Cristian PAVON or Gonzalo HIGUAIN to start for Argentina in Round of 16

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Argentina team
Argentina team celebrating a goal.

An Argentina rumored line-up is already out and it appears as though up front, it’ll be between Cristian PAVON or Gonzalo HIGUAIN.

Argentina coach Jorge SAMPAOLI held a training session on Thursday and only Enzo PEREZ trained different due to a muscular problem. According to TyC Sports, SAMPAOLI could put out the same eleven against France which started against Nigeria with the exception being Cristian PAVON.

Per the report, there’s a small chance that PAVON would come in for Gonzalo HIGUAIN with Lionel MESSI playing the false number 9 role. Here’s the rumored eleven:

ARMANI, TAGLIAFICO, ROJO, OTAMENDI, MERCADO; DI MARIA, BANEGA, MASCHERANO, Enzo; PAVON or HIGUAIN, MESSI

83 COMMENTS

  1. Argentina is already World champions in Songs. Does any other team has as many songs as Argentina??? Argentinos, in socccer, have 500 songs. Most others it’s one or two, or even nothing. Argentina?? 500. I think this is the influence of Boca, River and others.

  2. Messi in the False-9 is wicked good. Barcelona brought him back as a false-9 the first few games of the year and he went on a scoring rampage. Then they dropped it I think after one of the teams man marked him. Not sure really why they dropped it. Maybe they didn’t want to be to predictable.

    So the big question is that if they go with the 4-3-3 (really a 4-3-1-2 with messi as the false-9) who do they play as the pinching forwards. I think one of them needs to be De-Maria as he likes to pinch inward anyways. I’m thinking the other needs to have pace as well since France has so much speed on the outside.

    All I know is that if they do play Messi as a false-9 he needs to play it between the defensive lines and not as a roving right winger dropping deep to midfield. I’ve always hated that. It destroys the team width and even harms Barcelona in my opinion.

    Messi as the false-9 will be the best for the team overall if the wingers are prepared to do some serious work. In fact Samp should just plan now on making those positions two of his substitutions.

  3. Guys
    I have been rewatching Argentina’s matches in the 2010 world cup, which many of us still think has the weirdest Argentina team selection and tactics ever
    We thrashed Korea 4-1, scored two past Greece and only Enyema’s goalkeeping made Nigeria lose 1-0 to us only.
    We smashed Mexico 3-1 in the round of 16 as well with Tevez’s goal being one of the goals of the tournament.
    Higuain peaked out in that World Cup and we never saw that Higuain playing for us again.
    Messi and Otamendi played out of position yet Messi still didn’t do a bad job although he was unfortunate not to get a goal.
    The point is, how is that team lead by a manager with tactics even so called worser than Sampaoli manage to be so rampant in scoring goals?
    Why we have struggled to score in World Cups after 2010?
    Even in 2014 when we went to the final our goalscoring prowess wasn’t that excellent either, relying on Messi’s goals in the group stages and winning only by that odd goal in 2 knockout matches and penalties in the semis.

    • In my opinion they are often missing that one final pass. I just think it is harder in general for international teams to score as they don’t get to work together all that often. Throw in new coach every 6 months and it gets worse.

      I’m noticing that LOTS of teams are simply sitting back and defending and betting they can get a goal on a counter strike. What worries me about France is that is how they have been playing also. Iceland, Nigeria, Portugal, France, Uraguay on and on.

      Argentina will play right into the hands of the french and they will simply try to pick up a loose ball in midfield and then use blitz the defenders.

    • I think it would be interesting to see Argentina mix it up and sit back and force France to build an attack leaving Messi, DeMaria, and Aguero up top to counter.

