Strong rumors of Argentina starting line-up vs. Iceland


There are several reports stating that Argentina coach Jorge SAMPAOLI has settled on a starting eleven for his team’s opening match at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

There doesn’t appear to be any doubt as to Willy CABALLERO being the starting goalkeeper. The Chelsea man will reportedly be the one in between the sticks for his country. The only three question marks are at right back position, the midfield and up front. It is still undecided as to whether coach SAMPAOLI will go with Gabriel MERCADO or winger Eduardo SALVIO as the starting right back.

In midfield, we could see a possibility of Javier MASCHERANO and Lucas BIGLIA or of Javier MASCHERANO and Giovani LO CELSO.

In the attacking role, it’s between Sergio AGUERO and Gonzalo HIGUAIN although many are stating that it’ll be the Manchester City striker who will get the nod.

Here’s Argentina’s possible starting XI for their match against Iceland at the 2018 FIFA World Cup:


Argentina rumored eleven versus Iceland at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Marcos ROJO of Manchester United gets the start ahead of Federico FAZIO and with Manuel LANZINI out injured, Maxi MEZA would be in the starting eleven.


  1. Spain has a super side and they can easily manage without a new coach if want to change formation and all they can suffer otherwise no problem I just want Spain come 2nd in their group then I’m happy and also want Germany out from group stages

  2. ————–Otamendi——–fazio————–

    Salvio/ansaldi ——– Enzo —–Tagliafico—

    Meza ————- lo celso———Pavón

    messi ———-aguero only if he is fit

    This Team is more Hungry and play without fear because of the Youngstars like (taga lo celso Pavón meza)

  3. ————–Otamendi——–Rojo————–

    ——Biglia——– Masche—–Tagliafico—

    Salvio————- Meza————–Di Maria
    ———– Messi———Aguero————-

    This 2_3_3_1 attack set up is looking decent against Iceland, for me.. if Sampoli thinking biglia-salvio option is better than
    Mercado–Lo celso & lo celso– Salvio options..
    We should be prepared with this reality for the first match.

    • Slow Biglia there will be a big danger waiting…! I would rather prefer Mercado there in place of Biglia and use Salvio as RW..!
      Still, I cannot believe Sampaoli will field a team without our best midfielder LoCelso. Meza in Biglia’s place and LoCelso in Meza’s place is the best option we have currently.


      ——Meza——– Masche—–Tagliafico—

      Salvio————-LoCelso————–Di Maria
      ———– Messi———Aguero————-

    • In 2-3-3-2, full backs and the DM form the first 3. So your team formation should become,


      ——Salvio——– Masche—–Tagliafico—

      Meza————- Biglia————–Di Maria
      ———– Messi———Aguero————-

      But I would swap Biglia with Lo Celso.

  4. Frankly speaking, spain doesn’t need any managers.. but yet this might affect them, especially the last minute sacking.
    Kind of an AFA type mismanagement

  5. I think it’s settled that the formation against Iceland would be the one with Biglia-Mascherano. For the third day in succession Sampaoli tried the same formation. Now one can only hope it works. We can’t afford a defeat in our first game.

  6. Reports coming in lopetegui the coach of Spain can be sacked.Spanish fa called a press conference but players don’t want lopetegui to be sacked just before world cup begins

  7. Growing up watching WCs, it’s very naive to take comfort in line ups or see them as a team’s solutions for their weakness. Majority of Mundo is talking about personal line up fantasies instead football realities. Last few days I never saw anyone talking about how Sampaoli is going to execute his gameplans and adapting to the opponents with our suspect defense. These issues are more important line ups fantasies. Let me ask how many of you know anything about the possible starting Iceland XI? How do Iceland score majority of their goals? Who are their most dangerous players we should watch out for? For example, I am concerned about our penetration up front. How are we going attack? What formation variations will Sampaoli employ for different situations? I’m concerned about too many crosses like Bielsa era is another worry for me. That shit is easy to defend against and makes us predictable. The Ecuador game, we saw how dangerous Messi can be when Argentina attacks directly. There were no hundred crosses in that game. Trying to feed Messi from flanks with crosses will make it hard for him to score. At Barça, Messi would put Dani Alves and Jordi Alba into defense stretching positions, once flankers are on the ball they try to seek out Messi/open teammate for square/return passes causing havoc instead of wishful crosses. Argentina flankers send in a lot of aimless crosses. I hope that is not the case on Saturday.
    Personally, I don’t realistically expect us to win with this makeshift team but I have seen enough tournament miracles like Denmark at Euro 92, Brazil at WC 02, Greece at Euro 04, Italy at WC 06, Portugal at Euro 16, Chile at Copa 16 and of course Argentina at WC 86. None of these teams were pre-tournament favorites. And I ain’t making this up, that’s a fact!!
    So, as I long as we win well against Iceland with whoever is on the pitch our campaign can be fun, going foward.

