Rumored Argentina starting XI vs. Saudi Arabia at 2022 World Cup


Argentina national team coach Lionel Scaloni tested out a starting eleven in training as rumors of a starting line-up have surfaced.

Lionel Scaloni appears to have decided on someone to play in midfield with Rodrigo De Paul and Leandro Paredes. According to Ole, Alexis Mac llister will start as the team is without Gio Lo Celso.

Marcos Acuña and Nahuel Molina will start in places of Nicolas Tagliafico and Gonzalo Montiel. Up front, it will be Lionel Messi, Lautaro Martínez and Ángel Di María. Here is the rumored eleven:

Emiliano Dibu Martínez; Molina, Cuti Romero, Otamendi, Acuña; De Paul, Paredes, Mac Allister; Messi, Lautaro, Di María


  1. Whether Argentina can score or not, the opponent should not be able to scaloni should try defending well because we have messi,, maria,, lautaro, Dybala,, Alvarez,, even angel corria,, papu can dance well with Ball,, We are best attack in the world Right Now.. one second of moments of magic can damage any defense in the world…

    • Mac seems to me a Biglia like player. Solid in everything, impressive in nothing. Biglia played well for us. Was important in reaching the final and almost winning the 2014 cup.
      Hope Enzo gets solid minutes so we can compare them.

    • McAllister is biglia 2.0 with that kind of player in our starting 11 we can not play beautiful football if defense is super strong we can win 1-0 or win in penalties. But i don’t want that kind of performance thats too much nerve wrecking for us we deserve comfortable wins

    • Can’t blame us. He hasn’t shown his true quality with the nt yet. He will over the next few years but he doesn’t deserve the call up at the moment. I’d put in nico Dominguez before I put in Macalister he played better when he was called.

  2. for the old timers, I have been in this blog since back when seba was running it, starting 2006. not sure if you guys remember argentina worldcup blog… i used to be a moderator! I ended up leaving it to a certain maxilopez! His negativity and arrogance killed that wonderful community.

    I have noticed this guy is still here with so much negativity. I mean seriously bro, its almost been 20 years since 2006 and yours still here constantly bantering players you dont like, and coaches? My God!

    Anyways, vamos Argentina!

    • Understand the negativity back then after so many disappointing collapses by strong teams..but no reason to be negstive now. The team just brought home a trophy, have been playing great, no rancorous disputes.

    • Messay, I remember you. I was part of that blog in 2006-Pekerman time. I may not have commented a lot (I am not Argentinean and I am not even from a moderate footballing country….Lol! We don’t even play any football worth talking about……).
      I am Kenyan but have always been a great fan of Argentina. I remember MaxiLopez too. I also think there was another guy called Aurelius but I could be wrong.
      Let’s hope this is our year. I believe that since we won COPA, we can replicate that on the world’s biggest stage.

  3. Rate our players pace. Based on my quick opinion.

    Nico Gonzalez
    Joaquín correa
    Di Maria – would be top a few years ago
    Angel correa
    Cuti Romero
    De Paul

    Not sure about Mac. What do you think?

  4. PALACIOS hadn’t trained properly nor play even a minute in practice. even dybala still practicing normally yesterday. Absolutely not 100%fit ,but still here to be the chef? scaloni ‘s double standard

    I would rather take him out for a left side winger as a back up

  5. List of players (across big teams or opponents we are expected to face) who would have been starting 11 or a sure shot key sub & missing World Cup:
    1) England – Reece james , Ben Chilwel
    2) France – Benzema, Pogba, Kante, Kimpembe (PSG CB who started all Euro matches), Maignan (key sub to Lloris),
    3) Germany – Timo Werner, Marco Reus
    4) Mexico – Jesus Corona
    5) Netherlands – Wjinaldum
    6) Portugal – Diego Jota, Pedro Neto
    7) Poland – Jakob Moder
    8) Spain – Jose Gaya, Oyarzbal

    Similarly key players in 26man squad who still maybe having fitness issues or came out of very recent injuries(oct/Nov) or even training separately:
    1) Belgium – Lukaku, Thomas Meunier
    2) Brazil – Guimaraes, Telles ( both are knocks during current training. extent not known)
    3) Croatia – Brozovic, Vida
    4) Denmark – Andreas Christensen
    5) England – Kyle Walker, Kalvin Philips, James Maddison
    6) France – Varane, (may miss opener), Lucas Hernandez, Jules Kounde
    7) Germany – Klostermann, Mueller
    8) Mexico – Raul Jiminez
    9) Netherlands – Memphis Depay (not played post Sept end), Dumfries

  6. No surprises here.

    Scaloni isn’t a crazy guy like say Koeman. If he sees Mccallister isn’t good enough he will replace him for sure.

    So let’s wait and see. Scaloni has time and again shown remarkable maturity. So people should have a little faith.

