Lionel Scaloni’s doubts in Argentina lineup for quarter-finals vs. Ecuador

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Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni has some doubts regarding the starting eleven he will choose for next Saturday’s game vs. Ecuador in the quarter-finals of the Copa America. Some players seem to have their place secured for the next match, while in other positions the starters are still uncertain.

Per a report by TyC Sports, Emiliano Martínez would be the goalkeeper, not Armani, who played last game vs. Bolivia. Martínez was rested in the last match to protect him from receiving his second yellow card in the competition.

Regarding the defense, Nahuel Molina would play as right-back, while Nicolás Tagliafico and Marcos Acuña fight for a place in the left-back position. Nicolás Otamendi seems to be another that has his place secured, whereas Cristian Romero, who is recovering from a knock on his knee and Germán Pezzella appears to be a doubt for now. While the belief is that Romero should be good to go, he might not be fully fit. Should he not be ready, it would be Pezzella in his spot.

In the midfield, Lionel Scaloni will have to decide between Leandro Paredes or Guido Rodríguez. On the other hand, Rodrigo De Paul would be a starter, while Giovani Lo Celso and Alejandro Gómez fight for the same spot.

The only doubt in the attack is whether Nicolás González or Ángel Di María, who is also recovering from a knock on his knee, will start as left-wing. Lionel Messi would play as right-wing and Lautaro Martínez would play as striker.

Here, Argentina’s lineup to play Ecuador:

 

104 Comments

  1. It does not look like Scaloni is a huge fan of RDP. He did not even play him in the last two matches. Not saying he hates him though. Probably likes other players more than him. I prefer a mid of Guido Papu GLC. GLC is very favorite to me.

    • I love GLC too but its dangerous to have both GLC and Papu in Midfield together. I think DePaul is the Catalyst in the Midfield. GLC had a knock thatswhy Papu came in and scored 2 goals. Now you cannot have both in the midfield. Scaloni is going with the flow and atm Papu has that flow. We will see a lot of GLC in copa. Dont worry. Lets go match by match.

      • This lineup is nice but only problem is the striker upfront.. If we play without striker there will be no target man or man waiting to pounce in..because nobody in that lineup has striker instinct, we may be in the situation where crosses will be useless.. Playing from Flanks will be useless.. So we should not risk that.. Otherwise the lineup is good

  2. I think there should not be any doubt Romero, Gomez, Gonzalez starting, real uncertainty is between Guido vs Paredes.

  3. How about this squad guys? This does not have a number nine but stlll 3 second strikers.

    Emi
    Molina Romero Ota Acuna
    Papu Guido GLC
    ADM/A Correa Messi Nico

    • This lineup is nice but only problem is the striker upfront.. If we play without striker there will be no target man or man waiting to pounce in..because nobody in that lineup has striker instinct, we may be in the situation where crosses will be useless.. Playing from Flanks will be useless.. So we should not risk that.. Otherwise the lineup is good

  4. Since you considered de paul defensive work still de paul performance is not good enough.
    Still he can’t convert single first forward pass.He always take time.

  5. Wilton Sampaio from Brazil will be the referee next match. He conducted last Uruguay match. He was also the referee of infamous Paraguay match where he disallowed Messi’s goal due to foul. Superclasico of 2019 where boca lost 2-1 was also conducted by him, Gallardo termed his performance regrettable.

  6. I prefer to be positive and take control of the game rather than giving control of the game too early. This means having control in attack and defense. Have control of pace and tempo of the game. I prefer to be the main protagonist. My preferred line up

    —————Emi————-
    Molina—Romero–Otamendi–Acuna
    DePaul——-Guido—–Celso
    Messi—-Lautaro—-Papu

    Sub Papu for someone depending on how the game is going. Sub Celso for someone depending on the game. The top 3 is fluid.

    A Correa should start getting minutes regularly.
    Di maria should only play if he can operate from right
    Nico G is another one should play at some point

    • Dude, this is the exact same lineup I was going to post. So instead I will just comment on yours….
      This should be the lineup and the only question I would have is either aguero or lauturo for the start.

