Argentina Coach, Alejandro Sabella is planning two very different sides for the upcoming World Cup Qualifiers with Peru and Uruguay. With qualification already confirmed but several first team players injured, including Captain, Lionel Messi, there is a chance for a number of fringe players to stake a claim for a place in next summer’s squad.
Alejandro Sabella’s most recent squad already included a couple of interesting talking points, with the inclusion of Mauro Icardi and the calls up for Argentine based players, Leandro Somoza and Gabriel Mercado. However, as the squad prepare for the double header at the training centre in Ezeiza, it appears that many will play a part in, at least, one of the fixtures.
With Lionel Messi and Gonzalo Higuain both missing through injury, Sabella will be without his potent attacking threat but with the absence of Javier Macherano and Fernando Gago, the midfield will also need tinkering.
It seems, Sabella will go with his strongest possible lineup for Friday night’s game with Peru in El Monumental. Sergio Aguero will be partnered with Ezequiel Lavezzi and Rodrigo Palacios in attack. Palacios was the man who replaced Higuain against Paraguay when he last missed out thorough injury.
In midfield, Sabella will turn to his direct replacements for Macherano and Gago, namely, Valencia’s, Ever Banega and Lazio’s, Lucas Biglia. Supposedly, Angel Di Maria will keep his place in this midfield trio.
One area which is back to full fitness is the defence and Sabella will deploy his first choice pairing in the game against Peru. Ezequiel Garay and Federico Fernandez both return from suspension and full-back, Marcos Rojo has recovered from the injury that kept him out. All are expected to play on Friday night.
The interesting game could be on Tuesday when Argentina make the short trip to Montevideo to face Uruguay. Sabella is wary of playing too many first team players because he does not want anyone picking up any suspensions in the event they were sent off in the final Qualifying fixture.
The Clásico del Río de La Plata has the potential to be a heated affair, particularly, as Uruguay still have a lot to play for, in terms of World Cup Qualification. With this in mind, changes are expected and the likes of debutant, Mauro Icardi, Erik Lamela, Fabricio Coloccini and some of the Argentine based players are likely to get the nod.
For these players it could be one of the last chances to firmly place themselves on Sabella’s list for Brazil.