SPAIN vs ARGENTINA BETTING PREVIEW
Spain drew 1-1 with Germany on Friday evening in Dusseldorf with Valencia’s Rodrigo Moreno bringing his splendid run of form from La Liga to international duties. This draw followed a much more exciting 3-3 draw against Russia back in November, leaving La Roja unbeaten in the Lopetegui era with 12 wins in 17 outings. As to World Cup qualifying campaign, Spain finished top of their group, five points ahead of Italy. They were outstanding on home soil in their World Cup qualifying group, scoring 22 goals in five straight wins, including a 3-0 defeat of Italy.
Boss Julen Lopetegui is expected to rotate his players. Diego Costa, Iago Aspas and Friday’s goalscorer Rodrigo are among the offensive options up front. David Silva has been released from the squad due to personal reasons, with the likes of Marco Asensio, Saul, Rodri, and Dani Parejo all hoping to take his place. Sergio Ramos and Thiago Alcantara were both fit enough to start against Germany last Friday but could be rested having entered the break with minor injury concerns.
Argentina showed promise as they beat Italy 2-0 without Lionel Messi in a friendly at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester last Friday, bouncing back from their shock loss against Nigeria. The Albiceleste improved considerably on the form they showed during a qualifying that saw them need a win over Ecuador on the final night to secure a place in this summer’s World Cup. They have lost only one of their last eight international fixtures but they have won 2 of the last 5 direct matches against Spain - losing the other three.
The appearance of Messi is not set in stone, but he will likely be able to play at least 60 minutes while Sergio Aguero will miss out as he continues treatment on the knee injury. In defense, Gabriel Mercado may return to his usual starting berth at right-back in place of youngster Fabricio Bustos, who made his debut against Italy. Marcos Rojo is not 100% fit but is expected to recover and feature form the off. In midfield, veteran Javier Mascherano will be flanked by Ever Banega and Giovani Lo Celso, with Manuel Lanzini and Leandro Paredes viable alternatives. Up front, Cristian Pavon is likely to replace Angle Di Maria and form the front trio with Leo Messi and Gonzalo Higuain.
SPAIN vs ARGENTINA PROBABLE LINEUPS Spain (4-3-3): De Gea; J.Alba, Piquè, S.Ramos, Carvajal; Koke, Rodri, Iniesta, Asensio, D. Costa, Isco
Argentina (4-3-3): Romero; Mercado, Otamendi, Rojo, Tagliafico; Lo Celso, Mascherano, Banega; Messi, Higuain, Pavon