  4. If we score first, we are certain to go through as the French will go all out attack which will leave lots of space to be exploited. Tagliafico is the only defender that has been decent in all 3 games so far but I want to see Rojo on the LB, he’s been good going forward and we all know how much of a beast he becomes in the WC, his pace will be vital to contain Mbappe. Fazio should pair Otamendi as he will neutralize Giroud. Otamendi and Mascherano should be able to do the job on Griezmann. Matiudi will play on the Left and Mercado will be a good match for him. For Pogba, Mascherano should take the responsibility. Kante is their most important player. Their full backs love to push up, leaving only 3 Players at the back. We have Banega who is a great distributer of the ball. We need Pavon and Di Maria on the Wings as their pace is vital. One thing our wingers need to do is, interchange their positions as then they will be able to cut in and shoot, Di Maria did to great joy for PSG this season. Upfront Higuain is needed this game, Messi as a false 9 will play into the hands of France. Higuain can hold up the ball and create space for Messi to work in and our wingers to exploit. Umtiti plays on the LCB position and Messi and Pavon should be able to get lots of freekicks out of him as he can be reckless. So our lineup should be :
    Armani
    Mercado Otamendi Fazio Rojo
    Pavon Mascherano Banega Di Maria
    Messi Higuain

    If we need goals in the 2nd half, Dybala should come on and Aguero too. If we have the lead bring on Biglia. If the match goes to penalties, Cabarello should be brought on. He’s excellent at saving penalties. Also I’ve seen Lloris play alot of times and he has conceded quite a few goals from long range so we should shoot from outside the box whenever we get the chance. Overall, we have a pretty good chance and if the boys actually play it like it is a final then we will win

  5. Why the hell Di Maria, Perez and Higuain still exist in the probable starting eleven? Sampa, don’t you realize that you have diamonds in Pavon, Lo Celso and Dybala? sick of this starting eleven!!

  6. Mascherano was really playing as a deep playmaker in the year 2018. I thought I was losing my mind.Worst thing for me is in a team desperately lacking any associative play in midfield, Banega has played 36 minutes and Lo Celso 0. Mascherano and Enzo Perez as your midfield duo?! Inexplicable.Éver Banega didn’t beat alcoholism to watch Mascherano make a mockery of the notion of a playmaker.Mascherano in midfield. That just doesn’t work.Messi has a finished Mascherano, washed up players Mascherano, Messi worked his ass off to make this team reach the WC, only to depend on 38 year old midfield of Mascherano at the tournament.Argentina really came into thr world cup with Mascherano as their creative midfielder. They deserve all of this pain.Sampaoli subbed off all his midfield and left Mascherano on his own to do everything. Who is a centre back and 40 years old.Mascherano I’ll always respect you but please leave the pitch and never return.Sampaoli the only manager in the world to build his “system” on Mascherano instead of Messi or even Aguero.
    This is easily the most fragile Argentina have been since Maradona was manager. Not to mention they can’t even get Messi the ball unless he picks it up from Mascherano’s feet. Oh man.
    Mascherano = centre back playing midfield.
    Feel sorry for Messi having to play with selfish Mascherano.
    West Ham had played Mullins and Noble benching mascherano. honestly don’t know how you need creativity of some sort and pick Mascherano.
    As long as Argentina keep playing Mascherano is center mid they won’t win shit.Mascherano in midfield is such an old fashioned thing.Mascherano was struggling to carry forward the attack in all three games. Mascherano should start in the bench . He is too slow and old !.The day argentina start benching player like mascherano that day they will be learn (link: http://football.You) football.You really wanna argue that mascherano isn’t too slow for the midfield ??????Mascherano, with time and space on the ball here… plays it square to Otamendi…”
    Mascherano is absolutely terrible as a holding midfielder, shouldn’t be anywhere near Argentina’s starting XI.argentina football earth is covered two-third with water. Rest is covered by Mascherano.Big questions here for Argentina’s player-manager Javier Mascherano over the inclusion of ageing central midfielder Javier Mascherano in the team.WASTEFUL Mascherano always dash balls all over the back. Three pass in a row from Mascherano goes wrong. One could even cost a goal. Looks like the only thing he’s still good at is tackling.Argentina’s biggest problem here is Mascherano. Guy has been absolutely shocking. Vital in 2014, completely done now.
    MASCHERANO IS NOT A MIDFIELDER
    MASCHERANO IS NOT A MIDFIELDER
    MASCHERANO IS NOT A MIDFIELDER
    MASCHERANO IS NOT A MIDFIELDER
    MASCHERANO IS NOT A MIDFIELDER
    MASCHERANO IS NOT A MIDFIELDER
    Mascherano comfortably in the top three worst performers at the World Cup this (link: http://year.How) year.How does mascherano still play with Argentina this dude fucking sucks (link: http://lol.It) lol.It’s surreal to me that Mascherano continues to start important matches for Argentina.

