(Sporting Alert) — Lionel Messi and Argentina will be looking to go back to the top of the South American World Cup qualifying group with a win over Venezuela on Friday night.
Argentina will be without Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero and Real Madrid winger Angel Di Maria, who are both injured, but have field a strong team that should take all three points.
The attacking strike force, which is led by Barcelona forward and captain Messi, also includes Gonzalo Higuaín and Ezequiel Lavezzi.
Fernando Gago, Walter Montillo and Javier Mascherano will play in midfield, with Ezequiel Garay and Pablo Zabaleta leading the backline.
Forward Rondon will have to be marked very closely by the Argentina defenders, as the Venezuela frontman is capable of putting teams on the back foot if he’s given too much time and space.
He’s currently the leading scorer for Venezuela in the qualifiers with three.
Argentina v Venezuela
Argentina: Romero, Zabaleta, Federico Fernandez, Garay, Rojo, Gago, Mascherano, Montillo, Lavezzi, Messi, Higuain.
Subs: Orion, Campagnaro, Sosa, Maximiliano Rodriguez, Basanta, Clemente Rodriguez, Palacio, Ever, Guinazu, Ponzio, Di Santo, Andujar.
Venezuela: Daniel Hernandez, Alexander Gonzalez, Vizcarrondo, Tunez, Cichero, Lucena, Rincon, Frank Feltscher, Arango, Seijas, Rondon.
Subs: Morales, Rolf Feltscher, Velazquez, Evelio Hernandez, Miku, Perozo, Pena, Cesar Gonzalez, Otero, Francisco Flores, Martinez, Romo.
Referee: Vitor Hugo Carrillo (Peru)