Lionel Messi trains separately, Argentina news from training

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Lionel Messi trained separately from the group as coach Lionel Scaloni held a training on Saturday.

Messi trained separately due to small overloads. According to Gastón Edul, he is fine for the opening game against Saudi Arabia.

Lisandro Martínez and Exequiel Palacios also trained different but there is nothing to worry about. Scaloni tried out a back line of Nahuel Molina, Cristian Cuti Romero, Nicolás Otamendi and Marcos Acuña.

In midfield, it was Rodrigo De Paul, Leandro Paredes and Alexis Mac Allister. Every player is expected to be fully fit for the opening game.

99 Comments

  1. Curious why are three players training separately? I am worried if the challenge from the UAE defender was bit too much. Messi should have been rested after the break. Not sure about Palacios, but what is this team without Messi and Martinez? Feeling worried about the injury scenario. No team is suffering from so many injuries and last minute changes. I hope Scaloni has a plan B. His team did well against tough teams like Germany, Mexico and Ecuador without Messi.

      • There’s a difference between being confident and being overconfident. 2002 WC team was much more hyped than the current team. We all know the result. I’m pretty sure this team will go far in this tournament and can win it if we play to our strengths and keep our feet on the ground. Clearly, some of the fans including you are not on the same wavelength as the team and the coach’s philosophy. In WC 2002, Germany beat Saudi Arabia by 8-0. Certainly, the time has changed. Those who are expecting a thrashing by Argentina should calm down themselves a bit. Saudi Arabia is a defensively solid team. Expect a similar game vs Iran in 2014.

        • @HIRA We r just supporters. As if we underestimate opponents will change anything. We r not going to play for Argentina or even going to coach them. Its upto players and coaching staff to remain modest and don’t underestimate anyone. But from ur comment it looks like ur not confident about our chances. Even Netherlands supporters r sure that they are winning world cup. Our fans should learn from them and to trust the team. Btw 2002 we were in group of death and we didn’t have messi

    • Stats does not do any justice to Giroud’s performance this season. He is in a good run of form for both France and Milan. But he will be playing second fiddle that is he will make the runs for Mbappe and Grizeman will feed the balls for them from a central attacking midfield position. They will also have Coman on the wings and Dembele off the bench. The only winger Foyth struggled last season was Coman when he played on his flank. Anyhow, even with Benzema, Pogba, Kante, Kimbempe gone, their attack and also the team as a whole does look scary.

  2. Regarding France, they are not as fearsome as we think. In 2018 they beat Uruguay without Cavani.

    That superteam almost let the worst Argentina team in a WC sneak an undeserved victory. Rojo did not have to foul Mbappe for a penalty(there was a chance he could botch it or keeper force a bad angle). We somehow led 2-1 after halftime. After 4-3, we still almost forced overtime. Imagine if we had the team that we have now – the defenders and midfield we have now… Do you think Cuti lets Mbappe skip without him feeling the pain? Do you think DePaul will lose the midfield battle without a fight? The fear I had was Benzema and now that threat is gone.

    • Or an even simpler more obvious solution that was available at the time –
      Start Kun over Pavon instead of subbing him on at the 70th minute.
      Start GLC instead of Perez.
      Avoid high backline with Masche, Otam, and Fazio on the pitch and go with mid to low block defending.

      ———————-Kun
      —————–Messi – ADM
      ———Banega – Mache – GLC
      Tagliafico – Rojo – Ota – Mercado
      —————–Armani

      • @Choripan yea France was very beatable. Honestly, we beat ourselves throughout that entire world cup qualifying campaign til that game. It was a waste of a period. Glad that is past us now and we can avenge ourselves against France. Then face the tough Netherlands. Afterward, I feel we will face the winner of Brazil vs Germany.

  3. If Fra win their group (i think they can even without Benzima) we have to beat Den (R16), Ned (QF) and Bra(SF) to face Fra (or another team)…each of these other teams have a higher chance of arriving at that respective stage than Fra arriving at Final…it could be Pol/Eng/Bel in my bracket prediction..we should not be even talking about France just yet.

    • The winner ( Benezma) & the runner up ( Sadio Mane). FIFA should have convinced clubs associations to go with a light schedule in 1st half. Criminal loss of players
      Actually the Ballon D’or post 1995 is only relevant as till then it was restricted by eligibility to European players.

  4. Benzema is out of the world cup. We have to start preparing mentally and tactically to face France in the second round. Before soap opera Karens start whining that Argentina need not fear anyone, a world champion should be ready to play any team, well your wish is coming true. France if fails to win their first match they will get knocked out of the world cup. Without Benzema, Kante, Pogba and other major players they can’t finish first. We will likely face them as a show down to a repeat of 2018 2nd round match, I can’t see them beating a well oiled Denmark team.

      • They can’t field Giroud, Mbappe, Dembele and Grizeman together against strong sides. They will be murdered. Even playing three would make their already weakened midfield and defense more vulnerable. I have a strong feeling it will be 2018 rematch.

