In the light of world pandemic and the stripping of Copa America hosting right, Argentina attempts to stay put this week while they are scheduled to take on two tough rivals in World Cup 2022 qualifiers. This midweek, Lionel Scaloni’s side will be hosting Chile. They are one of the three unbeaten teams and sitting right under Brasil with two points clear. Chile, on the other hand, is still stuck on the mid table with four points.
Both teams’ updated news
Albiceleste under Scaloni has named Sergio Aguero and Angel Di Maria again in the current squad after excluding them in the previous fixtures last year. However, they also called up a number of uncapped ones such as Norwich City winger Emiliano Buendia, Udinese centre back Nahuel Molina, duo Atalanta men, Cristian Romero and Jose Palomino plus River Plate young forward Julio Alvarez. The only surprise here is the fact that Juventus man, Paulo Dybala, does not make the cut.
The newly appointed Chilean manager, Martin Lasarte, has to leave out Arturo Vidal in the current squad due to testing positive COVID-19 and called back the veteran Luis Jimenez instead. Some other inexperienced ones are also included such as Huachipato goalie Gabriel Castellon, Universidad de Catolica midfielder, Juan Leiva and Blackburn Rovers man Ben Brereton.
Lionel Scaloni is likely to stick to his 4-3-1-2 formation, which has worked well so far. Messi will still be the anchorman to support two frontmen, Lautaro Martinez and Angel Correa who has been in-form and helped Atletico win La Liga this season. In the midfield, Leandro Paredes is accompanied by Rodrigo de Paul and Giovani Lo Celso or the versatile Nicolas Gonzalez to assist the transition from defence to attack.
Meanwhile, the Uruguayan Martin Lasarte could be in favour of 4-3-3. Alexis Sanchez will still be one of the frontman accompanying Eduardo Vargas and Jean Meneses or Carlos Palacios. In the midfield, Fiorentina man Erick Pulgar will be supported by Charles Araguiz and Pablo Galdames or Claudio Baeza to filter their opposition’s attack on the second line.
Players to watch
Apart from Messi, Inter forward Lautaro Martinez is the notable figure in their attack. He has bagged eleven goals in twenty one caps. Some other key names in the possible starting XI are VFB Stuttgart man Nicolas Gonzalez, Udinese ace Rodrigo de Paul and Sergio Aguero who could be brought on at the second half.
Chile still counts on Martinez’s team mate, Alexis Sanchez who has been the national top scorer in history with 45 goals. His duet upfront, Eduardo Vargas is one of the prolific striker for international fixtures. He has netted 38 goals in 93 appearances.
Argentina vs Chile Possible result
Both sides are set to meet twice this month, should Copa America go based on the initial schedule. Leo Messi and Co should take this chance to secure another victory after their last encounter in Copa America third place play off, especially considering Chile’s possible undergoing adaptation under their new manager.