  7. What about playing this squad guys??
    Emi
    Molina Romero ota acuna
    Guido
    Locelso/rdp papu nico
    Messi lautaro
    I think with nico and papu together they can create havoc from left which will free up Messi.. Messi and locelso on the right can create magic.. Messi is free roaming in the upfront.. So the team will be balanced as well… I saw nico and papu coming and helping the defense as well.. So it’s not totally bad from defensive side as well

  8. what is the reason for all the AFA players very slow passes, back passes and lazy in the ground?

    • Few of them thinks they are lords when they wear Argentina jersey and jog in the ground like Paredes. Check how he plays for psg it is totally different.
      I like Romero, acuna, Molina, Guido, angel Correa to name few they give 110%

      • In PSG he gets support from Veratti and that’s why in the UCL, we have seen how threatening he can be for the opponents.. I wish Scaloni plays with both Paredes and Guido together in double PIVOT despite knowing the fact that both of them are slow.. But if RDP is played in front of them, the problem can be solved as RDP is a pure hard worker and also if we get Gonzalez on the left flank, it will also help the PIVOT… In that way, we can’t get the best version of Paredes and Guido as well

  9. According to Ole, Romero is fine to start. Only two doubts remain : LB and DM.

    IMO, Scaloni thinks that if he starts Molina he should go for a defensive LB for the sake of balance. It is common sense, but we don’t have any defensive or balanced LB.

    Tagliafico is the communism of left back. He is equal in attack and defense….equally bad in both.

    Doubt on DM is due to Paredes being Scaloni favorite. Guido gives stability and will free RDP and Lo Celso.

    I think this two decision will give an insight into Scaloni as manager. Whether he will look into performance data or habit and emotion.

    • Tagliafico is inconsistent player while Acuna is 2nd best LB after Jordi Alba in La Liga 2021season.Guido Rodriguez and Acuna are must.

    • Taglificao neither attacks nor defends well, his body language is also not at all good and he plays safe to keep his place in the team. Acuna over him any day. We should find other Solid LB.

    • I am glad that we have found at least 18 players who deserve to wear the jersey from this tournament alone.

      Armani-Musso (did not get to play but he is a good player as we know)
      Molina-?
      Otamendi-Pezzella
      Romero-Licha Martinez
      Acuna-?
      Paredes-Guido
      Lo Celso-Papu
      De Paul-Palacios
      Messi-?
      Nico Gonzales-Di Maria
      Lautaro-Aguero

      These 19 deserve to keep their spots even after the Copa. I know if it is up to Scaloni, he would add 2 more to the list at least: Armani and Tagliafico.

      Scaloni was never a decent right wing back in his career, probably he sees something in common between him and Tagliafico.

      Those who are not convincing so far are: Armani, Marchesin, Tagliafico, LM Quarta, Montiel, Joaquin Correa, J. Alvarez, Nico Dominguez (never do mistake but never do anything above average either just play it safe).

      We should open the door for the new comers for those 8. The first 19, though… Untouchable.

      • I think it is emi in the goalkeeper list who is fixed. I would like scoloni to give these players a chance in future squads
        rulli – marchesin,armani
        montiel -foyth
        Quarta-senesi
        taglifico – Angileri
        j correa – ocampos
        alvarez – alario
        + dybala for his lethel finishing

    • What if we play with Guido and Paredes together in double PIVOT? Last time they played together against Paraguay, we didn’t have Paul… I think playing with both of them will let both of them play comfortably (Paredes as a Resista and Guido as a destroyer) and Paul will be much comfortable as he won’t need to drag back and help in defending, by that we can see the chance creations paul provide in Udinese…

  10. Papu Gomez is a rare Argentine player who knows how to take advantage of Messi and other creative players.

    Against Paraguay, it was Papu who made that run to empty space and asked for pass from Di Maria. Di Maria provided and Papu finished.

    Against Bolivia, he knew what Messi was gonna do and he did the rest.

    Nico gonzalez despite being a quality player does not bring such awareness and connection. Can you remember any meaningful interaction between him and Messi?

    Without good understanding attack won’t click.

    • What about Nico’s pace and energy, who is going to bring that in the team if Gonzalez is not playing.
      You were talking about Messi and Gonzalez’s connection? If not for Gonzalez’s poor finishing, Messi already would have had 2-3 assists. Messi will find anyone who will make runs and I personally think Nico Gonzalez pace and runs can be terrifying for the opposition. U need this type of player in a team.
      I still think Nico Gonzalez should play ahead of papu. But it is very close since u can’t ignore the last 2 performances of papu.
      Nonetheless, it’s good to have these 2 quality options in the left wing.

