Argentina take on Venezuela in Madrid on Friday evening, with Lionel Messi returning to the national side for the first time since they were eliminated at the hands of France in last year’s World Cup. The starting XI will feature no fewer than three Martínezes: Defensa y Justicia defender Lisandro, Atlanta United playmaker Gonzalo (replacing the injured Ángel Di María in the starting lineup) and Internazionale striker Lautaro and a 5-3-2/3-5-2 with River Plate’s in-form youngster Gonzalo Montiel at right wing back and Nicolás Tagliafico, of Ajax, at left back. Tottenham Hotspur’s Juan Foyth will also feature.
For Venezuela, Gonzalo Martínez’s Atlanta United teammate Josef Martínez will start alongside Newcastle United’s Salomón Rondón up front, with Juanpi Añor pulling the strings just behind them. The defence isn’t the strongest, although Wuilker Faríñez is a decent goalkeeper.
Argentina (managed by Lionel Scaloni)
G. Mercado —- J. Foyth —- Lisandro Martínez
G. Montiel ————————————————————— N. Tagliafico
G. Lo Celso —- L. Paredes —- G. Martínez
L. Messi —- Lautaro Martínez
Venezuela (managed by Rafael Dudamel)
R. Rosales — M. Villanueva — N. Ferraresi — A. González
Y. Herrera —- T. Rincón
J. Añor —————————– Y. Soteldo
J. Martínez —- S. Rondón