Argentina national team coach Lionel Scaloni spoke about the possible changes for the team and the altitude of Bolivia.
Lionel Scaloni held a press conference on Sunday where he commented on Lionel Messi traveling with the team and the team he has in mind. Here is what he had to say:
“I more or less have the team in mind, it will be similar to the one which played the other day (vs. Bolivia), as long as there are no complications. We are happy with the performance and we all know what the altitude is like. Sometimes the substitutes can be more important and even the substitutes can be more important than the starters. We will wait until tomorrow, there may be some other modification but the base will be the same as always.
Scaloni was also asked about Lisandro Martínez and Cristian Romero:
“Both are fit to play the match, we’ll see if they start or not. Or even not play. They only trained for the typical precautions.”
The strategy for the match:
“We did it this way last year and it’s not that we are repeating it because we won. There is no science to this, everyone knows it, no one has the magic wand. We do it this way, if we suffer, it is in a different way, knowing what we are going to find and not necessarily because of the result of the last time. We leave today and we will be there.”
About replacing Lionel Messi:
“I don’t talk to him about these things, we go as we go along and it happens. The other day he was tired, he asked for a change and well… If he is well, he will always play and if he has a problem, we will see. It is logical to watch the matches.”
In regards to the altitude:
“A lot of things have been tried and we already know the difficulty encountered by the teams that go there. I don’t want to talk too much about this issue because it is something that is not going to change. It is clear that it has an added difficulty but under no circumstances are we going to complain. Everyone is going to play there. Nothing can be done. You work on other aspects but if you’re not on the pitch, you don’t realize it. I played there, I talked about a lot of things but when it was my turn to play, the feeling was different.
On being close with the Argentina national team:
“We have matches where there is not much to test. You have to win and above all, try to win… The kids that come deserve it, it is good to see them once a month because time goes by and you forget about a lot of things. It is interesting to compete and that we can be here every month.
About the changes:
“If nothing happens, the idea is to repeat or make some changes, such as bringing in these guys (Ángel Di María and Julián Álvarez). They have a chance to play but we won’t make a decision until the morning of the match. The idea is there and everyone is fine.”
The plan for the match:
“We have to see how the match develops. The good thing about this team is that it adapts to what it encounters. We have suffered in matches and the team knows how to suffer. And others we were protagonists with the ball which is what we will try to do. It’s obvious that the energy is different. That’s where we have to be prepared for whatever comes. If we have to change, you have seen that we change.”
“Bolivia are a good team, the coach is doing interesting things. We took things away from their match vs. Brazil, even though we know it is not the same play they have at home. We will be alert.”