  8. The back 4 and 2 DM against Spain (6-1) were Bustos, Otamendi, Rojo, Tagliafico, Biglia and Mascherano.

    With either Mercado or Salvio for Bustos it is almost the same players in defense…


    Sure, it makes a lot of difference if Messi is playing, but this formation at the back is vulnerable.

  9. Not perfect but this lineup is good enough. Our success in this tournament depends on how Lo Celso performs his role of playmaker. If he is dominant in midfield it allows Messi to play more advanced and link up with aguero upfront.

  10. I think We’ll get at least 20 min of Dybala and Messi at some point.

    My guess is that he’ll let them play together to see if they can play together in a real game.

    The first match they played where Dybala got red card they played great together I thought. Since then they really haven’t had a good chance.

    I don’t expect him to do this unless we’re up 3-1 in group or have no other substitution options in an extra time game.

    I think those two on the field would completely overwhelm man marking and could open up chances for mid field to score

  11. I know many of you do not like Mascherano because you guys think that he has passed his prime, he is old and he is playing for a china club.

    But dont forget he was one of the first 5 players to arrive early this the arg training camp to start preparing for this world cup.

    And there was a free day off for all players few days back and Mascherano together with Tagliafico opted to continue to train during day off.

    You can see Mascherano always gives 200% to argentina, and he also played well against Haiti, please be fair to the players and respect their effort.

    • True all that. Some players are like that their “heart”, brain & body will give everything for the team they love.
      The problem is after a certain age or time, their body won’t conpletely co-operate with Brain & ‘heart’… An example was the last season of Barcelona Legend Puyol. He’s very much similar to Masche. Both are physically not that great for their respective positions.. but both overcame it by their brain & spirit ….

      But Puyol lost it in his last seasons, he even at 34 wanted to do those legendary- Puyol special Headers …. But body cheated him.. & he got back to back injuries….

      Mascherano is very similar to Puyol, The player whom he replaced at Barcelona…

      I never doubted his spirit, love, hard work & brain..
      But i seriously doubt his ability to perform for 7 he did in 14…

      I pray & hope that, let him have everything he needs physically, at least for 7 more matches… If he can, Messi will raise the cup in Masche’s 150th Match.

  12. If Salvio, then Mascherano and Biglia; If Mercado, then Mascherano or Biglia will start next to Lo Celso. Enzo Perez will not be ready till later in the round as he’s been on vacation for a bit and a little behind on match fitness. I actually kind of like the pair of Enzo Lo Celso. There’s enough mobility to get forward and pass from Love Celso and Enzo can play the more defensive role but still move the ball too.

  13. Many here commenting Armani over Cabarelo must remember Willy wasn’t undisputed no1 all three GK fight for their place where Armani was ahead initially but failed to impress sampaoli may be armani not good with feet where cabarello is sweeper keeper shoot sampaoli style. Previous season form before world cup hardly matter example CR7 career best year 2014 or messi 2010

  14. Hope ansaldi starts ahead of mercado and salvio……
    He is good both defensively and offensive……

    Salvio is better offensively……but I think ansaldi can switch position between him and meza….he can even hold in midfield……

    Mercado is better defensively but he cannot link well with meza and Messi as as salvio and ansaldi does

  15. My prediction for line up



    ……. ..Mascerano……lo celco……



  16. It is been almost 2 years of hibernation from mundo , Hope this WC ride will be joyfull and we will reach our must awaited destination.

  17. We still don’t know how we will play in wc.either we play eye catching football or we play like we played in wc qualifiers.still we are not sure about our best formation and only 1friendly that too against poor Haiti is making me worried for against Iceland may call my nerves.a loss or even a draw will be disastrous.