      • That header wasn’t a miss… Nico tried, but it was mis fortune that it didn’t end up as a Goal… If it did, it would’ve been one of the most beautiful goal in copa America

    • I mean making good runs is exactly what Nico does best, Papu and Nico do share that trait to an extent. The problem with Nico is his awful finishing which should improve although no need to sit around and wait for that to happen it is good to play papu for now (who is a world class player anyway). Main difference is Papu’s runs are more intelligent and interesting

  11. This team will win Copa America
    Emi Martinez
    Molina. Romero. Otamendi/Lisandro. Acuna
    De Paul. G. Rodriguez. Lo celso
    Messi. Aguero. Papu Gomez
    Subs
    Di Maria
    Lautaro
    A. Correa

  12. ——————-Lautaro—————–
    —–N. Gonzales———————–Messi—–

    Lo Celso—————————De Paul
    ——————Guido——————–

    Acuna—Ota————-Romero—–Molina

    ——————–Emi——————–

    No way…we will be champion

  13. I like Papu Gomez to start with messi and Lautaro/Aguero in Attack..

    midfield priority- Guido Locelso DePaul

    Acuna Romero _____ Molina (I don’t want Otamendi)
    Emi Martinez in goal

  14. According to the latest report, 8 places are quite secured: Emi Martinez; Molina, Otamendi; De Paul, Lo Celso; Messi, Nico Gonzales, and Lautaro.

    3 places are still questionable. They are

    1. Romero or Pezzella: ONLY because Romero has a knock but he should be fine for the match.

    2. Acuna or Tagliafico: Acuna is ON FIRE, he should start. In all aspects he is better than Tagliafico someone who has 32 caps for us creating 0 goal, 0 assist, close to 0 chance, and a bunch of defensive awareness errors.

    3. Paredes or Guido: Scaloni favorite vs the new kid on the block.

    We can make a case for Lo Celso vs Papu and Nico vs Di Maria or Lautaro vs too but according to the last report, Scaloni is back to the “original starters”.

    • Remember in the last interview Scaloni said that he has 7-8 players who will always start (meaning his true starters) and 3-4 other positions he will rotate. It seems like the 8 is what u see above.

      Of course he said that in an interview PRIOR to the match against Bolivia where suddenly Acuna, Papu Gomez, Correa, and Guido make their case to be the starters.

    • I am Glad I am not The only who doesn’t rate Tagliafico at all.

      I’ve said it few times in this Website he’s the Worst player I’ve seen wearing Arg Colours,

      Infact I don’t quite know he becomes a professional Footballer, cause he s got nothing in his locker.

      Just watch The Match vs France in 2018 Tagliafico’s Defending Made MBAPE, he was all over him

      So He Created that overhyped Kid, he was responsible for all the 4 Goals that France scored.

      Not only that he’s just can’t cut it

      When going forward I’ve noticed he’s always hiding doesn’t make himself available for the Ball,

      Against Chile on few occasions Messi was Cutting in form the right hand side going for that Diagonal pass to the left but TAGLIA wasn’t making runs He was hiding from Responsibilities.

  15. Nico GONZALEZ and Lautaro should start scoring goals… It will be difficult for opposition to stop when messi in the mood…. So looking forward for the match..

