Argentina starting XI vs. Belarus, 20th August 2008

To avoid any possible confusion should anyone be typing in terms to search engines looking for Argentine national team news today, I’ll start by pointing out that this has nothing at all to do with the Olympic Football Tournament. Argentina’s senior side (minus Riquelme and Mascherano of course) take on Belarus in Minsk at 8pm local time (14:00 in Argentina, 18:00 in the UK). Barring any injuries in training on Wednesday, Alfio Basile’s side will line up as follows…

Argentina starting XI vs. Belarus, manager: Alfio Basile

J. P. Carrizo

J. Zanetti —- N. Burdisso —- F. Coloccini —- G. Heinze

P. Ledesma —- E. Cambiasso —- J. Gutiérrez —- L. González

C. Tevez —- G. Denis

So Newcastle United’s new cult hero Jonás Gutiérrez gets another start in front of his new club-mate Fabricio ‘Status Quo’ Coloccini. Lucho González has earned a recall during pre-season (why was he dropped, Coco?), Carlos Tevez has returned to Europe after a death in the family meant he missed Manchester United’s Premier League opener on Sunday, and Juan Pablo Carrizo takes over from Roberto Abbondanzieri in goal. The formation is partly dictated, one suspects, by the number of players either in Beijing or injured (or, of course ‘injured’ because their clubs don’t want them playing a friendly), but although it appears here as a 4-4-2, I’d expect Lucho to drift inside at times with freedom to play across the pitch behind the forwards.

Injuries and the Olympics also mean just five substitutions for Basile. Those are: Abbondanzieri; Gonzalo Rodríguez; Mariano González; Lisandro López and Fernando Cavenaghi.

‘We’re taking this match very seriously,’ Abbondanzieri told reporters on Tuesday. ‘It’ll help us to work together and also to look forward to the matches against Paraguay and Peru for the World Cup Qualifiers.’ He also admitted, ‘I don’t know our opponents’ squad too well, but I’ve been told by the coaching body and my team-mates that they’re quick and strong, and with them playing at home, it’ll be a challenging match.’ Don’t you love pre-friendly press conferences? So many words and so little is actually said…

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2 thoughts on “Argentina starting XI vs. Belarus, 20th August 2008

  1. Booooring ! Coco looked disgusted and certainly not in a good light following the magnificent display of the U23’s plus 3 in China yesterday. I wish he would give L. Lopez more playing time.

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