  7. The English are smart they are trying move to the softer part of the draw by smartly losing to the Belgians.(till 80th minute) On outside they will lose but inside the english r laughing. Cunning as always are Historically, The thing i hate most about england is the commentators make them as heroes , look at the way the ESPN commentators are describing and praising them, What the Hellllll. I used to watch the pre match analysis but now a days the panels are utter crap, The Fox is bad(There is one bald shit there and an American Football player who is analyzing (Now i have watched everything), ESPN is worst shit. If we(Argentine fans) watch ESPN whatever existing confidence we have that too will go. We can simply die. They already saying France are going through. Zero chance given to Argentina, Really??? I would have watched Spanish but i don’t know a single word. And its too fast.

    HIGUAINNNNNNNNNNNN Mannn score against your birthplace..Be a Hero.

    • To xahidabrar.You said higuain did his job?You know his job is to score goals which he is totally SHIT at that ,at international level.And you say he gets criticised regarding previous games but that’s how its meant to be.He did F*** all in 2014 wc apart from score 1goal against belgium did F*** all in all the other games including the final.Then he did F*** all in both copa america’s and yet he is still in this side.If they put him in then argentina deserve to lose.Aguero should start alongside dybala and messi just behind.Trouble with argentina they don’t have a true centre forward tall and strong and a great finisher like the GREAT GABRIEL BATISTUTA best striker EVER in football both for club and country.This guy higuain would F*** up a cup of coffee and i would not give him a mop job.That’s how bad he is.He is a JINX

  8. Insider Emotion aside, Mascherano shouldn’t be guaranteed as a regular starter for Argentina. It would wrong to deny his determination. In fact, he always fights for his country and leads by example. But, performance wise, we all know that he commits too many errors during matches.Mascherano gonna be the reason Argentina got eliminated.despite getting dribbled past 9999878 times by nigerian attacker yesterday, I’m sure mascherano get 9.0 rating for his bleeding.its fake.It’s clear Mascherano can no longer play for a full 90 mins.Mascherano’s performance drop has been the recent discussions.Anyway shout-out to Javier Mascherano for putting in an absolute disaster of a performance but getting praised for it because he bled, Absolutely spot on. Mascherano was destabilizing that whole midfield. Higuain did the job he was chosen to do over Aguero but at this point every chances he misses is criticized heavily because of his previous misses. Mascherano was the worst player on the pitch by far.Because Barca fans like Mascherano as a person, so they overlook his mistakes. Even tho he’s a liability.love Mascherano, but he’s been absolutely horrible in all 3 games. You people awarding him MOTM because he played with blood on his face need to learn the game.trollHfcb
    ·
    27 Jun
    Mascherano is absolutely finished, as you would say jugador nothingo, passion, blood, concussion merchant. You can be a warrior and still play like a hybrid of Gomes and Alex Song. His giveaways will cost them against France.Poor Mascherano is the most finished footballer I’ve seen in a long time.Mascherano can’t continue playing like this. He needs to be replaced.love Mascherano to bits, but he’s such a liability and offers so little. A step too slow, foul-prone, shaky on the ball. There’s a reason he never played at CM at Barca, even at his physical peak. So much still has to change for ARG if they want to have a shot against France.Mascherano can not start against France. Dybala, Aguero and Lo Celso/Perez should start.27 Jun
    Mascherano playing it up, looking all heroic with the bleeding, commentators saying “he gave it all…can’t fault his commitment.” Lads…he was fucking shit. Argentina looks best when Banega and Perez cut mascherano from play. Whenever he touches the ball argentina looked worst every time. His first touches 2nd touches 3rd touches all kill the tempo and speed of a counter attack. Arg was never been a dangerous team in counter just because of his natural slow moving forward with ball.

