Argentina has Messi 100% in ‘game of life’ against Mexico to avoid early drop in the Cup

After falling victim to one of the biggest zebras in world Cupsafter taking a turn from Saudi Arabia in the debut, the Argentina returns to the field this Saturday, at 4 pm, to stay alive in the fight for the knockout stage. Their opponents in the second round of Group C are Mexico, who are also looking for their first win in Qatar. The match will be held at the Lusail Stadium, in Al Daayen, which has a capacity for 89,000 fans. Messi is confirmed and is the hope to avoid an early and vexatious farewell.

In the first round, against Saudi Arabia, Argentina had a good first half, scoring a goal and having another three disallowed for offside. In the second half, however, it took the turn and lost by 2 to 1. Thus, it is the only team without a point in the group, since Mexico adds a point after a goalless draw with Poland, which makes this Saturday’s match the “game of life”.

After the surprising result, coach Lionel Scaloni must promote changes. After all, a new defeat mathematically eliminates Argentina. The big concern after the fateful game was superstar Lionel Messi, with calf pain. After special treatment, however, he trained normally and is confirmed.

Messi in Argentina's match against Saudi Arabia at the World Cup in Qatar
Messi in Argentina’s match against Saudi Arabia at the World Cup in Qatar
Photograph: AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi

On defense, there will be three changes. Right-back Nahuel Molina must be replaced by Montiel, defender Cristian Romero will give way to Lisandro Martínez and left-back Tagliafico leaves for Acuña to enter. In addition, midfielder Papu Gómez may lose a spot to Enzo Fernández.

Despite acknowledging the complicated situation in which Argentina was placed in the face of the unexpected initial result, Scaloni guaranteed that the squad is prepared to fight until the end. “This group got a pineapple, but let’s get up. There’s a whole country waiting for us to do well. We don’t negotiate our way of playing. This team will leave everything on the field until the last minute, ”he assured.

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With a defensively secure team and no embezzlement, coach Tata Martino should not change the lineup of Mexico’s debut. Despite this, he indicated that he could set up a special marking to make Messi difficult.

Tata also highlighted the importance of the confrontation and did not remove Argentina from the title favorite label. “We’re talking about one of the contenders for the World Cup title and that hasn’t changed with the result against Saudi Arabia, far from it. The panorama is clear: it will be a key game. We prepare ourselves with the intention of going as far as possible in this Cup and we have to think about a favorable result”, he emphasized.



ARGENTINA – Emiliano Martínez; Gonzalo Montiel, Lisandro Martínez, Nicolás Otamendi and Marcos Acuña; Rodrigo DePaul; Leandro Paredes and Enzo Fernández; Lionel Messi, Lautaro Martinez and Angel Di Maria. Coach: Lionel Scaloni.

MEXICO – Guillermo Ochoa; Jorge Sánchez, César Montes, Hector Moreno and Jesús Gallardo; Édson Álvares, Hector Herrera and Luis Chavez; Hirving Lozano, Henry Martín and Alexis Vega. Technician: Tata Martino.

REFEREE – Daniele Orsato (Italy).

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TIME – 16h.

VENUE – Lusail Stadium, in Al Daayen.

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