Martinez in as Argentina ring changes for Mexico World Cup clash

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Argentina fans cheer their team before the match between Argentina and Mexico at Lusail Stadium in Qatar on Saturday. Reuters

Manchester United centre-back Lisandro Martinez comes into the Argentina team for their must-win World Cup clash with Mexico at the Lusail stadium in Qatar on Saturday.

Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni made five changes from the team that succumbed so meekly to Saudi Arabia in their opening Group C match on Tuesday.

Three of those are in defence where full-backs Marcos Acuna and Gonzalo Montiel also come in with Cristian Romero, Nahuel Molina and Nicolas Tagliafico dropping to the bench.

Alexis Mac Allister and Guido Rodriguez come into midfield in place of Leandro Paredes and Alejandro Gomez, alongside Rodrigo De Paul and Angel Di Maria in a 4-4-2.

Lionel Messi and Lautaro Martinez remain up front despite their struggles in breaking down a disciplined Saudi defence last time out.

Mexico’s Argentine coach Gerardo Martino made three changes from the team that started in the 0-0 draw with Poland, bringing in captain Andres Guardado in midfield and defenders Nestor Araujo and Kevin Alvarez in a 5-3-2 formation.

Henry Martin, Jorge Sanchez and Edson Alvarez miss out from the last match.

Argentina must avoid defeat to remain in the competition.

Starting line-ups in the Group C World Cup group stage match between Argentina and Mexico in Doha’s Lusail stadium on Saturday (kick-off 0100 GMT):

Argentina (4-4-2):

Emiliano Martinez; Gonzalo Montiel, Lisandro Martinez, Nicolas Otamendi, Marcos Acuna; Rodrigo De Paul, Guido Rodriguez, Alexis Mac Allister, Angel Di Maria; Lionel Messi (capt), Lautaro Martinez

Coach: Lionel Scaloni

Mexico (5-3-2)

Guillermo Ochoa; Jesus Gallardo, Hector Moreno, Cesar Montes, Nestor Araujo, Kevin Alvarez; Luis Chavez, Andres Guardado (capt), Hector Herrera; Alexis Vega, Hirving Lozano

Coach: Gerardo Martino (ARG)

Referee: Daniele Orsato (ITA)

Agence France-Presse

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