Argentina v Colombia
SAN JUAN – Lionel Messi and Argentina will be hoping to bounce back from a defeat in their last FIFA 2018 World Cup qualifier when they face Colombia in a CONMEBOL group stage game Tuesday night.
Messi will start in the attack alongside Ever Banega, Ángel Di María and Lucas Pratto and this lineup is powerful enough to score against any defense.
Javier Mascherano and Lucas Biglia will hold things down in the middle, while
Ramiro Funes Mori, Nicolás Otamendi, Emanuel Más and Gabriel Mercado start in the backline and Sergio Romero in the goal.
Sergio Aguero and Gonzalo Higuain are among the players on the bench.
Meanwhile, Radamel Falcao will lead the attack for Columbia with James Rodríguez and Juan Cuadrado also starting in advanced positions tonight.
Argentina was soundly thrashed 3-0 by Brazil last Thursday to leave La Albiceleste in a sticky position at sixth in South America qualification.
The Messi-led world powerhouses have failed to win in the last four World Cup qualifiers and have won just four of their 11 matches.
But although he’s far from being comfortable with the current situation, head coach Edgardo Bauza still thinks there is a lot of time for Argentina to book one of the four automatic qualifying spots for Russia.
“I never put qualifying for Russia 2018 in doubt,” Bauza told a news conference ahead of the game.
“The points we’ve lost hurt, but we still depend on ourselves. The group is strong and that gives us confidence.
“We’ve lost points that we didn’t think we would and it’s normal that criticism has come out.
“Hopefully in San Juan the people can spread the importance that this shirt has. We need that support.
“We haven’t had a regularity in our play. The players have to impose the ability they have. The players know their condition and they know what they can do. I trust that.
“I work thinking about going to win the next game, as always. We’re really looking forward to it. We’re thinking about playing a good game and winning.”
Watch Argentina v Colombia
beIN SPORTS CONNECT U.S.A., beIN Sports Arabia, SuperSport 3 Africa
Livescores will be available at www.livescores.com and on our live football page
Argentina Team: 1 S. Romero 14 J. Mascherano 2 G. Mercado 17 N. Otamendi 21 E. Más 13 Ramiro Funes Mori 6 L. Biglia 11 Á. di María 19 É. Banega 10 L. Messi 18 L. Pratto
Colombia Team: D. Ospina 4 S. Arias 22 J. Murillo 2 É. Álvarez 13 D. Sánchez 6 C. Sánchez 10 J. Rodríguez 16 D. Torres 5 W. Barrios 9 R. Falcao 11 J. Cuadrado