As expected Argentina make a number of changes to the side that drew with Germany last Wednesday and while goal scorers in Dortmund, Lucas Ocampos and Lucas Alario are rewarded with starts, it is the inclusion of Nicolás González in Lionel Scaloni’s eleven that has raised most eyebrows.
The Albiceleste continue their rebuild in preparation for an important 2020 and Scaloni continues to take a closer look at a number of players when Argentina play Ecuador in Alicante on Sunday.
The increasingly important Leandro Parades and Rodrigo de Paul keep their places in midfield, as does Lautaro Martínez up front, Juan Foyth at right-back and goalkeeper Agustín Marchesín. But it is an otherwise changed starting eleven.
“The idea is to play with attack-minded players, players who arrive in the penalty area,” Scaloni explained in his press conference after confirming the starting eleven.
That focus on attack sees Lautaro Martínez partnered with Lucas Alario following the Bayer Leverkusen striker’s impressive cameo from the bench on Wednesday. Martínez had been an isolated figure during a dreadful opening 45 minutes that saw Germany take a two-goal lead but looked rejuvenated when joined up front with Alario and it was the substitute who scored the first and created the second to earn a draw.
Alario faces stiff competition ahead of 2020 for those positions and Scaloni referenced the fact that captain Lionel Messi and striker Sergio Agüero will return soon.
“Messi wasn’t selected due to his suspension and Agüero was carrying a knock and not training one hundred percent with his club, so decided to stay. But for sure both will be included in the next international break,” Scaloni confirmed.