  16. We used to complain about the bench strength always. Now we have backups who may outperform the starting players. A coach going through selection dilemma (due to abundance of talent) is always an issue any coach in the world would like to have. Scaloni is even having options to choose formation (4-3-3 Vs 4-2-3-1) as per the player’s availability.
    One interesting case is Lo Celso Vs Papu which I’ve been seeing a lot in Mundo lately. Here’s my two cents;
    Lo Celso is the most creative Argentine midfielder and he’s a good all-rounder too. Debates over his best position is still up in the air. But one thing is clear, he’s best suited in center area whether it’s CM/CAM/CDM. He failed to show up in wide areas. So whether if it’s 4-3-3 he can play as LCM/CDM/RCM. But he’s best suited to LCM position due to his playing style and it’s a bad choice to play him in the front 3. In the same way, in 4-2-3-1 he can play as one of the double pivot or as a CAM(his best position). But as long as Messi is there CAM position is impossible for any team. Messi never played in a system which used a CAM( a few matches with Riquelme cannot be considered for a proper valuation) consistently. Messi can play in the void, that’s it. So the best option for Lo Celso is as a LCM in 4-3-3 or as a member of double pivot in 4-2-3-1.
    For Papu he had some wonderful years with Atlanta. To be frank his Sevilla games are far from his true potential. In Atlanta, he was most successful as a player in the hole(A hybrid of CAM & SS). That’s his best position. I remember seeing him as a Left sided CAM/SS in a 3-4-2-1 in Atlanta. He was good there too. Heck, whole Atlanta’s offensive play was built around him. Now in Sevilla, Lopetegui has mainly used him as LCM(Behind Ocampos as a LWF) or LWF in a 4-3-3 formation. But the real Papu hasn’t shown up till now in Sevilla. imho it’s due to their formation. Papu is not a winger with blistering pace or an enganche with Riquelme esque passes. He’s actually a hybrid. Someone like Messi who is actually complicated to define in positional basis. His best position will be in a 4-3-2-1 as a Left SS with Messi as RIght SS. Or we can use him as a Left attacker in a 4-2-3-1 like Scaloni used him in last 2 games. Scaloni used him as someone who is a replica of Messi in left side of the pitch but with more defensive responsibility. Papu make intelligent runs to the box unlike Nico who makes marauding runs.
    So my point is Papu is not competing with Lo Celso for one spot, it is Nico with whom Papu is competing. Nico is better than Papu in pace,height,wing play and physique while Papu is a better playmaker with better finishing.
    (Note: I didn’t include * Angel Di Maria because it’s a bad idea to use them in Left side as he’s clearly better in Right side. *I don’t remember seeing Angel Correa in left side and *Joaquin Correa is a Supporting striker to be played through center & sorry for the long post)

  17. I still don’t see Papu Gomez as a Midfielder. I know he played Lo Celso’s part in Bolivia Match… But don’t forget Bolivia is the San Marino of South America…

    For me we can’t play Papu in Midfield against Ecuador or any other team… Papu is not a Midfielder we can play in 3 Man Midfield.

    ——————-Lautaro—————–
    —–Papu———————–Messi—–

    Lo Celso—————————De Paul
    ——————Guido——————–

    Acuna—Ota————-Guti—–Montiel

    ——————–Emi——————–

    • True papu will not play in midfield ..He has been very effective playing in the Left wing position ..cuting inside to shoot will drifting inside to support Messi in creating ..this is great cause not only does it share the creative burden always placed on Messi it also allows Our Right back to bomb forward..I really like the way papu is taking is chances and scoring ..We all know the hurt of those missed chances in the big games of the 14-16..I think this time we have found a player who will definitely bag that chance when it comes

  18. Ok so I just finished watching the Bolivia match (I know I’m hella late but free time for me is abit of a luxury).

    My thoughts on the match:

    – Excellent match overall, Argentina won big, Messi scored and assisted, Lautaro scored and got a much needed confidence boost.

    – Papu had yet another wonderful match and has now made legitimate case to start for the team. Kun got to play more minutes, assisted Messi’s game and got to wash away abit of the rust. Angel Correa got a chance to start and did very well, I think he deserves more minutes.

    – Some people were critical of Licha Martinez’s performance but I thought he was fantastic both defensively and offensively (almost scored a predatory goal in the 2nd half).
    He was partially to blame for the Bolivia goal but I thought it was an overall defensive lapse, which started with Acuna (who also did very well btw).
    Also for those of you who comment that Licha isn’t tall enough and is thus week in the air, I would like to note that Licha won 3 or 4 aerials in the game and showed no weakness in that department, just as he has shown no weakness when playing in the dutch league, in a nation that has the tallest average (178cm) in the world!
    To me C.Romero and Licha should be Argentina’s starting CB pair, no ifs ands or buts about it.

    – Based on everything I said above it’s clear that Argentina has a very solid bench with the likes of Licha (defense), Guido (midfield), Papu (attacking midfield) and Correa (forward) to call on, not to mention the likes of Kun and Maria who can bring alot of class into a game.