    • Not really. It took Scaloni a year to give starting spots to Dibu Martinez and Romero, despite stellar performances for their clubs. Dybala, Lisandro and Papu are still sidelined in favor of inferior players.

      • Agree wrt to Cuti and Dibu, but eventually he did and he has stuck with them.

        Dybala plays in the excat same position as Messi,
        Cuti and Otamendi is working ( so if a thing ain’t broke, don’t fix it).
        Papu is 34 and I think Scaloni doesn’t think it is wise to play 3 34 years in a single team.

        Having said that, no coach is perfect and all have their favorites and make mistakes.

    • Its world cup. Enzo need some match time before knockouts to build chemistry with starters. Playing mediocre players thn changing in mid tournament doesn’t work.

  7. Yeah a lot.of people here are asking for Enzo o be started out of the box but I think scaloni is preferring a player who has the experience of playing against top physical teams week after week and in high pressure env. and whether you like it or not MacAllister is that player in our squad currently.

    Enzo will make it in but Scaloni has gone with the most predictable.(and available) lineup in important matches. I see Enzo coming in as a sub with a comfortable goal cushion. MacAllister might just prove a lot of us (yes incl. Me) wrong..otherwise I trust scaloni to promptly replace MacAllister with Enzo/Papu especially against stronger / fastermidfield teams

  8. It’s not good to publish the starting lineup before some days of the match. Scaloni always done it nicely to hide his plan, hopefully he will continue that in WC too.
    I am defending MacAllister from starting…but I think Papu should be playing against Saudi. May be after Nico’s injury Papu has become more important. He can play in midfield and attack. I consider him as a forward. From the last training session, we know, If Messi not 100%, Papu will be playing as a forward.

  9. I would say it again Scaloni needs to be “prudent” with the way he uses our players especially in the group stage. If we are leading like 2 or more to something just use leo and dimaria for 60 mins. You know he should try not to put unnecessaey minutes on their legs.

  10. Its the 11 Scalono trusts lets all move forward along with the team. Anyone planning to watch all matches? I will skip some group matches for sure. Will try to catch up All knockouts but may have to skip some of those too due to work life.

    Apart fron Argentina any other teams supporting. Atleast insterested to follow?

    • BasuRabbit.
      I am of the opinion that he should have been chosen. If he goes to Spain than that is partly out management fault. But mainly his fault as he is still a young fool at the age he is at.

  11. Versus Saudi Arabia, I prefer
    #######Dibu Martinez
    ###Depaul ####A correa
    Dimaria ##Messi
    Replace locleso with A correa .

    • Angel correa can dribble ,can play one touch football ,long shot or even giving key pass .I think he can strike a balance between attack and defenses. Hopefully scaloni not just consider him as di Maria ‘s replacement.

    • Disagree, Angel Correa has been tried ont he left not once but twice and failed miserably both times. Remember the friendly match against Brazil in late 2018? Or how about the other friendly match against Germany in 2019? Angelito C. was played on the left in both matches and the left side clearly didn’t agree with him.

      Angel can come in on the right side and the bigger Angel (Dimaria) can go on the left in a 4-2-2-2 aka 4-4-2


      This is the position that Correa played at with Atletico for many years and while it did blunt his attacking abilities, Correa learned to press and track back and counter.
      Another option would be for Correa to come in as a sub for Dimaria who usually plays on the right side of a 4-4-2 in big games (copa final against Brazil) or to take up that spot if Dimaria is injured (god forbid) because Correa is the only player who I can see filling in for Dimaria at that particular role.

      The left side of the midfield I see being filled by Papu with Almada or maybe even Acuna coming in at 60-65 min for fresh legs, high pressing and crossing (Almada is actually really good at crossing from the left side even if he’s right footed).

      • I prefer dybala to sub dimaria. He is playing at right wing for roma. Messi never gets sub so not using a talent like him is insane. There is no point keeping dybala if you don’t use him. Give him last 20-30 minutes every match atleast. Dybala is motivated and right now he is better than all our forwards except messi

      • no ,2019 versus germany friendly match,we didnt have messi,di maria,romero,molina,dibu martinez,even acuna is a substitue. instead we used rojo, dybala,roberto pereira. the whole team had not been tested just shortly after world cup . I mean the diamond shape central midfield with two engines lo celso and messi hadnot taken shape . germany isnt a weak team at all, not to compare with UAE.

        what we can find out from that match is .A correa can dribble , provide key pass ,ONE touch passing and long shot also. his weakest link should be speed and defense .however nowadays i think he is mmuch more mature .can strike a balance between defense and attack.

        secondly, during that friendly ,Acorrea is a left winger .but now argentina doesnt need left winger ,in fact locelso isnt winger too. we need a payer who can take up the job of lo celso .that is to connect messi with acuna ,as an engine to offer key pass and dribble ,creat chance for teammates. no need to perform like a speedy left winger such as garnacho. instead that player need to mobilize the midfield especially on the left side.

