Argentina hosts Uruguay, chasing fifth consecutive win in South American Qualifiers

With Lionel Messi starting, the main doubts for the starting 11 are Ángel Di María or Nico González and Lautaro Martínez or Julián Álvarez.

Argentina men’s national football team kicks off its third set of South American Qualifiers games as it hosts Uruguay this Thursday. The clash, played at Boca Juniors’ La Bombonera stadium, will start at 9 p.m. Argentina time and can be watched live via Argentina’s national public broadcaster, TV Pública, for free or through the cable sports channel TyC Sports.

For Argentina head coach Lionel Scaloni, the selection dilemma comes in the shape of Ángel Di María, who makes an Albiceleste return after missing the last international fixture due to an injury. The Rosario-born star is fighting for a spot with Nicolás González, who has been in thrilling form with Italian side Fiorentina and started in the four qualifiers played so far.

Additionally, Scaloni faces the decision between Lautaro Martínez and Julián Álvarez for joining Lionel Messi in the attack. So far, Martínez has started every home game, while Álvarez got the nod for away clashes. The two played together during Messi’s absence against Paraguay on October 12.

The Albiceleste could also see the debut of Pablo Maffeo, who was called as a replacement at right-back for Gonzalo Montiel, recovering from an injury. The Spanish-born Maffeo can represent the country due to his Argentine mother. 

“I’m thrilled,” said Maffeo about being called up. “The first thing I did was call my mother. She couldn’t believe it.”

Uruguay, coached by former Argentina boss Marcelo Bielsa, will see the return of legendary striker Luis Suárez to the team along with José María Giménez and Rodrigo Bentancur. 

Argentina leads the South American Qualifiers table, with 12 points. Uruguay, Brazil and Venezuela, are all tied for second with seven points. After hosting the Charrúas, the Albiceleste will visit Brazil next Tuesday.


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