  9. @Insider Emotion aside, Mascherano shouldn’t be guaranteed as a regular starter for Argentina. It would wrong to deny his determination. In fact, he always fights for his country and leads by example. But, performance wise, we all know that he commits too many errors during matches.Mascherano gonna be the reason Argentina got eliminated.despite getting dribbled past 9999878 times by nigerian attacker yesterday, I’m sure mascherano get 9.0 rating for his bleeding.its fake.It’s clear Mascherano can no longer play for a full 90 mins.Mascherano’s performance drop has been the recent discussions.Anyway shout-out to Javier Mascherano for putting in an absolute disaster of a performance but getting praised for it because he bled, Absolutely spot on. Mascherano was destabilizing that whole midfield. Higuain did the job he was chosen to do over Aguero but at this point every chances he misses is criticized heavily because of his previous misses. Mascherano was the worst player on the pitch by far.Because Barca fans like Mascherano as a person, so they overlook his mistakes. Even tho he’s a liability.love Mascherano, but he’s been absolutely horrible in all 3 games. You people awarding him MOTM because he played with blood on his face need to learn the game.trollHfcb
    ·
    27 Jun
    Mascherano is absolutely finished, as you would say jugador nothingo, passion, blood, concussion merchant. You can be a warrior and still play like a hybrid of Gomes and Alex Song. His giveaways will cost them against France.Poor Mascherano is the most finished footballer I’ve seen in a long time.Mascherano can’t continue playing like this. He needs to be replaced.love Mascherano to bits, but he’s such a liability and offers so little. A step too slow, foul-prone, shaky on the ball. There’s a reason he never played at CM at Barca, even at his physical peak. So much still has to change for ARG if they want to have a shot against France.Mascherano can not start against France. Dybala, Aguero and Lo Celso/Perez should start.27 Jun
    Mascherano playing it up, looking all heroic with the bleeding, commentators saying “he gave it all…can’t fault his commitment.” Lads…he was fucking shit.

    • They don’t use a dm because barca has busquets with them long legs. Masche is great at tackles n sliders but he has to time it right. I always give him a applause when he manages to fix the shit he started

  10. Umtiti is overrated and I don’t see any great left and right back either.we can break their defense. My concern is giroud with his heading ability. And our defend is little sloppy. If we score first I can tell we will win the game for sure. We can eat them in counter attack. All I can say hoping beat France and show them what’s the Real Argentina can do to any team. God bless Argentina players.

    • Both Otamendi, Rojo and Mercado are good in air. I’d prefer Fazio to pair with Otamendi and play Rojo on the left though. Rojo was comfortable going up. He got an assist and a goal (when he played as left back). His pace will also help to contain Mbappe. Even though I think Mbappe won’t play fixed in the left or the right, he will switch. I want Di Maria to switch to the right flank some time to. We are still static. Position roaming need to be encouraged more from whoever is in charge, I don’t mind it’s Sampaoli or Mascherano.
      And last thing, practice set pieces. Yerry Mina scored twice from corners. Thiago Silva also did. We have CBs who are great with headings, we have to utilize them. Spain won the semi in 2010 with a header from Puyol. Germany saw off the French in 2014 with a header from Hummels. I don’t remember exactly but Cannavaro also scored from corners in 2006. We need to use that advantage. Knock out matches will be defined from fixed situations.

  11. In my opinion, France has a solid goalkeeper, Lloris. Varane, solid defender, tall, speed. Umtiti, is overrated. He s a weak point, good physic, but lack of concentration, makes mistakes. Weak full back, we can attack on their right fullback, Pavard. nothing special.
    Than there is Kante, for me he is the most important player of their team. world class player. Pogba – inconsistent. and than there the other four up front. I think against France, Fazio has to start, to contrast Giroud. Rojo has to play on the left, to take care of Mbappe. I think Matuidi will start on the left, mercado will be a good option. We have an advantage in the middle, they dont have a player like Banega. He can make the difference, distributing the ball. I have a good feeling for the game. Sampaoli, dont you play Messi as a false 9, as like that you put France in a good situation.

    • I totally agree with you that Fazio has to start for contesting Giroud. Otherwise, Giroud will be so easy to hold up the ball and then their wingers will make dangerous runs. We have to have Fazio to give Giroud more pressure in the air.