        • I hope not. Denmark is a mediocre side. 2nd round will be much easier if Denmark Argentina happens. In last 2 years they faced Belgium, Croatia, france twice among top teams. they win against france 2 times and lost both times against Croatia and Belgium. France has their ego problems and Denmark beat France so everyone thinking Denmark is some great team what they are not. France has individual talents in their day they can destroy any team. No need to face France.

          • Denmark is not that mediocore u may think even they do not have so big names, yet than Eriksen to most of the world to be known, but in fact i think they have even better players than Eriksen with due all respect+they been long enough together under the same coach and nearly went to Finals in Euro’s last time, only for VAR giving penalty for English to save their assses to be able to face Italian’s at their home ground in Wembley, which was obviously the agenda from the latest Euro’s as UEFA with majority of English wanted to ” the football is going to home” theme to happen, but could not stop the Italian Job as instead ” it went to ROME ”….also i think Arg knows France as opponent more better than Danish, though obviously scouting is big part of football nowdays, but the Danish coach is quite a tricky one and also not that known…

          • by your logic every team is weak except Argentina: France is weak and arrogant, and Denmark is weak. Well, I guess it will be a walk in the park for Argentina then.

    • Part of me says that I want to avenge the 2018 team and face France out of the gates. But another part of me wants to avoid them. Even after losing 3-4 starters to injury, France still has a top 5 team.

      As long as the core team stays healthy, and we play the same style we have been playing for the last 30 games then France should fall.
      Also, I’m hoping for a sleeper upset in the fran/Denmark group. Tunisia is an x colony of France. This romantic type of thing happens in world cups. Let’s pray 😂.
      Australia is terrible, but you never know.

  5. Saudi’s are very physical and we need to be careful. Technically, we are leaps and bounds above them. However, match will be at 01:30 PM afternoon and temperature will be around 28°C. So there is still some extra effort needed to finish of the match.

    I won’t mind if we score 2 goals early and then sit back and relax.

    • As Anuparno just said, muscle fatigue, which is a nebulous term. Scaloni is taking all the precautions necessary, so if a player isn’t fit (J.Correa, Nico) then he’s out, if a player isn’t 100% *right now* (Acuna, Cuti) then he’s assessed and if a player is under the weather (Papu) or is fatigued (Tagliafico, Messi apparently) then he’s given a rest.
      Scaloni is doing the right thing by assuring the fitness of the players inorder to avoid all the injuries of 2014 WC, because when it comes to a 7 game/month tournament, fitness and physicality becomes AS important as skill.

      • @Mamoun, nice to see u active again here. Had a query on Acuna who has this groin injury called pubalgia. i read somewhere pubalgia needs adequate rest & it is not a persistent pain ie it just shoots up at times. Cant such an issue be handled with pain killers during the 1 month tournament time to make him 100% effective. Or will that have a long term issue for him & only option is adequate rest ( which also means he may have to be well rotated). Also assuming we go the full distance , can he withstand 4 high intensity knockout matches in a space of 2 weeks
        If i am not wrong , i think Dybala also went thru same issue last year & finally had gone for surgery

        • Thank amit.
          Well anything in medicine that ends with ‘algia’ indicates some sort of fatigue for example ‘myalgia’ is something you might’ve heard of used often.
          The thing with those muscle injuries is that they’re not taken as seriously as they should be, where the players think to themselves that ‘it’s just a little pain, I’ll get over it” and they tell that to medical staff and the coach and so they’re allowed to continue playing, only for the muscle fatigue turns into tear and then you’re out for weeks to months.
          In Acuna’s case, well yeah, he can take pain killers and do physio etc.. not to mention that the guy’s a bull, he’d play with a broken leg if he has to and will give a 100% but it wouldn’t be good for him.
          Like you said the best thing for such issues is physio, rest and a healthy diet.
          The good thing is that Tagliafico has shown to be more than capable of subbing for Acuna and to be honest in the first few games I think Argentina can do with Acuna coming off the bench, especially since Molina on the other side brings alot of attacking power.
          Ultimately if Scaloni is bringing Acuna then it means that he’s just fine and with rest and physio he’ll continue to be just fine (fingers crossed).

  6. Now that we are done with the first phase of injury scares….
    Let’s talk Asado!
    I have beef, and lamb ready, not as much as the tons of meat the team brought with them tho😂😂😂😂
    Here’s the problem, I am going to be in east coast north America during the cup!!!!! 😭
    The first match is at 5 am my time!!!!
    How am I going to cook in time for the game ?
    I have been cooking for 20 years, but this is a new problem .
    I think if I burn the wood around 1 am and start cooking no later than 2 then I should be ready by 430 for the game ….I hope at least.
    Of course I have to also get some sleep in and the ceremonial Buenos Aires La Plata spliff lighting in somehow too.
    If you have suggestions or tips, let me know.

  7. France does not function well with Benz and Mbappe. Mbappe works better with Giroud.

    However, if we face France, I would always like to face a Benzema less one. You never know when a top player will raise his game for the occasion.

    So it might be same attack for France 2018. However, Griezman is severely diminished. They don’t have Pogba and Kante. Defence is almost same has 2018. Overall weaker than 2018 side, may be 70% of 2018 strength.

