Argentina rumored XI vs. Saudi Arabia, Alejandro Papu Gómez or Alexis Mac Allister


Argentina national team coach Lionel Scaloni looks to have his starting eleven set with one doubt in the team.

Lionel Scaloni had stated in a press conference on Monday that he has already told the team about the starting eleven. According to TyC Sports, the player who will replace Gio Lo Celso is either Alejandro Papu Gómez or Alexis Mac Allister.

Scaloni will field the following eleven:

Emiliano Martínez; Nahuel Molina, Cristian Romero, Nicolás Otamendi, Marcos Acuña; Rodrigo De Paul, Leandro Paredes, Alejandro Papu Gómez or Alexis Mac Allister; Lionel Messi, Lautaro Martínez and Ángel Di María.


  1. It seems our dreams are shattered once again. Playing Di Maria and not playing a pressing footballer like Alvarez from the beginning proved costly. Saudi Arabia’s tactics worked. But if a team like Argentina cannot beat such an obsolete and bad tactics of trapping opponents in offside net, then they don’t deserve to win. Period. This tactics has been done to death and all coaches have a strategy to beat it. But Scaloni seemed not to have any clue. What lacked was a forward with the pace of MBappe, who can start couple of meters behind the offside line and beat the defenders in pace. Alvarez is closest to MBappe or Haalande in terms of speed and you don’t bring him immediately after half time. Saudi coach beat Scaloni by tactics. So Messi now gets ready to retire without the cup. And we would again gather in this forum from the next qualification round with a whole bunch of new players and with the same old dream which remains unfulfilled since 86.

  2. As always, Till now Scaloni has given no clue on his first x1..that’s great..

    BTW, I could not go with my friends..for this match related issues…and I sent my brother with them…

  3. I think with Papu & Tagliafico starting would have been the ideal 11 to start rather than starting Acuna who was not 100%, Papus form would be key for us in this WC. He or Palacios should step up for sure in absence of Lo Celso. Anyway in Scaloni we trust. All the best guys. Lets go….

  4. I hope we won with a big margin. Messi scores a hattrick or brace. And Saudi Arabia tests our defense specially our fullbacks. Im hearing Saudi Arabia is a fast counter attacking team we need to be cautious

  5. They are saying Scaloni is saving Almada for the knockout stages, specifically QF and semi final against Brazil. He will start in both games.

  6. Less than 3 Hours to go Now.
    Took Full day Off today :).

    Super Nervous 😓. But Excited like hell to watch our fighters.
    Vamos Argentina.

  7. Well here we are. I was a bit absent for two days so I tried and failed miserably to read all the comments I missed, don’t really know all that’s been going on here but you guys have been firing. Gonna catch a two hour nap and then wake up. A bit late but I’ve been meaning to share this video which I find very interesting and informative about our tactics

    I can’t believe we’re here right now, it’s been a long ride on this mundo albiceleste boat, I hope we can forget the negativity and our desk coaching as we’ve had years to discuss it, NOW WE’RE ALL TOGETHER TODOS JUNTOS VAMOS ARGENTINA CARAJO

  8. I just want us to play compact, don’t want any fancy football. Respect your opponent and build on their weakness. Nobody should find us out until QF. I think we can max play 2 aggressive matches in SF and Final. We have impact players who should be given chances to establish themselves during group matches. Keep it simple and let the results talk.

    • Yes. That should be the attitude. No way we should get out before Semis. Hope we will easiest path till Quarters.

      Aggressive Push in 2 remaining matches. Dream fulfilment.
      Hope wishes were horses, atleast this time.

  9. I expect a 3-0 win with Mac Allister to start. Papu should never start when Di Maria is starting. Dominating the pitch with a 34-35-34 years old midfield is too much to ask for.