    • Hi, friends i like argentina play with armany goal keeper,/tagiafico, rojo, fazio, otamendy as defence-/banega, giovani, mercado as midfield / di maria, messi, pavon as strikers, positions from left to ridht ! It will be a different patton and strong defence, creative midfield and attacking stability

  12. Why do you guys insist on Dybala starting? What has done for Argentina in the 13/14 games he has played? He has neither assisted or scored. The problem with starting Dybala is, he’s most effective playing as a false 9 or 2nd striker, which is a position currently occupied by Messi. Can he play in the midfield? Maybe but how effective would he be when he’s a shoot first attacker? His passes are not clean and his dribbles are sloppy which can lead to counter attack opportunities for the oppositions. Can he play as a striker? Maybe but we already have a great one in Aguero whose spot in the starting 11 is not even guaranteed. Is he better than Higuain as a finisher? Yes but Higuain hustles and presses better than any forward we have on our team. But you are probably thinking to yourself, what’s the use of pressing and hustling if he cannot score? Well lets just say, we would not have won VS Nigeria without Higuain’s constant pressure. His hold-up play, movement and versatility allowed Messi to roam the penalty box while he does the dirty work in the midfield. Did you guys see what Dybala VS Croatia? All he did was shoot the ball. No build-up play at all. He’s not a willing passer. There were 2 specific occasions where he chose to shoot from a difficult angle rather than laying it to Messi in the middle of the penalty box.

    Is Dybala a greater talent than Pavon? Perhaps but does not necessarily make him suitable to start on this particular team, despite our struggle. Our struggles are directly tied to our poor midfield play. Any team with great midfield play and mediocre forwards will always look good as long as the midfield is clicking. Pavon, unlike Dybala, has excellent work rate. His speed and stamina allow him to cover a lot of ground. His passes/crosses in the final third are accurate and probably the deadliest on the team. Dybala unfortunately is not a natural winger therefore width will never be maintained on any side he’s deployed.

    To conclude, Dybala is best as a sub IMO currently. The only change that could drastically improve Argentina is the introduction of Lo Celso for Enzo.. Unless Lo Celso is a liability on defense but as far as I know, aside from being a good passer, he’s also a decent defender.

  13. Dybala, Armani came n talk before. Later they played.
    I hope Lo Celso will play an important role against France.
    Fazio also is important considering the yellow threat of otamendi. I hope Otamendi will be ok. But i don’t care we have to defeat France one way or the other.
    100% certainly Mascherano will start. I don’t want him to, but he will.

  14. Is Enzo bad ……I don feel at all……..
    He is less creative…….but his defense and strength plus dedication and agility is what makes me feel good……he doesn’t make so many mistakes in passing too…..his passing percentage against nigeria was Abt 95perc success as I saw in net……….

    We have great attackers we have to balance defense too….so Enzo being used I feel …..I personally would have chosen to celso over Enzo but I feel Enzo can contribute more to defense than lol celso…….I this this is more vital part …….

    • I don’t think he’s bad at all, infact I think he’s much better than Masch and Biglia (not saying much I know), he defends well, passes well, always looking for the forward pass and most importantly he doesn’t lose the ball. If anyone should go it would be Mascherano who i thought was downright atrocious.

  15. Please you all need to watch the match again. Di Maria lost possession all the time, he shouldn’t start again.
    Enzo should play in middle with masche & banega to stay compact in the middle.
    Armani
    Mercado. Oltamedi rojo tafligico
    Enzo Masche
    Banega
    Pavon. Messi
    Hugain
    PLEASE NO DI MARIA.

  16. “There is a small chance Pavon could start in place of Higuain.”
    Otherwise, it won’t happen.

    My Lineup would be:

    Armani
    Mercado-Fazio-Otamendi-Rojo
    Di Maria-Lo Celso-Banega
    Messi-Aguero-Dybala

    But most likely Mascherano will start. Hopefully, he gets another yellow so Lo Celso can take his spot against either Portugal or Uruguay!

