Argentina’s starting XI vs Ecuador

On Wednesday evening Argentina will attempt to get over their recent altitude sickness with a World Cup 2010 qualifier away to Ecuador. Victory would be a massive step towards ensuring that Gabriel Heinze will be blighting the first African World Cup next year (injuries permitting of course), but after the debacle against Bolivia on the 1st April no-one’s holding their breath. Lionel Messi, in spite of only being one booking away from a suspension with Brazil looming in the next match, will start. Who will the other ten be? All is revealed here.

Messi’s only picked up one booking (and that for protesting a refereeing decision) in the qualifiers to date, but another would be enough to see him suspended when Brazil visit El Monumental in three months’ time. All the same, victory now is what’s important, and to that end Diego Maradona has confirmed that La Pulga will start alongisde Carlos Tevez in a 4-4-2 which sees Diego Milito remain on the bench in spite of Sergio Agüero’s injury (and, indeed, in spite of the fact that Diego Milito is more suited a 4-4-2…).

Captain Javier Mascherano, who is either close to packing his bags for Barcelona or definitely staying with Liverpool for life, depending whether you read the latin or English press, is suspended for this one, so Sebastián Battaglia will be doing the dirty business in midfield alongside Fernando Gago, who’ll be standing around trying to make scary faces. Daniel ‘Cata‘ Díaz is rewarded for his winning goal on Saturday against Colombia with a nice sit on the bench.

Argentina starting XI away to Ecuador, World Cup 2010 qualifier, Weds 10th June 2009 (managed by Diego Maradona):

M. Andújar

J. Zanetti — M. Demichelis — N. Otamendi — G. Heinze

M. Rodríguez — S. Battaglia — F. Gago — J. Gutiérrez*

L. Messi —- C. Tevez

* Jonás Gutiérrez’s place is the only one still in doubt – Juan Sebastián Verón might play on the left of midfield instead, if Maradona feels like giving him another chance.

The match kicks off at 18:00 Argentine time (22:00 British Summer Time), and we’ll have a match report and highlights here on HEGS shortly after it ends.

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4 thoughts on “Argentina’s starting XI vs Ecuador

  1. After reading umpteen opinions and comments on Seba’s blog, I wish Diego would reconsider and not start Messi. Too much of a gamble I think. I wish he would go with a straight “B” team, including Andujar, with Rolfi Montenegro in the role of playmaker and either Milito/Bergessio/Lopez up front. Thanks to MAC on Seba’s blog for a thoughtful contribution about this idea.

  2. That makes sense, Johnny, though I prefer this team to Saturday’s.
    I prefer 4-4-2 (ish) you know where you are with it, really, very English thing to say, I know!), and Rolfi behind the target man would cause problems. Maybe Bergessio deserves his chance, Milito is a great club player but he’s never seemed to step up as an international.
    Glad to see Maxi back too, one of Pekerman’s Glory Boys, and a good reward for Otamendi, who has been one of the main reasons for Velez’s success.
    It would put everyone out of their misery to replace Heinze with Papa, I suppose.
    The continued lurking of Veron around the team is always depressing though, he will surely disappoint at the finals yet again. And then start talking about ‘revenge’ in four years time…
    Good luck with it anyway. Won’t see it live but will download off Rojadirecta tomorrow. Far more interesting than the farce at Wembley I’ve just switched off.

  3. For me, a fine performance in the first period and unlucky not to be up by 1 goal. And, maybe two, if Messi could have steered that cross in. But, the “prevent defense” cost us in the second period. Either that, or some guys just got gassed and couldn’t move the ball up the field. God knows what the time of possession looked like in the second period. Horrendous.

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