    A final word of warning, even though Argentina played a good match, one should not draw any conclusions because it was only Bolivia (the weakest SA team by far), so I’m in no hurry to drop Celso or Nico G for Papu and Correa just yet. With that being said I wouldn’t mind seeing something like this tried in the future:

    —————————————-Messi——————————————-

    ——————Papu—————————————–N. Gonzalez———

    ——————Celso—————Guido——————-De Paul——————

    —–Acuna—————Licha—————–C.Romero—————-Molina——–

    ————————————-Emi————————————————

    A 4-3-2-1 formation, which isn’t a big departure from the established 4-3-3.
    I prefer Guido to Paredes because of his obvious defensive superiority, which allows Celso and especially De Paul more freedom to venture forward and create.
    Some of you may wonder whether N.Gonzalez can operate on the right side and to that I say watch the last Argentina-Brazil game where Nico came on at around the 70th minute and tortured the yellow team while playing RFW.
    With Lautaro and Aguero underperforming in front of goal I can’t help but think that when you have the best finisher in the game why would you need a 9 in the first place. Let Messi be the false 9 and put the burden of creativity and off the ball movement on Papu, Nico, De Paul and Celso.

    • Messi is the best finisher but he’s also the best creative passer (Followed by Di Maria > Gomez > GLC > A Correa). Putting Messi at the 9 role limits his output since the team is unable to benefit from his other super power.
      I think Messi is best with 2 strikers ahead but 1 + clinical winger will do as long as they link up well and either gets in behind or makes runs into the box.
      Aguero > Messi and Messi > Gomez are prime examples.
      Also, years ago with Messi’s crazy pace it could have worked better but he’s slowed down so best with few boots ahead.

      • Actually according to stats De Paul is no.1 clear cut chance creator in Europe, so I’d put him right up there with Gomez and Maria when it comes to creativity.
        If you put Guido instead of Paredes, you get to free up Celso and De Paul who are both excellent creators and if you add Papu as a LFW and N.Gonzalez or Dimaria as a RFW, you’d have plenty of creativity, which the game’s greatest finisher can use to his advantage and he doesn’t need pace to be a great 9, he needs to time his runs and finish and he can do that better than anyone whose ever played.
        Messi’s creativity sadly has gone to waste on Lautaro and Nico and when Messi’s is creating he’s not finishing and so the team ends up with no goals or assists. I still say let the others create and let Messi finish because from what I’ve seen there has been a decent amount of creativity from De Paul (when playing next to Guido and not Paredes), Celso and Papu.

        • You’re totally right with RDP, excellent creator. For Messi being 9 though..i just don’t see it being as effective, especially in mid tournament. Aguero improved a lot given next game im sure hell improve more. Martinez / Nico also could suddenly find their their finishing boots (although im highly doubtful :/).

  19. Sofascore Copa Stats – Guido / Paredes
    Total played – 3 / 3
    Started – 3 / 2
    Minutes per game – 84 / 56
    Team of the week – 1 / 0
    Attacking – /
    Goals – 1 / 0
    Scoring frequency – 251 min / 0 min
    Goals per game – 0.3 / 0
    Shots per game – 0.7 / 0.3
    Shots on target per game – 0.3 / 0
    Big chances missed – 0 / 0
    Show more – /
    Passing – /
    Assists – 0 / 0
    Touches – 72.7 / 45.3
    Big chances created – 0 / 0
    Key passes – 0.3 / 0.7
    Accurate per game – 53.7 (90%) / 35.7 (94%)
    Acc. own half – 31.0 (92%) / 19.3 (95%)
    Acc. opposition half – 22.7 (87%) / 16.7 (93%)
    Acc. long balls – 3.0 (75%) / 4.0 (86%)
    Acc. chipped passes – 2.7 (62%) / 3.0 (90%)
    Acc. crosses – 0.0 (0%) / 0.3 (100%)
    Defending – /
    Interceptions per game – 2.3 / 0
    Tackles per game – 2.7 / 2
    Possession won – 1 / 0
    Dribbled past per game – 2 / 0
    Clearances per game – 1.3 / 1.3
    Error led to shot – 0 / 0
    Error led to goal – 0 / 0
    Penalty goals conceded – 0 / 0
    Other – /
    Succ. dribbles – 0.3 (100%) / 0.0 (0%)
    Total duels won – 5.0 (56%) / 3.7 (79%)
    Ground duels won – 4.0 (55%) / 3.3 (77%)
    Aerial duels won – 1.0 (60%) / 0.3 (100%)
    Possession lost – 8 / 3
    Fouls – 1 / 1
    Was fouled – 1 / 1.3
    Offsides – 0 / 0
    Cards – /
    Yellow – 0 / 1
    Yellow-Red – 0 / 0
    Red cards – 0 / 0