    • Argentina vs France:
      Player vs player

      Armani vs Lloris (W: Lloris but by little)
      Mercado vs Pavard (Winner: Mercado)
      Fazio vs Varane (W: Varane)
      Otamendi vs Umtiti (W: Umtiti)
      Rojo vs Hernandez (W: Rojo)
      Mascherano vs Kante (W: Kante)
      Di Maria vs Tolisso/Matuidi (W: Tolisso or Matuidi)
      Banega vs Pogba (W: Pogba)
      Messi vs Griezman (W: Messi duhhh)
      Aguero vs Giroud (W: Aguero)
      Dybala vs Mbappe (W: Dybala)
      [Mbappe is overrated imo]

      Overal, defense id say we’re even, in Attack we’re better, but we’ll lose the battle in the midfield which is crucial!

      But anything is possible! Beat France, and we can beat ANYONE!
      Vamos Argentina!!!!!
      🇦🇷🏆🇦🇷

  17. There is a weakness in French side which is the fullbacks, both Pavon and Di maria are fast who can utilize that. That seems the idea. Higuain anyhow is not at all looking like a goal scoring striker from any angle. But he works very hard and draw the defenders away also. He was good against Nigeria. But Strikers have to score(Icardi Sighhh). May be Higuain will score at last against the country where he is Born. May be that’s his destiny after all his misses for us Who knows.

  18. It’s really the only sad thing about all this, this indecisive, maniacal coach. The players can win without him, Look at the images of him unable to even celebrate with his players. You put Messi Pavon and Dybala up front plus Banega and LoCelso to supply balls, Higuain, Aguero And DiMaria as reinforcements later, you do that, who can beat Argentina?? Who?? Nobody. It’s really really hard when people in a position like this coach is in put ego ahead of what is right for everybody. It has to be his way, or whoever the fuck is in his ears, instead of what is obvious to every reasonable observer. You don’t have a player of Dybala caliber and not play him, it makes no sense. You give him the chance, AND TIME, to be out there, build his rythme. But love of Argentina stronger than dislike for this madman and his ways, so Vamos Argentina, Vamos!!!!!

    • I am not the trainer but i dont know who really is. The team us i understand will play barcelona system when guardiola was the coach. 4 1 2 2 1. With the false 9.(messi) this make midfield very strong 6 players 5 players defence. Attack will go counter with very did speed. Di maria pavon messi. For me midfield with macherano pivot banega and lo celso with messi di maria pavon is lethal.

  19. If Pavon comes IN for Higuain, imo Pavon should be playing at left and Di Maria at right. Let them score not just crossing. We need scorers.
    When you play Dimaria and Pavon at wings it will split their defense and will make room for Messi at center. If they concentrate on Messi at center, Pavon and Di Maria will get great chances to score. Otherwise the opposition wingers will have to drop deep to cover wings.

    For me, it will be 4-3-3 then.

    Mer-Ota-Roj-Tag
    -Enzo-Mas-Ban-
    Dim—Mes—Pav

  20. I guess we hope Mascherano doesn’t play miserably again? And hope Enzo does… something? Why don’t we start Pavon over Enzo? What is Sampaoli thinking?

  21. plz… replace enzo with celso
    enzo’s passing was terrible vs nigeria! this kinda mistake can hurt us all…

    man!! they r france, not Nigeria…
    & plz plz plz don’t just start higuain… miss after miss after miss..
    pavon deserve to be in the starting xi

    • Honest to god Biglia and Higuain are simultaneously the luckiest and most useless players for the NT in recent times.
      Higuain has no business being a sub let alone starting a match, a 9 scores goals period and if he can’t then don’t use that 9 or don’t use a 9 period.
      I actually like the idea of using lio as false 9 but maria and pavon have to hall ass and help out the defense when the team is under attack by France’s speed demon wingers.
      I really would like to know what happened with Celso, one moment he was in then he was out and I mean OUT.

