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Sep 10, 2019, 4:00:00 PM

Key Battles in Argentina’s friendly fixture against Mexico

Mexico, fresh from a 3-0 humbling of eternal rivals USA, aim for their first win in 10 matchups with Argentina this midweek. identifies the top player battles which will hog all the limelight in the ‘friendly’ duel in San Antonio, Texas. 

Nicolas Tagliafico v Raul Jimenez

Jimenez, with 23 strikes in 88 appearances, will start on the frontline for Mexico and hope to trouble an Argentina unit that is struggling with injuries. For La Albiceleste, 27-year-old Tagliafico is expected to retain his place as coach Lionel Scaloni might tinkle with the squad selection. The Ajax defender played 76 minutes of the feisty 0-0 draw against Chile and is expected to be fit and lead a defence that will be without Manchester City’s Nicolas Otamendi.   

Leandro Parades v Hirving Lozano

While the fixture looks to be evenly poised, the deciding element lies in what engagement takes place in the midfield. PSG’s Parades is tipped to start in the heart of Argentina’s think-tank space and be handed the task of monitoring the movement of ‘Chucky’ Lozano.

The winger built upon his fine start to the 2019 season, with an assist as a second-half substitute in the 3-0 win over the USA, on Saturday. Ahead of the showdown with Argentina, the Napoli player is expected to be handed a start by El Tri coach, Gerardo Martino. 

Lautaro Martinez v Hector Moreno

Moreno, Mexico’s defensive general, pulled off an average act in the 0-0 stalemate with Chile but is poised for a commanding act at the centre of the El Tri defence. However, given the unavailability of Erick Gutierrez, the 31-year-old could possibly start in the central defensive role while still keeping a close eye on Inter striker Martinez.

The attacker, with six goals in 12 games, will once again start in the front for Argentina given the absence of the suspended Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero, who could be rested once again. And him without a goal in his last three games, the money is on Martinez to open the scoring in San Antonio.

Here are the odds for the international friendly between Argentina and Mexico.

Words: William Paul

Images: PA