  20. No disrespect, but against a team like Ecuador who plays more open, we have to field an attacking team.

    It’s simple, If Acuna is starting in the Left its better Guido starts in the middle to add more defensive stability, While Paredes is no slouch in defense but Guido is better in defense. Whereas if Taglifiaco is starting the left then start Paredes in the middle who can contribute better in attack than Guido with his long passes and corner taking abilities. We cant start both Molina and Acuna unless its a 3-5-2 formation. Both are way too attacking.

    I would rather choose Pezzella over Quarta who looks physically weak against tough teams like Ecuador, if Romero is not 100% I think it’s better to go ahead with Otamendi-Pezzella combo (Which is not bad as they have been good in the past for us, but they haven’t started together for some time) as we need Romero for the even tougher test in the Semis (If we reach there)

    Lautaro over Aguero is a no brainer as Scaloni like him but Aguero has better chemistry with Messi for sure. Only because of Aguero’s age and fitness which makes him tough to contribute both in attack and defense for that trait Lautaro gets the nod ahead.

    Nico over Di Maria for sure, Di Maria can be lethal Super Sub he has tones of energy and trickiness which can wreak havoc on a tired opposition defense. But Papu can be tried instead of either of the above, he is a better Goal scoring alternative.

    Papu and Lo Celso is the most difficult as per me. Again Lo Celso contributes better in defense because of his age, Whereas Papu even though tries his best in helping defense is limited because of his age both should start. Play Papu in place of Nico Gonzalez.

    We cant start all out attacking 11 against Any team in a Knock out stage. So its better to start Tagliafico in defense than Acuna. if Papu starts, Again its better to Start Tagliafico(As per me is an underrated defender, The Guy wears his heart out while playing for us, Acuna also is underrated but i am still not convinced of his defensive ability against stronger opponent)

    In short as per me its like Emilaino, Molina, Otamendi, Pezzella, Tagliafico, Paredes, De Paul, Lo Celso, Papu, Lautaro, Messi.

  21. i think after the copa not need to select martinez quarta no more give chance to senesi and medina and i think balerdi will be good next year and keep trying with other RBs

    • I mentioned quarta was not a good defender a long time back. He is slow and error-prone. Many river plate players are not up to to the level of the national team.
      Armani, montiel and quarta should never get calls for national team in future.

  22. Papu & Acuna on the left side are a no-brainer. As usual we start witj attack and then switches to defense mode once we are ahead. So Papu & Acuna should start. Nico can sub Papu after 60 mins & Tagli can sub Acuna (only if there is any issue with Acuna’s defense in the game)

    DiMaria should start on the right for his experience. A Correa can replace him.

    As much as I love LoCelso, I cant find a slot for him as it will break the tranquility. May he we can use him as a sub for DePaul if we need a goal.

    Guido also has earned the place with contributions in defense and attack.

    I believe Licha is the ideal player in defense againat teams that would play defensively against us. The only problem is he hasnt played enough matches yet although he put in a good performance against Bolivia. I believe Scaloni would prefer Otamendi & Pezzella than him.

    Lautaro
    Papu | Messi | DiMaria
    Guido | DePaul
    Acuna | Romero | Otamendi | Molina
    Emi

    Subs:
    Aguero for Lautaro

    If we need a goal:
    A Correa for DiMaria
    LoCelso for DePaul

    Defensive:
    Palacios for DiMaria (DePaul & Messi will take care of RW)
    Nico for Papu

    • I don’t think de Paul works with double pivot if de Paul plays lo celso has to play otherwise da Paul papu and guido won’t work because de paul and papu are not CMs they will leave guido all alone to play in double pivot you have to be disciplined stay in the middle and make runs only when necessary I know de Paul is a work horse he covers a lot of ground but his primary instinct to always run that is why he has been limited with his contribution with Argentina I think palacios and guido are the the best choice if scaloni chooses to play with a double pivot and play de paul as a number 10 play papu in the left wing messi in the right and lautaro

      • Double pivots doesn’t mean both midfield players have to stay back all the time. One can stay back and the other can participate in attack as well. Real Madrid have done this pretty well.

