Di Maria out of Argentina line-up for Australia World Cup clash

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Argentina fans inside the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium before the round of 16 match between Argentina and Australia in Al Rayyan, Qatar, on Saturday. Reuters

Argentina and Australia each made one change for their last-16 clash at the World Cup on Saturday with Angel Di Maria out of the starting line-up for Lionel Messi’s side.

Messi will again captain an Argentina team which sees veteran attacking midfielder Alejandro Gomez come in for fellow 34-year-old Di Maria. Winger Di Maria had been an injury doubt.

Coach Lionel Scaloni keeps faith with youngsters Julian Alvarez and Enzo Fernandez after they combined for the second goal in their 2-0 win over Poland in their previous game.

Australia coach Graham Arnold also made one change from the side that beat Denmark 1-0 to secure their place in the knockout rounds for only the second time in their history.

Keanu Baccus, the 24-year-old midfielder who plays in Scotland, replaces winger Craig Goodwin.

The winner of the match plays the Netherlands in the quarter-finals.

 

Starting line-ups:

 

Argentina (4-3-3)

Emiliano Martinez; Nahuel Molina, Cristian Romero, Nicolas Otamendi, Marcos Acuna; Rodrigo De Paul, Enzo Fernandez, Alexis Mac Allister; Alejandro Gomez, Lionel Messi (capt), Julian Alvarez

Coach: Lionel Scaloni (ARG)

 

Australia (4-4-2)

Mathew Ryan (capt); Milos Degenek, Kye Rowles, Harry Souttar, Aziz Behich; Mathew Leckie, Aaron Mooy, Jackson Irvine, Keanu Baccus; Riley McGree, Mitchell Duke

Coach: Graham Arnold (AUS)

 

Referee: Szymon Marciniak (POL)

 

Agence France-Presse

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