      I would love to see this line up:

      ——————————————— Armani———————————————————-
      ————Ansaldi—————Fazio——————Otamendi——————Tagliafico————
      ————Pavon—————-Celso——————-Banega——————-Acuna—————-

      ————————————messi——————Kun/Dybala—————————————

      A tight 4-4-2, which turns into a 4-3-3 when Pavon joins the attack. Acuna’s speed and stamina is important to hold off Mbappe’s threat while on the other side Pavon has to be instructed to track back because he didn’t do that in the previous game and that was the one weakness in an otherwise excellent performance.
      Maria, Salvio and Enzo should be introduced in the latter stages of the match to sub for Acuna, pavon and one of either Celso or Banega if needed. I know some of you are shouting right now WHY ENZO? well I personally thought he was very solid, he held the ball well and passed well and was much, much better than Mascherano who was essentially playing as a 12th player AGAINST Argentina.

  22. The big worry for Argentina is that the players get nervous if opposition scores a goal. If France scores first, then expect Messi and co to wilt under pressure. If France scores first, Sampaoli, Messi and Masche should have a plan in place, maybe experiment with Daybala.

    The positive for Albiceleste now is that as a team, it has begun to believe in itself. Our defense especially has improved by leaps and bounds after the Croatia game. Otamendi, Rojo, Tagliafico and Mercado are now as good a quartet as any in this world cup. Plus, France hasn’t really fired in the tournament and is unlikely to improve on Saturday. If Argentina score first, the team would have immense self belief after that. Hope this game is finished in regulation time. We don’t need extra time or penalties at this stage as the team is only now maturing.

    If Argentina beat France, then we would be favorites to win the cup! How is that for a change of luck within a week? This world cup is full of chaos (especially with the stupidity of VAR which is probably the silliest change that FIFA has brought in after the ill-fated Golden Goal rule) and Argentina is the team best suited to for such chaos. Maybe, after the world cup with the benefit of hindsight we will all simply say that Argentina was destined to win this one just like we think of 1986 now!

    • we should give the ball mostly to French and play with counter attacks.

      Leo , Angel , Kun and Pavon if they find free space in front of them they can
      make serious damage to French.

  23. I’ve been on the Aguero > Higuain camp for a while now.
    The nigeria game convinced me otherwise. Higuain does EVERYTHING a 9 should do EXCEPT score. Aguero is the exact opposite.
    What we don’t realise is MESSI is actually our best number 9 and our best goal scorer. He needs to be partnered with a player who plays him in goal scoring positions which is Higuain.
    That is why messi is best played as the false 9.
    Aguero is the perfect sub for Higuain once the opposition’s legs are tired and if we are leading. If we are chasing a game then both aguero and Higuain should be on (just like in the nigeria game).
    Dybala imo is better a sub for Di Maria as they’re both left footed but dybala actually scores.
    Pavon seems to play well on the right

    • Quote: {The nigeria game convinced me otherwise. Higuain does EVERYTHING a 9 should do EXCEPT score. Aguero is the exact opposite.}

      A 9 doesn’t have to do anything BUT SCORE i.e. Higuain is next to USELESS.

    • Xillo, I totally agree. Higuain needs to start. Against Croatia he came on and made an immediate impact. As a true number 9 he comes in and does a great job holding the ball up, laying the ball off to the other forwards. And eventually he will score. He has been a bit unlucky I think. But you are right he is the only #9 I’ve seen so far that does his job. Aguero honestly seems to do nothing in terms of his movement. Higuain creates space for others for sure and he is a threat on set plays cause of his size.

      However if Argentina are going to play Messi as a false-9 which is a good idea in my opinion then I’m not sure if he is fast enough to play that pinching inward winger. If they do play Messi I’m assuming they would go for a 4-3-3 which Messi really playing the False 9 in what is effectively a 4-3-1-2 with the wingers pinching in.

  24. @canigga. My point exactly about higauin being better at getting involved in the build up and supporting than Aguero.
    It’s a bitch- you’ve got 1 who gets himself about and is available to link up with but cannot finish. And you have 1 who is clinical when given the chance but doesn’t do the grafting.
    The hybrid of the 2 is of course Messi.
    Pavon is more suited to the left. Messi on the right and keep Higuain.
    His movement will give space for Messi and pavon to run into

    • @vik – yeah totally agree. Further, with Higuaín in the team at least the option to cross the ball into a the box is there. When the lone center forward is like the second shortest guy on the field in the case of Agüero, every cross becomes a turn over, and disadavantages galore when we have two wingers in the team to do just that.

