Argentina squad named for crux World Cup Qualifiers

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Jorge Sampaoli has named a 27-man squad for Argentina’s crucial World Cup qualifying matches against Uruguay and Venezuela.

La Albiceleste sit in 5th place in the CONMEBOL qualifying group, a spot which would grant them a do-or-die inter-confederation play-off for a place in the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

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Lionel Messi is the greatest goalscorer in Argentina’s national team history, netting 58 times from 118 caps. His goal-to-game ratio is only 5th amongst the top 10 scorers, at 0.49 goals per game, well behind the record holder, Luis Artime. Though he only turned out 25 times for Argentina, Artime netted an incredible 24 goals, leaving him with a goal-to-game ratio of 0.96.

However, Argentina can take one huge step to guaranteeing an automatic qualification spot by knocking off Uruguay, who are just one point ahead of them in 3rd spot.

Jorge Sampaoli has a fearsome attacking quartet at his disposal; Lionel Messi, Paulo Dybala, Sergio Aguero and Mauro Icardi all made the cut, though there was no place for Juventus forward Gonzalo Higuaín.

While most of the usual suspects can be found on the list, there are also a few new names; Boca Juniors forward Dario Benedetto, CA Lanus attacker Lautaro Acosta, Zenit St. Petersburg midfielder Emiliano Rigoni and Independiente defender Fabricio Bustos could all be in line for international debuts.

Goalkeepers: Sergio Romero, Nahuel Guzman, Geronimo Rulli

Defenders: Javier Mascherano, Nicolas Otamendi, Federico Fazio, Gabriel Mercado, Nicolas Pareja, Javier Pinola, Fabricio Bustos

Midfielders: Ever Banega, Lucas Biglia, Augusto Fernandez, Leandro Paredes, Guido Pizarro, Angel Di Maria, Marcos Acuna, Javier Pastore, Manuel Lanzini, Emiliano Rigoni

Forwards: Lionel Messi, Paulo Dybala, Sergio Aguero, Mauro Icardi, Joaquin Correa, Dario Benedetto, Lautaro Acosta

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