  10. Argentina last 10 games played against five strong side and five weak sides. Looking at strong sides, Brazil, Italy, Colombia, Equador,Chile. We have scored 7 goals against them and conceded 2 in the process. Against the weaker teams we have scored 19 golas and conceded none. For the last 10 games we have scored 26 goals in total and conceded 2 goals which is 2.6 goal per game which is good. Our conceding ratio is 0.2 goals per game which is pretty impressive.In conlusion i would like to say our defence is rock solid and forward line is pretty good. Its shows our attack is ready to break any tight defence and we have more than enough firepower for that.One of the best and deadliest attack in the tournament filled with skills,talents,driblling,pace,tick taka etc

  11. We should lift a page from what Ecuador did against Qatar. Storm them from the beginning and do not give them any chance to organize their defence. Saudi Arabia would play a bit more aggressively than Qatar. Still they might want to play a counter attack based football. Their average height is more than our players. We do not have any tall forward to head past their defence and also we should not allow them to send floaters into our box. Other than Cuti our defence also lacks height. Was it a possibility to start with Di Maria in mid-field and keep both Alvarez and Martinez in front and Messi feeding them the way he does in PSG? We need a dribbler and clever passer in the mid-field to replace Lo Celso.

    • Height is overrated.
      6’0″ Nicolas “ogre air jordan” Otamendi is an aerial monster. 5’8″ Tagliafico also very good in the air. Toro also very good at getting into the right spot. Licha if he gets subbed in has better aerial wins than most top Prem defenders.

      For offensive battles, timing and positioning matters just as much if not more than height. We have to worry most about are defending set pieces and our backline can handle it.

      One of my favorite offensive examples is Pastore > Zabaleta > Kun against Uruguay. 5’9″ Kun beat 6’1″ Gimenez. the placement is just JAW dropping.

      Messi > Kun against France effin had me jumping around like a wild animal. Kun beat 2 french defenders including 6’3″ Varane

  12. Argentina latest update:

    Emi Martinez; Molina, Cuti, Otamendi, TAGLiAFICO; Paredes, De Paul, PAPU; Di Maria, Messi, Lautaro

    100% confirmed by Gaston Edul. Read his twitter guys.

    Acuna and MacAllister won’t start.

    As I said Papu will match with Tagli. If Acuna then any of the MacAllister/Enzo/Palacios. That way Papu will focus on attack more, Tagli will cover him defensively.

    • It will be the second time like this. Scaloni playing mind games. Against Honduras it was the same. MacAllister was rumored to start but last minute, It was Papu out of nowhere starting. Papu did well there as he assisted Messi’s goal.

  13. There are many negative people in this forum.For them I think Thiago Almada should start against KSA.It will be fun if Mac Alistair starts.Because there are people who shout for Enzo Fernandez all day long.There are five things about Argentina that are so admirable.
    1.Never Die Attitude
    2.Very solid defensively
    3.This team no longer depends on Messi
    4.very good against bus parking team.
    5.Number five and the most dangerous is Argentina’s pressing

  14. Papu will be a good option, we need good attackers as Arab Saudi will put a parking bus. Hopefully, Scaloni will be giving time and a chance to Enzo as well.

  15. Few things I noticed after watching the games thus far:
    The REFs are not messing around with the YELLOW trigger always ready……its a great thing for Messi and company to discourage unnecessary fouls especially the dirty ones but Players like Acuna, De Paul, Otamendi, Romero and especially Martinez need to keep their emotions in check.
    Time of the essence, the REFs are milking every second on the clock.
    On the other hand, Sky-Blue and White will be the majority in the stands and I hope the team uses that to their advantage.

    Let’s not beat around the bush, There are more people that want Messi to win the WC than not but staying low key, level-headed and humble whether on the pitch or media conference is key


    Cuti will be a rock!
    Emi will be a Giant!
    DePaul will be an engine!
    DiMaria will celebrate with the heart gesture, symbolic love of all Argentine fans WORLDWIDE!
    Dybala will have his moment with his signature celebration!
    Enzo will get his chance and he will shine!
    Paredes will finally have one of his rocket shots on target!
    Alvarez will become the 9th Wonder of the World!
    Lautaro will set a record!
    Even MacAllister will be KEY and he will unlock defenses!
    Every sub will play like a starter!
    Messi will hold the trophy when it’s all set and done!
    In every major city in Argentina, the confetti will rain sky blue and white!
    Babies will be born 9 months from now!
    Broken marriages restored! “What were we arguing about again?”
    The world will sing a new song for Argentina!
    CR7 will sing don’t cry for me Argentina!

    Here in Mundo the troll, the agitator, the opinionated, the hater, and the fanatic will be in harmony and we’ll realize that we all loved our national team all along!

