Argentina squad named for crucial World Cup qualifiers


Jorge Sampaoli has selected his Argentina squad for the final two matches of World Cup qualifying ahead of the 2018 finals in Russia.

Argentina, 5th, battle it out with 4th-placed Peru in Buenos Aires on October 5 before travelling to the high-altitude country of Ecuador on October 11 in the final game of CONMEBOL qualifying.

As impressive as Argentina look going forward on paper, they’ve thus far failed to produce the goods in World Cup Qualification; they’ve scored a measly 16 goals in 16 appearances, worse than every team in CONMEBOL qualifying bar Bolivia. Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain, Carlos Tevez, Paulo Dybala and Mauro Icardi combine for an appalling one goal from 29 appearances – scored by a player snubbed for selection, Gonzalo Higuain.

Former Real Madrid man Fernando Gago earns his first call-up to the national team since September 2015, while Alejandro Gomez’s fine goalscoring form for Atalanta gives him a chance to build on his maiden cap from earlier in the year.

Lionel Messi spearheads the side off the back of 11 goals in his last seven games for Barcelona, but the little magician will need some help from the likes of Paulo Dybala and Mauro Icardi in the goalscoring department for La Albiceleste.

In fact, the two Serie A forwards are yet to open their accounts on the international stage, though they’ve only recently been introduced to the fold, holding 13 caps between them.

Noticeable by his absence is Manchester City hitman Sergio Aguero, who was involved in a car accident in Amsterdam on Friday. He reportedly suffered broken ribs, ruling him out for at least two months.



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