Lionel Messi might not play FIFA World Cup qualifier vs Paraguay due to muscle injury: Coach Scaloni


Lionel Messi #10 of Inter Miami CF looks on against the FC Cincinnati during the second half at DRV PNK Stadium on October 07, 2023 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Lionel Messi is again a doubtful starter for Argentina in the next World Cup qualifying match against Paraguay.

The Argentina captain scored in the opening 1-0 win over Ecuador but skipped the 3-0 win at Bolivia last month because of muscular pains that have also sidelined him from several matches for Inter Miami in the MLS.Lionel Messi is again a doubtful starter for Argentina in the next World Cup qualifying match against Paraguay.

The World Cup champions are due to host Paraguay on Thursday in Buenos Aires.

Vinicius Jr missed Brazil’s first two games in South American qualifying but is back in the starting lineup after recovering from an injury. The Selecao will take on Venezuela in Cuiaba.

Argentina and Brazil are 2-0 in qualifying for the 2026 World Cup after victories last month. The continental arch-rivals are due to meet in November.

Colombia are in third spot in the 10-team standings with four points. Uruguay and Venezuela each have three points, followed by Paraguay, Peru and Chile with one point each.

Ecuador have not registered a competition point despite their 2-1 win over Uruguay on September 13. Ecuador started the qualifying tournament at -3 after having points deducted by Fifa for the falsification of birth information of defender Byron Castillo, who is of Colombian origin.

The next World Cup in the United States, Mexico and Canada is expanding to a 48-team format, meaning direct entry to the top six teams in South America. The seventh-place team will contest an intercontinental playoff for a berth.

Other matches on Thursday include celebrations for Uruguay, Argentina and Paraguay after Fifa’s decision to award the three countries the opening matches of the 2030 World Cup, which will be co-hosted by Spain, Portugal and Morocco.

The 36-year-old Messi missed four MLS matches for his club plus the US Open Cup final. He played 10 minutes on Saturday in Inter Miami’s 1-0 loss to Cincinnati. Tuesday’s training suggested he will face Paraguay, but it wasn’t clear whether he’d start or come off the bench.

Coach Lionel Scaloni didn’t indicate who would replace Messi if he doesn’t start. He will also have to make other selection decisions, including whether to start Nicolas Tagliafico or Marcos Acuna at left back, or Julian Álvarez or Lautaro Martínez up front.

Argentina will not count on Angel Di Maria, who is recovering from injury. Nico Gonzalez is likely to be the veteran’s replacement once more.

Paraguay’s new coach Daniel Garnero will have his debut against Argentina. He took over from Guillermo Barros Schelotto last month after the first two qualifiers.

Post a Comment

Please 🙏 engage and share this content

Previous Post Next Post