    • Defense is weaker than 2018 as varane is not fit umtiti is not there. Griezmann has deteriorated. Giroud also 4 yrs older. Benzema did work. Last nations league they won was with mbappe and Benzema in their team. I still want to avoid france because i didn’t fear their midfielders i didn’t fear their defense i didn’t fear Benzema i fear their wings and speed. Mbappe, coman, dembele can create havoc as our weakest link is fullbacks. Just imagine mbappe vs molina or montiel and dembele vs acuna or tagliafico that is my fear so better to avoid them in 2nd round

  8. Remember guys our team is pretty much set.
    But at the same time the first game is the setting stone as we progress…..if we make it far some people gonna gain and lose their places.axcept for the core 6 players…no matter how things ends I will not put any pressure on the team until the KO stage.
    We play in 3 days ,like the old saying you go to war with they weapons you have…..you may not like a player but it might be the one carrying the team a certain way that we can’t say as fans….I don’t think anyone on this blog would love to be more victorious than the ones going to battle.
    I hardly post on here but some of you guy wanted J Correa not to go,guess what lo cello didn’t go.
    Some did not want McAllister, nico Gonzalez did not make it.
    All we need to do is to support the team.
    In the end we shall celebrate together.
    Vomos argentina.
    Vomos Messi.
    Bring it home.
    Love you guys,I’m signing out of the blog for now.
    Can’t the the stress,negativity and bickering.

  9. It looks like Messi is cocoon wrapped in the fear of being injured.

    We have to top our group for sure. Its WC we cant expect any easy games.i think unless France dont mess it up by coming second in their group. Then Nederlands is one team which looks like a team to beat in our path. We have to reach Finals some how. Anything else could be a failure.

    One team which i dont want to see winning the WC is Portugal. Even if the crybaby is out and injured and didnt even play 1 game still his stupid fans will say that he is the Goat who has the WC. I dont want that to happen even in the worst dreams. Even England winning also i can somehow handle but Cristina should not win it. NO…

  10. Hey guys, just a question before our nerve wracking WC. Have we ever considered Palacios in midfield instead of Alexis? Or at least a back up to Papu? I know he’s been injured but most times he has come in he has been quality. We also can’t forget his partidazo against Bolivia in La Paz. He seems a little more forward thinking than MacAllister in my opinion but I know he’s coming back from injury too. What are your opinions?

  11. This is the smartest thing Scaloni can do. We shouldn’t need Messi or DiMaria to win the first game. You will need them for one half each for Poland and Mexico I suspect….
    Also, some food for thought…is it the worst thing in the world if we finish second in the group? Before you answer this think about how the brackets can finish. One side is very heavy with Netherlands Spain Germany Brazil and potentially even France if Denmark wins the group while the other side has England Portugal and maybe France if they win their group.

    • I would say finishing second is not that good UNLESS France for sure finish second too. Then our route to the final would be pretty easy. If we really have to face France (the world champ), Netherlands (the hottest team of Europe), Brazil (the FIFA number 1), and in the final whoever that is, that would be the hardest route ever for anyone in the history to win the WC.

      That’s why I prefer Denmark at least in the second round.

      • I agree, but something tells me that Brazil will have a much harder time beating Germany or Spain than people think. Germany is very disciplined, and Spain is a possession team. Neither really matches Brazil style. And Germany and Spain will not be afraid of Brazil, and they have the players to beat them.

          • Brazil route is not easy they will play either Uruguay or Portugal in 2nd round spsin or germany in quarters. Not easy by any means. Whereas if Denmark faces us they are solid team but not a top team. Netherlands is a decent team but their attack doesn’t look threatening plus 3 at the back always have some loopholes specially considering dumbfries great going forward but he is not solid defensively. So for me 2nd round and quarter is not super strong. Plus we can expect some upsets. Not everything will be as expected

    • That’s a moot point, first bracket my look the hardest path on paper, but the opposit bracket may demonstrate to be the hardest to beat. Surprises from dark horses evident in every world cup. I don’t buy that all top notch teams like Brazil, Argentina, France and Portugal will be in the semi final.

  12. I think Mac Allister will start ahead of Alvarez. This is due to caution. First match, defensive stability and midfield control is important. I believe this is how Scaloni will think.

    However, I see no issue if Alvarez starts against Saudi. But will it be good idea against big teams?

    In 2014, Van Gaal used Dirk Kyut as LWB. Kyut was a forward all his life. But it worked.

    Given Alvarez’s work ethic, pressing ability and excellent fitness. It may even work against big team.

    Remeber German’s 4-2-3-1 in 2010? Klose, Podoloski, Muller and Ozil front. Khedira and Swainsteiger behind them. It worked.

    It is all about shape and organisation. Alvarez may be an unexpected solution for left side crisis.

  13. I hope Scaloni rests Messi if we are winning by a big margin, or happen to secure the group stage by the 3rd match.

    Messi has failed to score in knockout rounds due to fatigue. In Copa Final, he was one on one against the Brazilian goalkeeper and failed to score to make it 2-0. He was clearly tired.

    I’m not saying Scaloni needs to pull a Pekerman/Riquelme.