National TeamMonday, June 2, 2014
Sabella gives final list today
The squad that will travel to Brazil will be announced after practice session
AFA spokesman Ernesto Cherquis Bialo will announce the 23 players chosen by Argentina national team coach Alejandro Sabella to travel to Brazil to play the World Cup today.
Coach Alejandro Sabella will announce the official list of the 23 players who will travel to Brazil with the dream of clinching the World Cup for Argentina.
There are three players who will have to leave the Ezeiza facilities and AFA spokesman Ernesto Cherquis Bialo will give a conference after the team’s training session to announce who will be included in the World Cup squad.
The three goalkeepers (Sergio Romero, Mariano Andújar and Agustín Orión) and the five forwards (Lionel Messi, Gonzalo Higuaín, Sergio Agüero, Ezequiel Lavezzi and Rodrigo Palacio) have already secured their places in the squad. The doubts are in defence and midfield.
Defenders Pablo Zabaleta, Ezequiel Garay, Federico Fernández, Marcos Rojo and José Basanta have a place in the squad. One of the three defenders remaining (Martín Demichelis, Nicolás Otamendi and Hugo Campagnaro) will be sidelined, with Demichelis being the favourite to stay.
The midfielders who will travel to Brazil are: Javier Mascherano, Fernando Gago, Ángel Di María, Lucas Biglia, Maximiliano Rodríguez and Ever Banega. Enzo Pérez, Augusto Fernández, Ricardo Álvarez and José Sosa are fighting for a place. Two of them will be dropped.
After the first provisional team, which had 30 players, Sabella left four behind: defender Lisandro López and Gabriel Mercado, midfielder Fabián Rinaudo and striker Franco Di Santo.
During the week, Demichelis took the advantage over Otamendi and Campagnaro as he replaced Garay in the first team because the Benfica defender suffered a foot pain. The 33-year-old Demichelis, who won the Premier League with Manchester City, was the big surprise when Sabella announced the 30-men list as he had been called for the national team since 2011.
Otamendi, who was part of the Argentine squad in the 2010 World Cup, was not included in most of the South American qualifiers matches, but the coach kept him in the squad despite that. Campagnaro was called several times by Sabella, but he did not play much.
Augusto Fernández recovered from an injury this week and could train a lot with his teammates this days. Álvarez is a very skilled player and can be a great substitute to Di María, but Sosa and Pérez played in Estudiantes de La Plata when Sabella was the coach and he knows them better. However, it is still uncertain who will stay as he did not give any clues.
Herald with agencies