Argentina had 13 players one yellow card away from suspension ahead of Thursday’s World Cup qualifier against Chile so it is little surprise that Edgardo Bauza has a handful of players now unavailable for Tuesday’s trip to La Paz.
Javier Mascherano, Lucas Biglia, Gonzalo Higuaín and Nicolás Otamendi all face one-match suspensions while injuries to Gabriel Mercado and Emmanuel Mas further diminish the squad.
Everton defender Ramiro Funes Mori returns from his suspension and will bolster the backline but Bauza has responded by calling up Argentine-based players Lucas Alario, Matías Caruzzo and Iván Marcone.
Alario has been present in Bauza’s recent squads and Patón described the River Plate striker as the future of Argentina so the 24-year-old’s inclusion comes as little surprise in the wake of Higuaín’s suspension.
Matías Caruzzo had been mentioned previously as a potential back-up option by Bauza and given that at short notice Argentina were not likely to call players from Europe, the San Lorenzo defender is a logical choice. The 32-year-old has spent his entire career in Argentina, apart from a brief spell with Universidad de Chile, and while he is unlikely to feature in La Paz, gives the squad a little extra depth.
Iván Marcone is the third addition and despite being somewhat unknown outside Argentina, is an accomplished number five, who has proven himself as one of the top central midfielders in the Primera División.
After racking up more than 200 appearances for Arsenal and lifting the league title in 2012, Marcone has since repeated the trick with Lanús, where he remains an instrumental part of Jorge Almirón’s side.
All three with travel with the squad to La Paz ahead of Tuesday’s crunch game but are unlikely to be named in Bauza’s starting eleven.
El Patón previously stated that he will go with a 5-4-1 in Bolivia and aim to keep things tight for as long as possible.
A possible formation with that in mind would be: Romero; Buffarini, Musacchio, Roncaglia, Funes Mori, Rojo; Messi, Pizarro, Banega, Di María; Pratto