. These young talented guys will always have area to improve themselves ( Stamina, speed, skills, pass”.

          this is it

  15. The player who I don’t wanna see on the pitch is NOT Higuain

    Neither Aguero & Mascherano
    Nor Biglia & Banega

    But..

    DiMaria. That guy plays for Argentina without brain and he’s extremely selfish when at the NT, shooting even from awkward positions.

    I hope Pavon gets his place atleast by the time KO starts.

    • Depending on what you call Lanzini,Meza & Pavon..
      &
      (For me Banega is one of the best midfielders in the world if he is on form.
      Mascherano & Biglia are past their prime.
      But some players are made for tournaments, they are that type. Especially Masche.
      If they clicked well for a last time, world cup is ours for sure. )

    • You’re basing this notion on names on a team sheet and nothing more. On paper, having Iniesta and Busquet in your starting XI sounds good but this is not 2010/2012 anymore. Busquet and Iniesta are not as good as they were several years ago, and they haven’t been very good at Barcelona either in the past three season. Moreover, Iniesta and Busquet are even slower now than before. Spain on paper had the best midfield and the best overall squad at the 2014 world cup, and how did that workout for them? If Argentina overall team clicks at the world cup their midfield will be one of the best at the tournament. It’s all about getting that team chemistry. To say Lo Celso is the only good Argentina midfielder right now shows you’re a very short sighted person when it comes to analyzing the game. If people here think guys like Fellaini, Witsel and Dembele are better than Argentina current midfield then you need to turn off the EPL. This current Argentina world cup midfield is way better and have more depth than the 2014 world cup midfield.

  16. Think about it for a second… a midfield of Di Maria, Meza, and Lanzini! Woah! Not nearly as good as a midfield of Iniesta, Busquets and Isco, but pretty good! I personally would prefer taking out Di Maria and putting in Dybala to make it a Lanzini-Dybala-Meza midfield and it would look like this
    Armani
    Tagliafico-Fazio-Otamendi-Mercado
    Dybala-Mascherano
    Lanzini-Messi-Meza
    Aguero
    -which would shift into his preferred 2-3-3-2 as such
    Fazio-Otamendi
    Tagliafico-Mascherano-Mercado
    Lanzini-Dybala-Meza
    Messi-Aguero
    Seems pretty good in paper, although it might not actually work in reality. But we’ll see how this new lineup works against israel to then look forward.

    • Believe it or not, this role is where Meza is at his best! He played CM/DM maybe 3 times with independiente and he was great but then again that was at the primera while the world cup is whole other ball game.

  17. Even w this lineup, Messi is going to be dropping deep into the midfield so often that Aguero will for the most part be the lone striker.
    I am excited to see more of Meza. I wonder if he can be paired w Lo Celso or if they will only play at different times.
    Di Maria should be dropped from the starting lineup in favor of Pavon. It’s not like we’re going to learn anything more about how Di Maria links up w the team. Pavon on the other hand…

  18. I still wonder why di maria is the whole time at starting lineup the last game where he was good was at last wc 14 so i just couldnt understand i m pretty sure that pavon could give more than him even dybala at left could be a better option and please don t say he s hard working on defence because he s not.
    I really hope that messi s grinta this year will pay for argentina cause i feel that he s ready this time to beat anybody and no one will stop him

  19. Few more days and I am getting hopeful

    I am not sure if Messi is going to play as a forward completely. Its easy to mark him them. Messi changes his game every season. This season he has been scoring a lot of goals coming from behind. The ball and the attack is in front of him and he almost runs into the box as the last person to score. Jordi Alba has been a partner in crime with him. This is happening for Argentina also. He is arriving late in the box. He is dropping pushing the attack forward and then he arrives at the last moment. Tagliafico and Pavon will be important, because Dimaria does not understand that and thinks he should shoot every time.

    • Dybala is Messis sub. If not that he is Higuains sub as #9 if Kun and Higuain drop out.

      Dont expect Dybala to get any minutes outside of Nigeria if we can afford to rest Messi or injuries.

  20. Very intriguing lineup. Sampaoli clearly wants Messi to play as a forward. He has filled our midfield with creative and young midfielders like Mexa, Lanzini, Locelso and Pavon feeding Messi and Aguero wow!!! Lets pray they manage to provide cover to our defense also. If we can maintain the posession of the ball and score early it will be very difficult to defeat us. I wish Biglia Masch Rojo were in the 2014 wc form. We would have been unstoppable!!

    • Agreed. Playing Messi front is only way we can win world cup. Remember Pep and some extent Valverde played Messi unfront and results were devastating. Only Enrique forced Messi in midfield, hence no goals for two years in classico. I believe Sampoali has realized that. If Midfield create chances, even Brazil defense will not stop our attack especially Messi. Dribbling and dragging defenders out of position and getting fouls in penalty box will help Argentina.

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