        both ENZO,MCALLISTER cant do that

        • Germany were also missing 6 starters in what was essentially their B-team, so no excuses, both sides were playing at half strength.
          Angel Correa also suffered the same fate against Brazil before that. The left side isn’t his position, simple as that, so why force it? Especially since Argentina has Papu and possibly Almada and Enzo who can do Celso’s job.
          Correa is nothing like Celso, who plays as LCM in a 3 man midfield with De Paul and Paredes and who drifts to the left and plays wing when need be or when connecting with Acuna, A.Correa cannot do that but I think Enzo and Almada can, and Papu definitely can because we’ve seen it in the WCQ against Chile and Colombia

  12. we shouldn’t be over optimistic. I would say argentina is suffering from left side stroke . We are still testing which player replace lo celso .

    if you look at first half vs UAE ,specifically monitor mcallister ,you will find out he failed to be lo celso s replacement. he is a no.5 very good at one touch football or simple passing but during those 45mins ,he didn’t offer any key pass , di Maria ‘s third goal I would say any one include me can pass the ball to dimaria at that position just in front of me.

    he didn’t know how to cooperate with acuna and messi ,just headless wandering on left side. Since lo celso is the second engine of the team ,connect with acuna and messi ,giving key pass or dribble ,creat chance on the left . Out team is very strong on the right .on the left thanks God we still have acuna. but that’s not enough.

    Actually we can try A correa on the left side .he is the one should be OK to be a substitute for lo cel so.
    I am not convinced by Palacios or Enzo also.

    • You are not convinced with Enzo first let scaloni give enzo chance he is always giving him 20-30 minutes when everyone is tired, not trying much also he is playing him in deeper role. Scaloni wasting 2 top talents of europe

      • actually ,ENZO play very well as a no.5 in benfica or no.7 in riverplate .obviously he is a better choice compared with mcalllister. But i would choose A correa . ENZO is a sub for de paul

  13. France without Benzma, Cante, Pobga,, completely downgraded, definitely is a good news for argentina .the most dangerous players in France should be mbappe and dambele .But their midfield is just averaged when compared with Spain or Brazil,,Belgium

    HOLLAND doesn’t have stars at all , They possibly play 5 defenders with two strikers sometimes as two wingers. most of their attack come from two sides. De Jon is a decent player however this team lack of powerful central midfield .relatively weak midfield, Averaged strikers .IMO group A will have big surprise. especially Senegal .

    Mexico isn’t fit right now ,Poland traditionally isn’t too strong but their height is advantages together with lewendonswki.

    Though argentina still have some problems especially lo celso replacement. neither mcallister nor Enzo can replace him even Gomez . without Gonzalez ,we lost the speedy counterattack once di Maria is out. I would say argentina suffer from left side stroke . Now we must rely on acuna ,Gomez or maybe A correa to play in left side . otherwise the team is unbalanced.

  14. Perfect line with ENZO Fernandez in place of Alexis Mac Allister needed. Rotate the after 3 goals lead as much as possible. I think lack of dribbling is one of the major drawback of Julian Alvarez which will prevent him from playing left wing position. I think Angel Correa would be better than Julian Alvarez even right wing is the best position of Angel Correa..

      • There must be something that Scaloni sees in Mac Allister in the training that is ticking with his tactics and Scaloni is probably trying to establsh it further. I want Scaloni to be comfortable with his team in this WC. If he feels he has the right balance than it is what it is. My tactics would be putting Enzo over Mac Allister but i dont know more than Scaloni.

        • Its a personal preference just like xavi or lucho preferring busquets though rodri is far better right now. Nobody is perfect. He will try McAllister thn after that when it won’t work thn he will give chance to enzo. Scaloni prefers defensive minded players that’s why he is playing McAllister. McAllister not that fast also not like he is too much faster than enzo and not much high intensity presser as well.

          • GLC and RDP are the core so it should tell you Scaloni does not necessarily prefer defensive players. Agree with @shOvwar, Mac A must be doing something right in their eyes. I’m not the biggest Mac A fan but let’s see what happens.

    • The thing with MacAllister is that maybe our left side won’t be vulnerable defensively but Argentina is very dangerous when counter attacking. We will be weakened counter attack wise with MacAllister as MacAllister does not have Lo Celso pace at all.

      But as I said any DM who will replace Lo Celso such as Enzo, Palacios, or MacAllister, they have to combine with Acuna as the wing back. That way Acuna would have a free access to attack. Tagliafico can’t do that.

      Again I still believe in Scaloni words when he says that the one(s) replacing Lo Celso will depend on situations meaning that not a fixed one.

      • With due respect to Scaloni, I don’t think Saudi Arabia isn’t that situation to start with McAllister.

