Lionel Messi uncertain starter for Argentina’s FIFA World Cup qualifier in Bolivia

Excited Bolivian followers gathered on the La Paz worldwide airport to welcome Lionel Messi forward of Argentina’s World Cup qualifying sport in opposition to the house workforce on Tuesday. The 36-year-old Messi traveled with the defending World Cup champions however is just not a sure starter on the sport due to fatigue.

Lionel Messi in action for Argentina.(AP)
Lionel Messi in motion for Argentina.(AP)

Meanwhile Brazil, coached for the primary time by Fernando Diniz in a 5-1 win over Bolivia final Friday, is getting ready to face Peru with the identical squad. Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Colombia received their opening video games in continental qualifying final week. All 10 South American groups will play their second video games on Tuesday.

The 2026 version of the World Cup within the United States, Mexico and Canada is increasing to a 48-team format. The high six groups in South America will safe a direct spot. The seventh-place workforce will contest an intercontinental playoff for a berth.


Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni informed a news convention he could have in opposition to Bolivia a really related lineup to the one which beat Ecuador on Thursday. Messi’s presence, nonetheless, might be determined hours earlier than kick off. The match will happen on the Hernando Siles Stadium, which is greater than 3,000 meters above sea stage, a venue the place visiting groups can wrestle, significantly older gamers.

Scaloni additionally mentioned veteran Ángel di María and striker Julián Álvarez may make it to his beginning XI, in all probability changing Nico González and Lautaro Martinez. “If all is well, the idea is to repeat or see some changes, which could be these two (Di María and Álvarez) entering,” the coach mentioned. “There is a chance they will play, but we can make the decision on the morning before the match.”

If Messi sits out, Scaloni must give you an answer for to cowl for a participant who has no substitute.


Brazil coach Diniz has a one-year contract, which ends exactly on the identical time Carlo Ancelotti’s take care of Real Madrid is about to run out. Ancelotti is extensively tipped to take over Brazil’s nationwide workforce however native media has proven quite a lot of pleasure for the attacking concepts of the 49-year-old Diniz as a result of depth of the Selecao’s sport in opposition to Bolivia.

Sunday’s coaching suggests Diniz will make no adjustments to play in opposition to Peru, which drew its opening match at Paraguay. Richarlison, who was in tears after being substituted in the course of the match in opposition to Bolivia, is more likely to get one other alternative as a starter. Defender Gabriel Magalhães has recovered from a light-weight damage and was additionally working with the possible starters in apply.

Neymar, who till final Friday had not performed since February, confirmed he has recovered with two objectives that helped him break Pelé’s report as Brazil’s all-time high aim scorer.


The hardest encounter on Tuesday is in Quito.

Ecuador’s new coach Félix Sánchez Bas was pleased to defend at Argentina, however enjoying at house in opposition to Marcelo Bielsa’s Uruguay he must push ahead so his workforce has an opportunity to erase its three-point deficit within the standings. The level deduction punishment was imposed by FIFA for Ecuador’s falsification of delivery info of defender Byron Castillo, who’s of Colombian origin.

Bielsa hinted at Sunday’s coaching he may make yet one more massive change within the workforce, after leaving veteran strikers Edinson Cavani and Luis Suárez out of his squad. He examined 21-year-old Los Angeles FC striker Cristian Olivera as substitute for Darwin Núñez, who squandered a number of alternatives for Uruguay in the course of the workforce’s 3-1 win in opposition to Chile.

Monday will give a sign as as to whether Bielsa was severe about making that change or simply wished to play thoughts video games with the Liverpool striker. Also on Tuesday, Chile will host Colombia and Venezuela will tackle Paraguay.

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