  18. I am really scared.iceland Croatia Nigeria such a tough group.while Brazil Uruguay getting easy groups

    • all teams are good in one way or other.if argentina Switzerland serbia Costa Rica was the group do you feel comfortable.! I dont think so.. If we play upto our potential we can easily reach the quarter finals.otherwise its not because of the opponent but our performances that will matter the most

      • That’s that. We just have to believe we are Argentina and we have Messi and do justice (play 3/4 h to both those beliefs. We will be at the QF automatically then.

        From then on, we need to be at 100% or our opponents have a bad day at the offifce in order to win the cup.

  19. 1. I don’t think here is any one of us in this group that knows better than sampaoli and he’s staff when it comes to football.

    2. I don’t like this starting eleven that is being rumoured to start against Iceland, because in my opinion, this starting line up looks vulnerable, with the likes of locelso, otamendi, salvio and cabalero. I think what will make sense and this is only my opinion, is that the players who does not have much experience such as locelso and salvio should be played from the bench and for otamendi he’s very reckless sometime and we all know cabalero is not better than armani.

    3. So, for me this line up will make more sense: 433 formation with a attacking midfielder.

    Acuna. Higuan. Messi.

    Mascherano. Enzo perez.

    Tagliafico. Rojo. Fazio. Ansaldi.


    • Strange!!!
      So, ur logic is – although Armani does not have much experience, but as he is better than Caballero, So Armani should be chosen. So if I apply your same logic that less inexperienced Lo Celso is better player than Enzo or Mascherano, so why not Lo Celso will start?

      • Dybala have never played that role. And cannot do it as well. He’s too week defensively.
        Accuna at best is LM or LB not good at LW. And he’s not that creative to win it over Di Maria, Pavon & meza.

        Otamendi is the only world class defender we have, i agree with you about his nature. But still there is no logic in benching him, imho.

    • Enzo wasn’t even supposed to be in the squad so Let’s stop saying he’s going to start when he’s not going to play the entire tournament.

  20. At this moment, there is no side in Russia that divides opinion quite like Argentina – favourites to lift the trophy or prime candidates to be 2018’s major flop. Lets not have this kind of dillematic feeling as a fan. Whatever it is we always give our full support to Albiceleste.

    The team have worked hard and lift a big burden of pressure especially Messi to shine with Arg.

  21. The starting 11 in the picture looks very good. I hope Sampaoli would choose this formation and Eleven in the match against Iceland.
    Though Fazio is more deserving and his pairing with Otamendi has been established already. Rojo had outside chance to be in the 23-squad, but now he is starting. That simply shows how unstable mind Sampaoli is. However, I dont care whether Fazio or Rojo is playing as CB. I also dont care whether Salvio or Mercado plays as RB. My preference is Salvio against Iceland, though.
    But I DO care if Lo Celso would be dropped, and the old boring Masche or Biglia starts ahead of him. I really hope Sampa should not execute such nonsense and stupid idea of double pivoting once again.

    • “Rojo had outside chance to be in the 23-squad, but now he is starting.” ..

      We decided it, no? That the Chances of Rojo get into the squad was minimal. We don’t have any evidence to suggest that he wasn’t in the mind of Sampolu. No?? Or did you have?

      If you don’t have it, what’s the point of saying Sampoli’s mind was unstable??
      As far as I know, Sampoli have always given time to Rojo. Of course it didn’t go well against spain. True. But he wasn’t alone, Otamendi was there as

      So i will conclude, Sampoli was always going to select Rojo to twam

        • Rojo also coming back from knee injury. March still too early for full form. My hope is that he surprises again as his knee is Over 1 year now.

          Have my doubts, but as lb in 2014 I had doubts too. He showed up for the tournament

      • Its your conclusion, i will not have any opinion for what you conclude after seeing all the drama staged by Sampaoli when in charge.
        But from those instances I came to conclude that Sampaoli’s mind is very unstable, his decision fluctuates a lot. And I afraid his fluctuating mind would probably once again ruin our dream.
        However, I told that I do not care who is starting in CB. Both Rojo and Fazio are my favorites.

