Argentina suffered a shock 2-1 defeat to Saudi Arabia in their World Cup opener and Lionel Scaloni is ready to refresh his defense with Manchester United centre-back Lisandro Martinez
Lisandro Martinez is about to make his first start at the World Cup – as Argentina turns to the Premier League to keep them in Qatar.
Still reeling from the shock of losing their opening game against Saudi Arabia, the South Americans now face an all-or-nothing clash with Mexico on Saturday. Coach Lionel Scaloni will bring Manchester United’s £56.7 million signing Martinez to bolster his defence.
Martinez replaced Tottenham Hotspur’s Christian Romero after the Saudis stunned the Argentines with two goals in five minutes at Lusail Stadium on Tuesday. And Scaloni is now expected to stick with the change for the crucial clash with Mexico.
Questions have been raised in Argentina as to why Martinez was left out of the opening game after his promising start at Old Trafford. He will partner former Manchester City defender Nicolas Otamendi in central defense – and other changes are likely.
City’s 22-year-old striker Julian Alvarez is also in the frame to start the game after coming on as a substitute in the opening defeat. Alvarez has scored seven times for the champions after arriving from Rivar Plate in a £21 million bargain.
And Brighton midfielder Alexis Mac Allister is another Prem star who has impressed in training and struggled to play. The Argentinian public insists that their country’s latest collapse on the opening day, when defending champion Diego Maradona was beaten by Cameroon, did not stop them from reaching the final of Italia 90 before losing to West Germany.
And midfielder Alejandro Papu Gomez has urged fans to stay behind the team. Gomez took to his social media account to say, “Difficult roads lead to beautiful destinations.”Read:‘Spreading lies’ – Frenkie de Jong makes wild claim amid Manchester United transfer interest
JUAN MABROMATA/AFP via Getty Images)
Diego Maradona’s son has focused on comparisons between his father and current Argentina star Lionel Messi after the Albiceleste started their World Cup campaign with defeat.
“The comparison between Messi and my father is made by those who don’t see and don’t understand football,” said Diego Maradona Jr. to Radio Marte (via Marca). “We’re talking about two different planets, but I don’t want to cross Lionel right away.
“I am devastated by this defeat,” added the star’s son, who was born in Italy but considers himself an Argentine fan. “I find it hard to believe that all this really happened.
“Losing to Saudi Arabia is crazy. They were quite scared. Football is like that. They come to you. Sometimes it happens that you lose even against much weaker opponents.”