Argentina eleven for World Cup qualifier as Lionel Messi, Angel Di Maria start


The Argentina eleven has been announced as coach Lionel Scaloni starts with Lionel Messi, Lautaro Martinez and Angel Di Maria.

One of the main doubts was in the back line between Gonzalo Montiel and Nahuel Molina. It is Molina who gets the start in place of Montiel, who started the Copa America final when Argentina won the trophy.

Marcos Acuna starts just as he did in the Copa America final as Nicolas Tagliafico is on the bench. With both Cristian Romero and Leandro Paredes suspended, Scaloni has selected German Pezzella to replace and Romero and Guido who starts for Paredes.

Rodrigo De Paul and Gio Lo Celso start in midfield with Emiliano Martinez, Nicolas Otamendi, Lionel Messi, Lautaro Martinez and Di Maria making up the eleven. Here is the starting line-up:

Emiliano Martínez, Molina, Pezzella, Otamendi, Acuña; Di María, De Paul, Guido, Lo Celso; Messi and Lautaro

The seven players who are not on the bench are Franco Armani, Cristian Romero, Lisandro Martinez, Leandro Paredes, Julian Alvarez and Emiliano Buendia.


  1. Great win and 3 points. That’s all we need right now. Considering it was the first qualifying match of the season with players having minimal match fitness and playing time, we played relatively well. But the most satisfying thing for me is, as @el_principe pointed out, we can almost field 2 different teams and still have no difficulties in terms of team chemistry and playing quality. It will be handy in a long tournament like WC2022. We have depth on the bench and the quality of the players is almost the same. Kudos to Scaloni.

  2. Wow, that last half hour was an amazing offensive display. Joaquin Correa scores a brilliant goal, then Angel Correa playing one-two pass, step over, layoff for Messi, and move – then scores of rebound!

    What happens next? Papu, Palacios, and Dybala in! Haven’t seen such technical, fluid offense by Argentina since the 2016 Copa.

    Only thing was we were soooooo vulnerable defensively lol. I don’t care though, since we were up by 3 and Dybala almost scores 2 goals. Papu bossing for 10 minutes. 15 minutes before the game ended, they almost forgot Messi was on the pitch as they were having too much fun, so they try to feed the king a goal before the end of the game.

    Obviously, this shows that we need those extra defensive-minded style players because we looked like 2010 World Cup squad with excitement in offense and heart attack threatening defense.

  3. Disappointing we didn’t give Messi a rest, also considering the barbaric tackle on him. From the bits I saw I am happy with how we played except still missing a few chances especially in the first half. Happy to see Dybala back. But anyway, 3 points is great and we got the win. Now onto the next big challenge. By the way does anyone know where I can watch a good quality replay of this game?

  4. A well deserved win. All the players were great, but what I liked most is Angel Correa’s off the ball movements. He is amazing and this season could be a special one for him. Vamos Argentina!

  5. Pezzella can not be an alternative for Romero.He looks vulnerable even against Venezuela. Slow, weak. Can not even head properly. Need a proper substitute for Romero.

    • Clearly, Pezzella should not be in the team definitely not the 3rd choice CB, he was beaten for pace easily every time. Others did a great job. Next target brazil.

    • So true. Messi, dybala, a&j correa, papu all on pitch at same time. Fluidic interplay inside & outside box. A luxury we can afford with a 3 goal advantage

  6. Please don’t panic about the rasty ball touch of our players. It’s because of bad pitch along with less game time as most of the players joined their club very late and missed preseason. Very few played 1/2 full match before the WCQ which is not enough for full rhythm. Even great Messi is also not his usual best. So don’t worry. Hope players will find their good rhythm against Brazil and Bolivia.

  7. I knew that the players would not have great touch, pass etc. Most of them haven’t played much recently and also the ground seems bad.. Di Maria was looking off colour but he had an imp contribution in the goal.. I think he dribbled two players before it was given to Lo Celso.. if I am nt wrong.. happy that we scored in the first half itself

    • Excuses. Papu, Dybala, Correra (both of them), and Palacios all came in and showed us that Argentina can still play technical football. Have not seen so many one-two passes in a while.

  8. Lo Celso is on fire 🔥 great Game so far… The link up between Lo Celso and Messi works… And great Assist..

    So far the best Lo Celso and the worst ADM

  9. Red card was a real game changer, Argentina very patient with the ball. Too much fancy outside of the foot passes and other gimmicks though. Now just play for the three points.

  10. Di Maria has days where he is on fire and days where he is off completely, no in between. We can save him for Brazil and hopefully sub him off now. Great assist from Lo Celso as well, VAMOS

    • True. totally Offcolor, Dimaria still played the pass to LoCelso from a tight position leading to the goal. But yes with a goal up against a 10man Venezuela – keep it simple , bring in Dybala for DiMaria & few other subs keeping in mind suspension risks vs Brazil .
      Only point i was not happy is Buendia not even in sub bench. Someone goes against his club deserves to be getting minutes especially when he is in red hot form. For sure they wont get him against Brazil , maybe atleast the Bolivia game he should play.

      • Emi Buendia was and is never among rotation players. He did not make the 28 players squad of Copa and this time he makes the 30 players squad because it is “30” not 23. The Copa America players such as the starters, Papu, A. Correa, J. Correa, Nico Gonzales, Palacios, or even Dominguez are all ahead of him in pecking order.

        • This is not some quota system in play. Jus bcos buendia was not taken for copa dosent mean he should be kept out permanently. Anyone watching him in england will know he is more valuable than lot of names u just mentioned. Going by ur logic emiliano martinez & cromero shld have not got chances.

    • Would love to see Dybala, Papu or Angel Correa get decent time on the pitch. But likely Scaloni will sub Fideo wth Nico Gonzales which ain’t bad either…

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