In a few short hours, Argentina take on Germany in one the highest-profile international friendlies of the week, in Munich. With Diego Maradona claiming he already knows the vast majority of the squad he’s taking to South Africa, the match is likely to give us some clue as to his thinking, if indeed that isn’t stretching the term ‘thinking’ to the very limit of its definition. The starting XI is not, at the time of typing this, known. From the training sessions and whispers coming out of the camp, though, it seems likely to be as outlined here, or very close to it.
Likely Argentina starting XI vs Germany, Weds 3rd March 2010, Munich (manager: Diego Maradona)
N. Otamendi —- M. Demichelis —- W. Samuel —- G. Heinze
J. Gutiérrez —- J. Mascherano (c) —- J.S. Verón —- A. Di María
L. Messi —- G. Higuaín
With the exception of Walter Samuel being introduced in place of Rolando Schiavi, that’s the same lineup which started the final World Cup qualifier away to Uruguay. That match, I thought at the time (and I didn’t seem to be the only one) bore the hallmark of Carlos Bilardo’s tactics as much as Maradona’s. As such it’ll be interesting to see – if indeed we can see, in a non competitive match – what approach Argentina take to the game. Nico Burdisso or Clemente Rodríguez could just as likely feature at right back, but otherwise the Argentine press expect the above to be, more or less, the team that starts tonight.
For my part, I’d sooner see Pablo Aimar in central midfield than Verón, who much as I still enjoy watching him slows down the side’s play rather too much these days. Giving Jesús Dátolo a start ahead of second division player Jonás might be worth a go too, and this being a friendly, why not give Javier Pastore the chance to show what he might be capable of on his first call up since his move to Europe? But then, Diego Maradona’s the manager, so he knows more than me.
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