Lionel Messi, Julián Álvarez and Gio Lo Celso start for Argentina


Lionel Messi, Julián Álvarez and Gio Lo Celso all start for Argentina against Brazil in the World Cup qualifiers.

Messi and Julián Álvarez will both start up front as coach Lionel Scaloni will go with two up front. Gio Lo Celso also starts for the first time for the Argentina national team since before the World Cup.

Argentina national team coach Lionel Scaloni has made two changes from their last match. Marcos Acuña starts in place of Nicolás Tagliafico and Gio Lo Celso in place for Nicolás González. Here is the starting eleven:

Emiliano Martínez; Molina, Romero, Otamendi, Acuña; De Paul, Mac Allister, Enzo, Lo Celso; Messi, Julián Álvarez.


  1. This is THE BEST time to beat the record of no losses in their country in qualifiers. No other moment. After being champions too. After what they did to Boca and our people. Time to destroy them, fairly and with goals and dignity, not with repression and violence like them. I will yell the goals today like never before against Brazil.

  2. Disgusting. Second time in a month Brasil shows itself as absolutely incapable of managing a simple football game. Despite being a fanatic River fan I support Boca fans after the evil repression and treatment of them early this month — since they are my countrymen too and they do the same to any Argentinian fans. Now this. On top of the embarrasing disaster that happened last time in Brazil two years ago. Embarrasing. Two times in a row we can’t play a game in Brazil because of their incompetence.

  3. Brazilian Police are targeting Argentina fans like they did with Boca fans! I am glad Messi walked out of the pitch, if they keep abusing our fans there won’t be any match!! FU Brazil and your policia!!

  4. What kinda security is this? Poor management and poor hooligans. Home fans and away fans should be kept in different places!
    Players are out of the ground!

  5. Any suggestions on how to watch the game? It says telemundo will broadcast it but after purchasing hulu subscription that has telemundo, can’t find the game.

  6. Croatia almost nullified Brazlian attack by over crowding their midfield. This is what I like about Scaloni, he very pragmatic in approach. Enzo, MacAllister and Depaul are great for the national team but Lo-Ceslo was the second most creative player after Messi for us up until the world cup.

    Pezella is the only backup CB on the bench, LMQ injured or what?

    • Yes, let’s hope Lo Celso has found some rhythm. He looked pretty good in his stint against Uruguay. I think Julian needs to not over-exert himself since we will be relying on his movement up front and counterattacking ability.

      Will be interesting to see if MacAllister and Enzo play as a double pivot and which one of them will be given more freedom to go forward.

  7. Haven’t been here since Argentina have won the WC, wonder what transpired of the Scaloni haters here. Anyways its good to see Lo Celso back in the starting 11, his chemistry with Leo has always been one of the strong suits and was dearly missed in Qatar. Brazil is only playing with 2 midfield vs Argentinas 4, this might get ugly for Brazil

    • Brazil doesn’t have a great midfield at the moment so they will cede it to Argentina. They will counterattack. Typically this has been our great weakness against them, for example the Copa America final in 2007.

      Under Scaloni we have been excellent at shutting down counters. In the World Cup we never gave up those, actually it was when we defended deep that we suffered. But in the last match against Uruguay we reverted to pre-Sabella form, dominating the ball but creating little and suffering badly from simple lofted balls. Otamendi was mostly to blame but stopping counters is a team effort with everyone concentrating, always keeping enough runners to get back.

  8. Probably more like 4-4-1-1 with Messi in a roaming role
    Lo Celso and De Paul are going to help overload the midfield
    Acuña and Molina to provide width when necessary

    A healthy Lo Celso adds dynamism and energy in moving between the lines.

    • Good to see Scaloni making adjustments on a match by match basis. In the World Cup he did exceptionally well in that regard.

      Interesting to put 4 in midfield. First time since Croatia, right?
      What is the report on Brazil? I don’t think they are very strong in Brazil, are they?

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