Argentina Preview For World Cup 2018: Formation, Predicted Lineup, Key Players And Prediction

World Cup fever has already hit the football fanatics across the globe and the excitement has relieved the fans from a tedious mid-season break. Nations who have made it to the finals will be waving their flags high, especially the likes of Iceland, Egypt, Panama, Tunisia, Morocco who defied the odds despite limitations and certain constraints. Big guns Italy, Netherlands, Chile, and the USA surprised all by failing to make it to Russia whereas, like every other edition, the football giants Brazil, Argentina, France, Spain and reigning champions Germany are entering the competition as favourites. 

Argentina, the runners-up of the previous edition of this prestigious football event, had a traumatic run during the qualifiers but clinched a place in the finals following a 3-1 victory over Ecuador in the final game. Jorge Sampaoli, the manager who won Chile the Copa America 2015 title, was appointed as the Albiceleste gaffer in order to restore the lost pride by winning a silverware, however, everything relies on the iconic Lionel Messi as the fans are rooting for their idol to guide a depleted side towards a World Cup glory.

The selection dilemma caused massive controversy when the gaffer decided to snub in-form Mauro Icardi from the travelling squad for not being in Messi’s good books and the Inter Milan striking sensation (who netted 29 league goals this term) was not recalled even after Manuel Lanzini’s heartbreaking ACL injury during a practice session. Sampaoli rather opted for River Plate veteran Enzo Perez and it is to be seen now whether the big decision turns out to be brave enough for the South American football giants.


Although the manager chose to field his boys in a 3-4-2-1 setup during the decisive qualifier fixtures, they were also tried out in 4-2-3-1 as well as 4-4-2 on several occasions. A couple of friendlies got cancelled of late but a humiliating 6-1 defeat to Spain raised many question marks. A 4-0 win over minnows Haiti must have uplifted their spirit to some extent, however, it is still unclear how Sampaoli will field them during the main event.

A 4-2-3-1 seems viable considering their current status where Gonzalo Higuain or Sergio Aguero will be played as the ‘number 9’. Lionel Messi and Angel Di Maria will be operating from the wide roles whereas Giovani Lo Celso might start in his preferred central midfield slot.  Éver Banega and Lucas Biglia should be exploited as deep-lying playmakers who will also shield a likely ‘back four’ of Nicolas Tagliafico, Nicolas Otamendi, Federico Fazio and Gabriel Mercado. Sergio Romero’s injury absence is a massive setback for the Albiceleste which might see veteran Willy Caballero protect their goal.

Predicted Lineup

The gaffer will have a tough task to select his best XI from a star-studded squad but the above-mentioned options and formation should be preferred to field a balanced line-up.

football formations

Key Players

Lionel Messi, as always, will be the main man who is capable of guiding them towards glory all alone, however, there are exciting prospects like Giovani Lo Celso and particularly Paulo Dybala – the 24-year-old Juventus attacker who has every possibility to establish himself as their ‘next-gen’ superstar. Yet it depends on how Sampaoli uses the young gun but, as things stand, Dybala might be handed a crucial role as a ‘super-sub’ throughout the contest.


The team did not seem to be well-settled during the recent outings, but the manager is experienced enough to deliver with inexperienced names and should find a perfect balance at the earliest to showcase sheer dominance. They will always be considered as the title contenders until Messi is there, but the job will be colossal to make it beyond the quarter-finals unless they uplift their performance upon entering the main event.

The following two tabs change content below.

Pratyay Maitra

A sports enthusiast in his mid-twenties who reads, breathes, as well as dreams (mostly) about football and attempts to share his views with the fanatics by jotting it down. Prefers to learn through extensive interaction, communication and exploration. So don't be in a quandary and SHOOT.

Share This Article

3 Possible Replacements For This West Ham United Star If He Leaves For Manchester United!

Next Story »

Manchester United Superstar Refuses To Rule Out Real Madrid Switch: What Next In This Transfer Saga?


  • Scout Report Of How Joe Gelhardt Would Be A Better Fit In Liverpool Attack If Brought As Duncan’s Successor

    2 weeks ago

    Bobby Duncan must have overcome his mental stress now upon completion of the desired transfer to Fiorentina. Liverpool sanctioned the transfer on the European deadline day even ...

    Read More
  • Liverpool Confirm Duncan Departure: 3 Replacements For Klopp To Consider Including Serie A Ace

    3 weeks ago

    Liverpool have confirmed the departure of Bobby Duncan on their official website after the English striker agreed to make a switch to Fiorentina this summer. The Whiston-born ...

    Read More
  • This Player Undergoes Medical At Celtic: Strengths And Weaknesses Of This Exciting Talent

    3 weeks ago

    According to the report from BBC, Celtic are set to seal the deal for Kilmarnock’s left-back Greg Taylor in the next 24 hours. The Scottish heavyweights had ...

    Read More
  • Borussia Dortmund Comes In For Bobby Duncan: Has The Liverpool Ace Done Irrevocable Damage To His Reputation?

    3 weeks ago

    All the tantrum and mayhem seem to have cooled down since the past couple of days, but the damage is already done by Saif Rubie who lambasted ...

    Read More
  • Has Harry Maguire Solved Manchester United’s Defensive Problems?

    1 month ago

    In a summer that saw £1.41bn spent on transfers in the Premier League, one move stood out from the rest for several reasons. Harry Maguire is a ...

    Read More