      • Aguero is good in heading. I think Aguero scored more goals than Higuain with the head. I think even Messi scored more header goals than Higuain…!

        • I don’t know the stats on headed goals, but aside from goals there are knock downs for other players that are equally important. I just don’t see Agüero being a focal point that is able to benefit the team from highballs, crosses when the opposition center backs are 6ft +++

  25. I think the coach has something in mind, the French team attack a lot on the wings so put Pavon and Di Maria together will make them pay if they choose to attack on the wings and Messi will be free on the field as a false 9 the only thing is make sure the midfielders hold on, control and pass the ball accurately and fast, the wingers need to cross the ball more often to the box, I think we have our chances against France, knock out stage at a wild Cup is like anotherr tournament, the margin to error is very slim. Good luck Argentina.

  26. The coach must show Higuain the video tape of Higuain scoring 48 goals or something for Napoli to bring his confidence back.

    The fact that he keeps wasting his chance affects his mentality. Did you see his face after he missed one in 80th minute? He looked very guilty. If he gets back to his scoring form, then watch out…

  27. I like the trio of Mache, Perez, Banega in midfield. They are not high profile nor promising youngsters but they bring stability and hard work in midfield. The only thing about them is their age, but one of them will definitely get substituted in the second half anyway.

    It seems like Pavon is confirmed as our 12th man (first player coming off the bench). And Aguero is our 13th.

    Well at least I like the fact that Sampaoli does not get crazy changing half of the team like he did earlier in game 1-2.

    btw, did you notice the english commentators? After the Nigeria game, the english commentators was so annoying and biased! They supported every referee decision against us (including that shitty pk) and they protested every referee decision that favored us.

    There was one after the Nigeria game where there was Rio Ferdinand, Zabaleta and an English commentator. Soo anoyyinggg.

    • It seemed like I was the only one in the world who saw that the Nigerian defender threw himself on the floor! Hopefully this incident that forced our hand into Rojos goal will pay dividends mentally for the games ahead.

  28. I can understand that Sampaoli(Messi’s friends) is worry about France’s flank and full backs. So he wants to put another winger. However, if we don’t have Higuain in front, nobody can hold up the ball from a long pass. I think having someone can hold up the ball upfront for at least 3 seconds is very crucial! Otherwise our midfielders and wingers will never run and attack, because they know noboday can hold the ball for a few seconds. Consequently, Messi will not perform well. Do we want to defend for going to PK shootout?

  29. The key is to keep a clean sheet. That’s the deal of knock out stage. Then anything can happen. Its good we are not favorites to win the game.

    If we cannot keep a clean sheet then we have to score 2, which looks tight to me and also its not easy to score 2 against anyone in KO stage. Everyone is more focused and organized. I am not super hopeful about going to penalty shootouts. Argentina is never good. You can see historically. Plus there is no Romero this time. Actually Caballero is good at penalties. I don’t know about Armani. Not to mention our own players taking penalties :).

    I have said this many times, Messi looks at the ball while taking the penalties, whereas others look at the GK. Pause all the penalties taken this WC. Pause your TV just before the shot is taken. GK in 90% cases has moved to one side or the other. Even Messi’s miss you will see the GK has already moved before Messi has shot the ball. You will see many just rolls the ball on other side. Else, just shoot hard and corners, like Germans and Brazilians. Even if you guess right, probably you are not going to get to it.

    Lets hope for the best 🙂 Defend hard as a team.

  30. Nah man….smh
    He is making mistake again. There won’t be no one in the box once Messi dropped deep. Pavon and Di-maria are wingers not striker. Keep fucking same team replace Pavon place of Enzo if he wants.

  31. As much as it pained me to see Higuaín miss a sitter again – he does seem to hold up the ball better upfront with his back to goal and distribute passes in the area to work up an attack. Agüero is a lethal striker but does not seem to bring in the other attacking players and Pavon gets continuously gets outmuscled when it matters. Pavon for DiMaria yes, but not for Higuaín.

  32. Take off demaria out..and pavon in..aguro is good option for higuain..sampoli is not a good tacticians.he must drop demaria.he losses ball ever time.

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