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There’s nothing Argentina would like better than to win the World Cup on South American soil in continental rivals Brazil’s backyard.
Alejandro Sabella’s side were top dogs in CONMEBOL qualifying and ten of the 35 goals they scored came through Lionel Messi. Injuries are disrupting the Barcelona superstar this season and his absence was only too apparent as Argentina played out a bore draw friendly with Ecuador last week.
It would be foolish to think of Argentina as a one-man show, however. Gonzalo Higuain was right on Messi’s heels netting nine goals for his country in qualifying. Manchester City frontman Sergio Aguero managed a more modest five.
And, lest we forget, there is the supporting cast led by Angel Di Maria and Maxi Rodriguez – once of Liverpool. Spurs winger Erik Lamela may also be in with an outside shout of regular action, provided he can replicate the form of his spell in Serie A with Roma.
Sabella has used the first two of his World Cup warm-up friendlies to explore options. Besides Ecuador the other opposition was provided by fellow finalists for next summer Bosnia. In Messi’s absence, Rodrigo Palacio (Inter Milan) and Ezequiel Lavezzi (PSG) received chances to stake a claim in attack alongside Higuain and Aguero.
Click next below for more discussion of Argentina’s recent performances.
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