  17. If papu plays taglafico will play to balance the attack and defense.. Only concern is early start…. How they will manage heat. Match will start at 1.00 pm local time…

  18. tomorrow morning beginning one new journey. i wish and i hope to be a long one. whatever happens it will be historical for many different reasons. i don t care who will play i don t care who will score i don t care to make critics. now it is time for singing for dancing for chanting and celebrate about my eternal love. anything that i will do from tomorrow in any place i will be i will remember it because all those memories will follow me in the rest of my life. As happening from 1990 that as small child i remember to live first time what feels like to live the world cup days as fan of the national team. God bless me now in 2022 to live one more journey. well from tomorrow morning i will start to enjoy it as can t be more because whatever the result in end will be it doesn t erase the fact that it will be one more chapter of history. i just hope this time the ending will be happy. Anyhow i will not stop singing and chanting.the time is for those things. i wish to everybody enjoy the game tomorrow i wish you all be good and i wish to you all to create new good memories together with our beloved team. tomorrow night (for me) i will enter to mundo to read the posts because i will spend my day in Argentine style 🙂 🙂 🙂 singing eating drinking chanting 🙂 till then my friends enjoy the game enjoy the team enjoy yourselfs.


  19. I’ve been a fan of Arg from 7y old (saw them on my first Solitaire B/W TV)

    Many decades later and half a world away from home, and nothing reminds me of home like watching Argentina play (and this time they’re playing in the same colors I started watching them as a child) and I’m not even from Argentina. 😀

    Vamos Albiceleste!

    • Same here, man. Argentina matches were the ones that would bring whole family together. Some would take early leave from office, I wouldn’t care for a grades as I hurriedly finish homework, friends would lay aside their tasks to join us. It was like a celebration. Now ten thousands miles away from family and friends, another Argentina match takes me back to my home and sweet old days.

  20. I think it’s going to McAlister and tagla on that left side. It makes sense to not take a chance on acuna and Gomez.
    All the rest of our main stays should start regardless of the strength of opponent. It takes time, sometimes multiple games to build that consistent tango rhythm.
    We are wearing home jersey tomorrow correct ? If so, I don’t want any of you ignorant bastards wearing your away jersey or river/Boca/lanus jersey tomorrow

  21. If we win tomorrow, we will have 37 unbeaten games in a row. Tied with world record. Isn’t it?

    This time I hope we really win the world cup! Honestly, after the copa and finalissima, my hopes are high.
    And 3 teams we must definitely not loose to : Brazil, Germany and Portugal. Also England.

  22. Lack of good wingers made Holland struggled against relatively not so tough opponents. I think teams like England and Brazil or may be France can unleash more against defensive smaller teams. We have to score from the first half itself to get the momentum.

  23. The only thing that matters right now is three points. Nothing else, Not Enzo or Papu or MacAllister, Three points. Put this team down early and end it by half time.

  24. I hope we don’t see some useless and lazy backpasses from McAlister. He doesn’t inspire any confidence, I pray he proves me wrong in this tournament for the sake of the team.

    • It’s crazy but as long as its accurate, I’m fine with it.

      I feel like Otamendi, Paredes, and De Paul alone are capable of adding 45 minutes of OT with all the complaining.

  25. Y risk di Maria? We need that man to run deep. For heaven sake it’s Saudi arabia. I don’t like the idea of risking your best players against a weak team

  26. A bit of a dilemma, should we go with Papu in this and subsequent group stage games or should we prioritize a more balanced approach with Mac Allister? Tweak the formation and change a player according to an opponent or prioritize team chemistry and stick with the same squad as much as possible? Pros and cons to any approach. With Lo Celso it would have been easier because he is well rounded enough to start any game. Only a fully fit and in form Palacios in my opinion is more or less similar replacement but he apparently is not at the moment and Scaloni prefers Mac Allister and Papu as a Lo Celso replacement.

    I think playing Papu vs Saudi Arabia gives you more attacking threat as Papu is a player that can give you goals, he can connect with Messi well too. Certainly to me he looks more dynamic and threating in the final third than Mac Allister has been in the NT colours so far.

    • Id star McAllister who is the younger one.. then 70s bring papu if we need goals or enzo if we need to hold it. All our variables should get minutes if we are comfortably ahead. We will need them all.

      • That’s a possibility too. Mac Allister just seems to play it safe most of the time, he seems timid in the NT colours, I have not seen him make a decisive play, although he can be useful in the build up.

        If he does start tomorrow he should be more dynamic and decisive for us. Really make his presence felt.

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