Argentina train for last time ahead of Round of 16 clash, Cristian PAVON or Gonzalo HIGUAIN


The Argentina team trained for the last time ahead of their Round of 16 clash against France on Saturday.

Argentina coach Jorge SAMPAOLI reportedly trained with 12 players on Friday and not just 11 for the match. It was a repeat 11 of the one’s who started against Nigeria but the 12th player was Cristian PAVON. There are increasing reports that PAVON could start on that right side with MESSI as the false nine.

Here’s the twelve which were used in training:


Enzo PEREZ has fully recovered from his muscular fatigue.


    • That’s a very good thing because French players have probably heard that too, and believed it. They are young which means when reality hits them on the pitch they won’t know how to react properly. And in that situation they will rush everything. Let them pick France, I’m happy about that, they all picked Germany to repeat.

  1. Yeah man, that time is over now. Whoever plays, they just have to deliver. I think formation is key also, it’s no accident that 433 coincided with best game of tournament. The 343 was horrible, it discouraged players and I think that and Armani, the best keeper on the squad, not playing turned them against Sampaoli. I never seen ever, ever, a coach, during the World Cup, not celebrating an important win with his players. Usually there is plenty of hugging.

  2. Di maria showed bad slow style so he mustnt participate
    Pavon is better than him Augoro is fast and can play well

    • yep, looked off the pace against Musa & the fast Nigerians. would prefer Biglia in place of him. Battle would be won in midfield: Kante, Matuidi, Pogba, Fekir vs Mascherano, Perez, Banega.

  3. Not sure why anyone sees this as a change in formation ?? It looks the same , a 433 with banega , perez and mascherano in the midfield and 3 forwards.
    If Messi plays on the right Higuain would be central and to be fair his overall performance was good, he held the ball up well, linked with those around him and worked hard to close down, pity he seems nervous in front of goal currently.
    If Messi plays central as a false 9 then Pavon becomes “Villa” and Di Maria masquerades as “Pedro”, Messi playing through the centre does improves several things- 1st helps the team dominate more possession with Him Banega, Perez and Mascherano in close proximity, 2 helps defensively as Messi can be left up field and Pavon and Di Maria can assist in defending the wings better, 3 places are best finisher in the centre of the goal more often, and 4 with the pace of Pavon and Di Maria coming infield Messi can play through-balls to them.
    I think it would be nice to see Dybala or Lo Celso in the team however, it is at least a relief that the team under Messi and Mascherano is sticking to choosing the most suited formation 433 & playing a creative player in the midfield (Banega) to link the forwards and stop Messi from dropping so deep.

  4. Man I hate Higuain, but every team needs a focal point in attack to keep the opposition Centre-backs occupied. Which in turn creates more space for the creative players to do their thing.

    Even Cristiano Ronaldo has the useless Karim Benzema (in some people’s opinion) at Madrid to keep the opposition defenders busy by pulling them away from their positions with his movements & Ronaldo exploits the space vacated by them.

    Don’t drop Higuain, Messi will get crowded out & lose the ball if he plays as ‘False nine’.

  5. Again change of formation?? What the hell is this?? This formation most probably can’t defend the counters of France .will see how they play.I’m preparing myself for a 2nd round exit.

  6. Opponents have to be laughing. We have attackers they’re probably afraid to face who we bench because we can’t figure out how to put them together. I love this team and I hope we win but after 3 coaches in one campaign you’d hope the last one would come with some tactical solutions. Only one of Dybala/Aguero/Higuain should be on the bench. All 3 of them? Gotta be kidding.

  7. If Higuain plays, we probably will be looking to keep possession. If we play Pavon, it’s more than likely that we will play on the counter. Which IMO is better.

    • Because as a false 9 those who play on the wings need to run behind the defense to stretch the opposition – watch Barca 5-0 Madrid where Messi plays through the lines to Villa . Dybala is the opposite he comes short and so you are left playing infront of the defence and are easy to defend against.

  8. I would say something about how I’m not sure Pavon is a clinical finisher to be the sole 9, but then I remember that neither Higuain or Aguero have been terribly clinical. Higuain’s best traits for this tournament have been his hold-up/link-up play and movement.

    • Agreed. He was crucial in adding solidity in defense, capable marking, hustle, juevos, and some link up play. He wasn’t flashy but was an underappreciated motor for the team. Not everyone sees that and thinks he played poorly. Some people know better. His real problem is that he doesn’t have the gas to play a full 90 minutes at peak. So the question becomes how to sub him.

    • Not sure he is must or not, we have an option in Lo Celso, was in every friendlies and did well, was in every fans starting 11 here too, but suddenly he has become weak, struggling, unproven etc. It is sad such an exciting talent is not getting a single minute. Midfield was good against Nigeria at the first half with Enzo but we were too reliant on Banega for creativity who is not famous for consistency , hopefully he will continue his good run.

  9. Messi as false9 is an exciting idea as at the end of the day Argentina has to rely on Messi for goals every time. For Argentina the more creative players around the midfield the better. When you have world best scorer Messi in your team why you will not utilize this advantage by playing more players in those area of the field where your team is less strong

  10. There is no point in commentng on the starting 11 at this point. If anything, it makes sense for Sampaoli keeping the same team that beat Nigeria.

    All the best to the team. Wish they play with passiong and show on the field their real ability.


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