        • Dont expect Sampaoli to be Pep Guardiola. Sampaoli did his level best by continuous hard training to all the players in proper manner. I can say you today’s strong physically rich Argentina can reach to semi final even without Messi if they show true enthusiasm and passion on the pitch. They have to fight hard every (90X60) seconds.. Player can’t always hide behind Messi by giving excuses for thier personal gain.

          • That exactly what I think, we have to fight each second. That’s why we should not have include old slow players like Biglia-Masche in central midfiled. We need to include at least 1 young energetic Midfielder like Lo Celso.
            In position of Di Marai, we need to substitute Pavon as early as possible. These young players are our hope along with Messi’s magic. Otherwise if Sampaoli tried those old players regularly, I dont see any hope to reach Semi

      • That’s true… I hope both Rojo and Fazio has improved thier defensive abilities by training a month with Argentina coach Sampaoli and thier other technical assistants.
        The concern is Mascheranho and Biglia. They have not same speed and quick movements through 90 minutes. Big concern.
        The concern is Higuain. Everyone knows why is that.

  22. Have Iceland seen Anything like Messi?? It will be a proud moment for them to start against the Best. They will be motivated to play well. An early goal will douse the spirit. We must be solid at the back. Vamos Argentina

    • Yes that’s important. No doubt.
      But in my opinion, more important is we clicking in attack from the starting 10 mins. If we can find fluidity then Iceland can’t stop, we can score a good number of goals.
      Attack must be the priority, with mascherano & co always vigilant about the threat coming.

      • Yes true Mallu bro…I think first goal will come in first 20 minutes. I could see us winning comfortably by 3-4 goals..ADI machane Goal..

  23. Portugal’s triumph at Euro 2016 was all about their defense. They conceded just one goal in four knockout games. At the heart of that defense remains 35-year-old Pepe and 36-year-old Bruno Alvas.

    • The same people who are saying this and that about ARG’s chances in the WC have almost completely written off Portugal and their queen right out of the WC before it even started.

  24. Many of you are not aware about the underlying process behind the selection of the starting xi.
    It’s done with so much precision and the selected xi will always be the best possible xi out of the 23 players selected. Complex algorithms and extrapolating principles are behind these selections.
    But when someone like me views this from a Cosmo – Conscious angle, all we see are emotional fluctuations in a quantum level.
    Since the fluctuating colour pattern has changed from dark green to bright orange, Mercado’s inclusion is feasible. The consciousness of Angel Labruna is with the team this time and thus I hope for more freecicks awarded.Thanks

  25. Lo Celso and Tagliafico and Meza will put more enthusiasm more hugryness more passion to the Argentina line up to a new level in this world cup. These amazing young guys with the huge experience and quality of Messi, Di Maria, Aguero can give us huge win against Iceland. That will lay the foundation for rest of the 2 match in group stage. I hope all the player including all extra players will meet Messi’s level on the pitch. Most certainly Di Maria and Higuain have to use thier legs as well as brain and play smartly whenever they are close to goalpost.

    • Hopefully.
      If we can score that early firat half goal in open play. Then there would be no stopping till the knockouts.
      That’s why starting Lo Celso over Biglia is a key.
      He should be there to find the early goal, with fantastic buildup game. Biglia can’t do that.
      But even if Sam chooses the safe bet, biglia, we still have ammos to score against shitty teams like Iceland

  26. I still believe caballero starting is a BAD idea…Armani needs to be the starter, the guy is a beast in front of the net. regardless if he’s never had European experience. The Man’s hands are more secure and he’s quicker in movement..
    God forbid if they score on caballero, I think it’s a done deal for caballero and Armani will start the next match.
    I just don’t like the way caballero stays still in one spot, like he did against Spain. The guy is slow and makes some major mistakes/dumb decisions coming out of the box like he did against Haiti. Made me really nervous seeing him run out like that.
    I also think ansaldi should start ahead of salvio, especially how strong and rough these opponents are

    • Yes Armani should start in goalkeeping. The game against Spain explained what Caballero is capable of.

  27. Love this starting 11 except for Caballero. Hope they keep Lo Celso in there and Rojo is a much better option than Fazio because speed is way more important than whatever advantage Fazio may have in the air.