        How many games did he played with Argentina? And in how many games did he show his class?

        People who literally hated DeMaria in this forum had to swallow their opinion because DeMaria made them to swallow. On the other hand, the only defense I see for McAllister getting a privileged starter role is that he plays good in a strong league and Scaloni knows the best :(.

        I am not a prophet to make prophecy but I can predict that McAllister’s case will be like that of Armani, Pazella. He will eventually lose his starting spot, like the way the others lost, but only after a lot of agony from a large number of supporters.

        • Yes. Everyone can see that scaloni makes some mistake. Like nobody wanted j. Correa. He chose 4-5 players just for a single spot. For locelso spot he picked
          That’s too much. He can chose 3 and could have added 2 proper wingers in their place. Nico Gonzalez not played for 2-3 months still he picked him because he won Copa America doesn’t mean as a fan we should ignore all his mistakes

  15. This means Acuna will be given more liberty to attack through the left wing with Mc Allister tracking back and covering up defensively when Acuna is in an advanced attacking position. Not a bad idea.

    • Yes, this must be what Scaloni is thinking. How fast is Mac? Plus, Mac is a good long range shooter.

      Our offense will rely on Messi, Lautaro, Di Maria, and Acuna to create. Messi and RDP to link mid to attack. Long range shooters to unlock stubborn defense will be Messi, DM, Mac, RDP

      • Lol I’m suggesting papú Gómez and palacios have more experience in this lineup and Macallister hasn’t played up to par in the friendlies he partook in. I love Scaloni and I love the team. Macalister has not convinced me.

  16. This is our strongest line up and it will apply a lot of pressure and expectations on MacAllister.
    Dybala/Papu for Dimaria
    Alvarez for Lautaro
    Palacios for MacAllister
    Rodriquez for Paredes
    Tagliafico for Acuña

    Vamos !!! One game at a time !! 3-0/4-0 argentina vs Saudia Arabia

  17. Hi guys please stop been arrogant and over confident, Let’s us take game by game one step at the time Stop worrying about who we face last 16 it’s irrelevant atm Let’s win First two games in our group than we can talk about who will face last 16 besides if Argentina wants to be world champion they must beat whoever come thier way it’s simple as that. Personally I’m not fearing any opponent at the same time I don’t want Be over confident having said that I’m really optimistic our chances, stay humble, respectfully not fearing anyone and work hard that what make teams to be world champion, hopefully that team will be Argentina.

      • Why do you talk bullshit in my every comment. Who do you think is quality? Name that person. Scaloni believes J.Correra as quality player. Who the hell you are?

    • Alvarez can play as a left forward but he isn’t equipped to play a role of a conventional left winger and neither is A.Correa. Alvarez’s dribbles, crosses and passes have improved significantly but he can’t play as a winger. A.Correa can deliver good passes into the box and his decision making is better than Alvarez’s due to experience and can also score good quality goals but he also can’t play as a conventional winger. Additionally, he hasn’t played on the left side for a very long time. Dybala can switch between left and right forward position as he has done multiple times with Roma but he is predominantly a right sided forward. Dimaria is more effective at right and makes a lot of error if played on the left wing. But when it comes to wingers, only Dimaria, Acuna and Molina are proper wingers in our team.

    • Alvarez can’t dribble, can’t make creative passes, has no flair or trickery, can’t cross. What do you find exciting about him? Argentina have made lot of nonsensical selections in the past years, but Alvarez being preferred over a phenomenal player like Dybala as a winger/forward is right up there.

      • True, Alvarez’s inadequate dribbling skills is the reason he can’t fill in for a conventional winger role but his finishing is very good and currently he is our only proper no-9 other than Lautaro. Dybala can also play as a second striker role but not as a solo striker upfront. He will be wasted as a no-9.

  18. Our players always have a lot of potential health problems. The problem is unhealthy eating habits. They eat too much grilled meat leading to poisoning the body. If they do not improve, their body will be overloaded, the ability to eliminate toxins is poor. People assume that the cause is motion, but that’s not entirely true. No one sees their eating habits as the big problem that can stop them from reaching the championship.

        • I’m not here to argue with you but because you say stupid things that you don’t even know. Well, “grilled meat is the most healthy way you can eat meat.”. So do you know how many toxins are in grilled meat? You have been taught from fools because God did not create man to live by eating meat but to eat fruit.

  19. Predictable considering the opponent. If we are 2-up by 70m Scaloni should strongly consider resting older players to preserve them… golden boot means nothing without the WC.

    Vamos Argentina!

    • cant agree more. Messi, Dimaria , Lautaro definetely should not be over used. Messi anyway has a way of walking when not doing his magic & conserving. But still subbing will only help. It will also give Alavarez, Dybala , Papu etc enough minutes to settle in before knockout. I would want to see all 5 subs used in all the 3 group matches

Comments are closed.