        DePaul can excel as a box to box midfielder. That guy has tones of energy, I think we are not utilizing well.

        With Messi, Papu, DiMaria all dropping, dominating the centre of the field won’t be a problem for us.

    • I don’t like De Paul in a double pivot and never have. Yes one player in the double pivot is always more forward minded but it still blunts their attack to an extent. Look at Nico Dominguez in Bologna when he plays in a double pivot vs as a real center mid

  23. The choice should not be between LoCelso and papu it should be both and Parades will come in 2H to protect the lead. My midfield would be DePaul/Guido, LoCelso and Papu. Good balance of creativity and defensive power.

    • In current form both are useless but Lautaro is less useless than Aguero. Regardless of who starts I will give Aguero atleast 30 minutes to give him a good match practice

      • In 60 minutes Aguero created 3 goalscoring chances with 1 wonderful assist. So he is not useless ,he hasnt missed any clear chances but lautaro has missed many .

  24. The hardest decision is acuna or tagla.
    Acuna def earned the spot in my opinion but I really like taglafico in that area also. I wish there was a way to play both.
    Thankfully we have options up front and in midfield now, so I’m not as concerned in that area.
    But I think aguero and papu should start up front with DePaul and locelso….and either Guido/Paredes behind. I also prefer Guido here over the PSG player. Di maria can come on as a sub especially if he not fit.
    Lauturo can come on later for aguero… But again in my opinion the tough question is acuna vs taglafico

    • Given the way Tagli has performed in the recent matches, it shouldnt be much of a hard decision. Scaloni though thinks Acuna is too offensive, so he might prefer Tagli.

      • In fact yes Acuna is more offensive than Tagliafico. But is he really more weak in defense ? I dont think so. Tagliafico is weak everywhere ! No offensive impact and many difficulty to block his left side… Tagliafico is slow, not very smart in his position, he is always in foul trouble, his ball control and pass are really poor and dont forget that dumb penalty…

        Acuna is just a better player and it’s not a suprise. Acuna had a good season with Sevilla and was solid against Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico or for the Champion’s League.

        The only thing Tagliafico did during his career was to help Mbappe to become a superstar with his horrible defense…

  25. Lautaro Martinez should not start Aguero is best suited he can link up well with Messi and has good ball holding capacity and finishing. Lautaro Martinez is a substitute material now.
    A. Gomez and Lo celso should start. A. Gomez has better understanding of penalty box and good in finding space. Lo celso,A.Gomez and Messi trio in final third will be pleasing to eyes.
    There is no chance Di Maria playing in Left Wing. Di Maria is for Right Wing in Right Wings he shines.
    Guido Rodriguez should start over Paredes,Guido Rodriguez covers a lot of area and he is a shield for Argentina defence.
    Marcos Acuna and Mollina should be full backs it is no brainer.Tagliafico is inconsistent and Montiel is a weak link of Argentina side.
    C. romero and Emi Martinez are no brainer they are best we got in defence. Otamendi will start,he has experience and can lead the back line.Lisandro Martinez is also good he can play too, Pezella is looking good too, Quarta Martinez should be left out of squad after Copa finishes.

  26. I think this copa is a blessing for us. we have the opportunity to see the potential of the players that is difficult to see in one or 2 matches. When I look at this team, even if we are not the best but the only weak areas are the right back and another central defender for Otamendi. I believe that we have players in every other position to build a very competitive team. I think that the players and Scaloni need to be brave enough to be a little bit adventurous with this team to be less pragmatic in which we always try to secure our advantage. A player like Dybala if fit or recalled can give a different look to this team. Therefore a 4-2-2(Messi-Dybala)-2(Lautaro, Gonzalez) and can tried especially when facing weak opponents.

  27. Kun would start and subs with Lautoro; both of them are needed to be fit and confidence facing the semi and final ahead games. Papu Gomez certainly got the place as the last 2 games shown his contribution and 2 goals is much better than the striker tally goals

  28. All of the conversations about Maradona and Messi make me a little sad. It still feels very weird that he is gone. Sometimes I have to remind myself he is gone and it just doesn’t feel right. Sometimes I don’t think about it and almost forget and then it hits me. Thank you Diego for everything.