    • You mean Rojo who wasn’t even good enough to be on ManU’s bench and who was by far the worst player in the spain game (and that’s saying something!!)?
      Fazio on the other hand was superb for Roma in serie A and CL and whose height would be essential against THE TALLEST team in the tournament.
      As long as you don’t play Fazio in a back 3 where speed becomes an issue then I’d take him over Rojo any day of the week and twice on sunday.

      • I see how manu’s fan changes their statement one year ago they were saying rojo is their best defender and now he doesn’t deserve to be on the bench.

  28. The lineup looks almost expected barring one name “Marcos Rojo”. Past few years Rojo’s form has been very volatile. During our 2014 WCQ campaign all other defenders looked rock solid (including Fedrico Fernandez) but Rojo was poor almost every match. It was very hard to comprehend why Sabella was starting this average defender every game with no convincing performance to back his selection. But when the WC started he surprised everyone, world class wingers were having hardtime beating him on our left flank including Robben. His world cup performance caught the eye of Man Utd and they bought him.But he couldn’t live up to the hype and 2015 Rojo was pretty bad the whole season at Old trafford. When Mourinho took over he tried his best to sell him but no one was willing to buy the overated defender. Then came some injuries to other defenders in Utd and Rojo got another opportunity. He grabbed it and made sure he didn’t waste it this time. He started playing exceptionally well for Man utd and played a key role in Utd’s run to the final of Europa league and then he got injured. Early 2017 he got back from the injury but he looked very poor again. Mourinho didn’t even have him on the bench on several occasions. His lack of playing time was clearly evident in the game against Spain but to everyone’s surprise he got selected in the Argentina’s world cup roster. After 3 weeks of training with the team he is now starting ahead of Fazio who had very good season with Roma. Sampaoli must have seen something convincing in him during the training otherwise Fazio was our indisputable starter along side Otamendi. Our run in the world cup depends on how Rojo, Masche, Biglia, Mercado and Higuain perform. Rojo has the nack of coming back to exceptional form when everyone has written him off and lets hope thats the case again.

  29. ————–Agüero
    ——lo Celso——–Enzo
    4-2-3-1 Best formation for ARG!

    Experience, hunger dynamics, speed and the best player in the world with a coach who knows the best tactics.

    Di Maria and Mascherano have to get out.

  30. If that’s truly the line up and no biglia-mascherano duo, Aguero up front, Lo Celso dazzling there.I’m happy happy happy.

  31. If this is the starting 11, I have high hopes for this team. Maybe I’m in the minority, but I think this team will make some noise especially going forward. I think they will hold up well enough defensively too.

    • 100% agree..

      Really hoping lo celso will start…if sampi is worried to lose then most likely he will start with biglia and mache, but what a static center of the pitch… then sub in after a comfortable lead…

      But hoping he starts off with lo celso to see something different in the middle…

      Subs if no injuries

      Pavon in for di Maria
      Enzo in for mache
      Dybala for #9 starter

  32. Please No Masche Biglia midfield their Prime Time is over also No mercado and iam Not a Fan of rojo
    My Starting Elven Would Be 4-2-3-1

    Willy/ armani
    Ansaldi/Salvio Fazio otamendi Tagliafico

    Enzo lo celso

    Meza messi dimaria/Pavón

    Aguero But only if he is 100% fit

  33. My condolences to any team meeting Argentina in the KO stage, they are about to get hit by a speed train… they literally don’t know what is coming for them…all the false prophets like tyc and ESPN will have to eat their word… Vamos Argentina

  34. 80% of the boggers have disappeared from this site. Only 20% are posting something. Almost all are new and worldcup special and these newcomers are acting as if they know a to z of Argentinian football and some of them are Argentina haters.Vamos Argentina.

    • Even during this WC qualification, it was decent but now too many bandwagons and negativity are spread in this forum. Earlier it used to be 20-30 comments but now too many repetitive comments and non sense.

    • Its always a shitshow during the WC, we go from 20 diehard commentators who are active all year(s), and then during the WC everyone and their mother starts participating.. most having not followed the team in detail prior. They are weekend futbol lovers. It will go back to normal after the tournament is done and they start playing Pokemon.

      Any other good blogs / forums right now?.. reddit r/soccer is a good place. /r/footballhighlights in particular, excellent for highlights and full match downloads.

    • It is not necessary that u r old on mundo that means u know more about argentine football.And not no hates argentina i am supporting argentina from last 15 years because i always like their game.

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