(Sporting Alert) — Lionel Messi will look to continue his impressive goalscoring touch for both club and country when he leads Argentina out in a friendly match with Saudi Arabia in Riyadh.
The Barcelona forward has been a handful for defenders all year and he’s expected to be just as damaging on Tuesday night.
Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella, though naming a strong squad for the international friendly, will be without Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain, who is out because of an injury, so too are midfielders Enzo Perez and Fernando Gago and defender Ezequiel Garay.
Argentina will be using the friendly as preparation for another exhibition, this time against arch rivals Brazil next week.
The match up comes at a very good time, a time in which defender Fabricio Coloccini, who makes a return to the side after a long time out, has heaped praises on the direction the team is going under the new coach.
“With Alejandro Sabella the national team have taken a huge step forward,” the Newcastle defender said.
“Argentina are different to before. We had other coaches and it was notable that the team were not on the right path.
“But now, under this coaching staff, we are seeing a solid team. Beyond some mistakes, the team has found the right system to play.”
Saudi Arabia v Argentina
Saudi Arabia: Abdullah, Al-Shahrani, Hawsawi, Mohammed Al-Bishi, Al-Harbi, Khariri, Salem Al-Dosari, Otaif, Al-Jassam, Al-Sahlawi, Al-Shamrani.
Argentina: Romero, Zabaleta, Federico Fernandez, Coloccini, Rojo, Mascherano, Tino Costa, Di Maria, Salvio, Aguero, Messi
Subs: Andujar, Monzon, Campagnaro, Augusto Fernandez, Di Santo, Rinaudo, Palacio, Ricardo Alvarez, Cristian Alvarez