Buenos Aires, May 28 : The Argentine national football team will say farewell this week to its fans with a friendly against Haiti at La Bombonera Stadium in Buenos Aires before travelling to Russia for the FIFA World Cup.
With Lionel Messi as captain and standard-bearer, the national team will play this Tuesday the first of two friendlies scheduled for the lead-up to its World Cup debut, reports Efe.
After naming the team’s 23 players for Russia 2018, coach Jorge Sampaoli had to make a change due to an injury to Sergio Romero, goalkeeper in the last three World Cups, who will be replaced by Nahuel Guzman.
For this first friendly, Argentina will field Wilfredo Caballero as goalkeeper and the only doubt is the inclusion of defender Nicolas Otamendi, who is recovering from a groin injury.
For his part, Marcos Acuña, who suffered a trauma to the left knee during Sunday’s training session at Huracan Stadium, is making a good recovery and will be available on the bench of replacement players.
Lucas Biglia and Sergio Aguero, who are coming down to the wire for this World Cup on the mend from their respective injuries, will also be awaiting their turn among the substitutes.
“I have a lot of faith in this group,” Messi said in a television interview before the match against Haiti.
Haiti, which sits at No. 108 in the FIFA rankings, will seek to add experience against a team many consider one of the favourites to win the World Cup.
Among the players taking the field for Haiti are striker Duckens Nazon, a 24-year-old who plays in the Third Division in England, and midfielder Ricardo Ade, a 27-year-old who plays for Chile’s Santiago Morning.