Argentina's Sampaoli to start Aguero over Higuain against Iceland
June 15, 2018 11:04 PM NPT
Soccer Football - FIFA World Cup - Argentina Training - Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper, Barcelona, Spain - June 6, 2018 Argentina's Sergio Aguero and Lionel Messi during training Photo: REUTERS
MOSCOW, June 15: Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli took the surprising decision to reveal his starting line-up for his side’s World Cup Group D opener against Iceland in a news conference ahead of Saturday’s game, picking Sergio Aguero ahead of Gonzalo Higuain.
Sampaoli, who has a reputation for unorthodox formations, seems to have settled on a 4-2-3-1 shape for the first game for the 2014 runners-up against tournament debutants Iceland, fielding two holding midfielders in Lucas Biglia and veteran Javier Mascherano.
Higuain will be left out in favour of Aguero, who will play in front of talisman Lionel Messi, with Angel Di Maria and Maximiliano Meza on either side of the Barcelona forward.
Goalkeeper Willy Caballero has been given the nod, with Nicolas Otamendi and Marcos Rojo named as the two centre backs.
Argentina line-up to face Iceland: Willy Caballero, Eduardo Salvio, Nicolas Otamendi, Marcos Rojo, Nicolas Tagliafico, Lucas Biglia, Javier Mascherano, Maximiliano Meza, Lionel Messi, Angel di Maria, Sergio Aguero.