  29. IMO we shouldnt tinker the 4-3-3 formation. Thats where we are safest & can switch on the fluidic element of our game.
    Key selection points:
    1) If Romero is not 100% ready, we shld rest him against ecuador. Semi & finals are big matches & we need him 100%+ in fitness. Scaloni wld go with otamendi & pezella which is also ok while ideally licha should replace ota.
    2) Nico g or A Correa – especially since Nico wld be rusty with less minutes. For me start with angel & bring nico post 60mins
    3) Papu or Locelso – both connect v well with messi & both dont have gas in tank for full game. So start with Lo Celso & unleash papu for 2nd half especially if we need that goal.
    4) guido over parades, acuna over tagli & molina over montiel – all purely based on current form. But impressive bench strength here
    5) i want lautaro to start & aguero in post 60+mins.

    Ecuador side – no card suspensions .But Enner Valencia & Moises Caicedo picked injuries in last game. They are recovering though still not confirmed for QF

      • Because rdp gives balance to our midfield only world class midfielder we have right now in midfield if guido plays he will be a monster. Papu also great bt still his pressing and defensive attribute is little lesser but provide goal scoring threat from midfield. Locelso is good also a balanced midfielder bt he is fragile and coming back from an injury. So papu gomez should start

  30. On current form, Papu gomez over Lo-celso and Guido over Paredes should be a no-brainer. Papu brings that x-factor that has been missing in our team for a very long time and Guido provides our backline better sense of security than Paredes. Also relying on Aguero seems to be a big mistake on Scaloni’s part, he shouldn’t be picked after this competition.

    • Both have to play ! THe one outside have to be Nico Gonzalez. I like him but he is not fit and miss confidence to score ! Could be better to have his explosivity from the bench for the 30 last minutes when rivals become tired.

      For me

      ——–Lautaro—-Messi
      –Gomez—————–De Paul
      ———Lo Celso—Guido
      Acuna–Otamendi–Romero–Molina
      —————–Martinez

      Dont like Otamendi but i know he ll be titular sadly…

      I change Gomez for Gonzalez at 65

      If we win i change Lautaro for Di Maria and Lo Celso for Paredes at 70
      If we lose i change Lautaro for Aguero and De Paul for Di Maria at 70
      If its a draw i change Lautaro for Aguero and Lo Celso for Di Maria at 70

      • when scaloni placing parades and otamendi in the team then we can expect opposition goal.
        as per your lineup depaul is right footed player so he is suitable on left side. de paul is not fit in center midfield. if depaul parades and otamendi is there the team should not expect more goals and also messi come to emi area to take forward the ball to score. depaul parades and otamendi always used to move the bal backbward with slow movement when opposition comes near to them. those were created much paressure to backline players on previous matches (WCQ)

      • Kun assisted, created few opportunities, shot on target, beat opponent dribbling, great chem with messi and forwards, and most importantly, he drastically improved in the 2nd game and people will still call for his head. In the last game he played, he did much more than Toro did in both games. Toro is fantastic but he’s not doing well. If anything, both should get minutes and see which one comes on top.

    • Aguero needed to play these games to get back to fitness and get rid of his rustiness. His pass to Messi was an example of him improving but many other examples show he is not there yet. He should come off the bench against Ecuador but no risking him starting on KO’s

  31. 4132 against Ecuador.

    Emi
    Molina Otamendi Romero Tagliafico
    Guido
    DiMaria DePaul Papu
    Messi Lautaro

    DePaul the hard worker in free role..!

  32. Romero may not be ready, he had a knee strain in a training session last week. Recovering is still going on. Scaloni is willing to take risk but Atalanta requested caution.

    I think Pezzella can do the job.

    Acuna – Tagliafico should not be a doubt. Acuna is far better at everything. Tagliafico neither can attack nor defend.

    Guido ahead of Paredes.

    Gomez ahead of Lo Celso. Performance and delivery should be the deciding factor not potential . Gomez delivered.

    I don’t think Scaloni will go for 4-3-3. It has been a 4-2-3-1 or 4-4-1-1 for last two matches. So Di Maria as RW has better chance as starter.

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