Argentina Prepared To Play Without Injured Lionel Messi – Bauza
Argentina manager Edgardo Bauza backs his team to cope with the absence of Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi in the Albiceleste’s upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Peru and Paraguay.
Messi injured his groin in a La Liga match against Atletico Madrid on Sept. 21 and is expected to miss three weeks of action, including Argentina’s qualifying matches on Oct. 6 and 11.
Bauza has bet on an attacking quartet of Angel Di Maria, Paulo Dybala, Sergio Aguero and Gonzalo Higuain to pick up Messi’s scoring slack for Thursday’s match in Peru, and told reporters his team are prepared to play without the five-time Ballon d’Or winner.
“It is a challenge not to have the best player there. For the team, it is a challenge,” Bauza said at a prematch news conference.
“It has happened and hopefully recovery can follow and we’ll have him against B.razil and Colombia [in November].
“The team are what we have worked with and are prepared to play without him.”
Bauza will give Sevilla youngster Matias Kranevitter a chance to impress in midfield as he takes over for Lucas Biglia.
“Kranevitter has more or less a similar function to Biglia. I think it’s the best option,” he said.
“And then Dybala. It is a position he knows, playing on the right side, and when he arrived in Italy too [at Palermo in 2012]. It is not an unfamiliar position.
“While he will not play as a winger, he will have freedom and retreat back to narrow spaces. Peru have good ball movement, we will attack, then we need to recover.”