Thursday, September 27, 2007

COCO Calls RIQUELME For WC Qualifier

COCO Basile has selected playmaker Juan Roman RIQUELME in his squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Chile and Venezuela. Though RIQUELME has not seen any action with Villarreal this season, BASILE, who is a big fan of RIQUELME, told reporters that the gifted midfielder is an important piece of puzzle of his squad.

The manager named 20 players for the World Cup qualifiers that will be played in mid-October. The remainder of the squad, which consists of home-based players, will join in after the 13th round of the Argentine Apertura Championship.

Despite the fact that RIQUELME has been inactive this season, after previous clashes with Villarreal manager Manuel PELLEGRINI, BASILE affirmed that the player should be in good form just in time for the two matches.

Here are the list players that will kick-start our road to glory to 2010.

Roberto ABBONDANZIERI (Getafe),
Oscar USTARI (Getafe).

Daniel DIAZ (Getafe),
Gabriel HEINZE (Real Madrid),
Gabriel MILITO (Barcelona),
Javier ZANETTI (Inter Milan),
Fabricio COLOCCINI (Deportivo La Coruna),
Martin DEMICHELIS (Bayern Munich),
Nicolas BURDISSO (Inter Milan).

Esteban CAMBIASSO (Inter Milan),
Maxi RODRIGUEZ (Atletico Madrid),
Fernando GAGO (Real Madrid),
Jonas GUTIERREZ (Mallorca),
Javier MASCHERANO (Liverpool),
Federico INSUA (Club America),
Juan Roman RIQUELME (Villarreal).

Lionel MESSI (Barcelona),
Javier SAVIOLA (Real Madrid),
Sergio AGUERO (Atletico Madrid),
Carlos TEVEZ (Manchester United)

Personally I feel this is a strong team when considering the fact that we are playing Chile and Venezuela (not to disrespect them), so I’m confident we should have six points in the bag.

Among the most notable absence from this list is Hernan CRESPO, but in TEVEZ, KUN and MESSI, COCO has plenty of firepower upfront.

PATO is most likely to be favourite to guard the post. In defence, my personal choice will be ZANETTI on the right, HEINZE on the left with MILITO and DEMICHELIS partnering in center.

The midfield quartet will be very much similar to the Copa America line up. RIQUELME will resume the play making duty and MASHERANO will take on the ball winning role. CAMBIASSO as always been COCO's preferred choice the left and MAXI will claim the right hand duty.

This is just for now, so until have the full squad completed, we will not have clear indication on what are COCO's plan for these matches.

Now the question here is, which home-based players are most likely to make it into the team? In your opinion, what could be the best formation that COCO should emphasis?


Rio said...

quote: The midfield quartet will be very much similar to the Copa America line up. RIQUELME will resume the play making duty and MASHERANO will take on the ball winning role. CAMBIASSO as always been COCO's preferred choice the left and MAXI will claim the right hand duty.

You know. With the veron-maxi swap, everybody will have to play differently than when we were in Copa...

and "CAMBIASSO as always been COCO's preferred choice the left", so he didn't call cuchu up for those friendlies?

John said...


When I mentioned "MAXI will claim the right hand duty" doesn't that sounds like that right side of midfield was always his.

Had MAXI recovered much earlier, I'm sure COCO would have selected him for the Copa America and started as well. No question about that. There is no way that he would overlook him for VERON.

And just to let you know, coaches often use friendly matches to experiment with different type of players, line up and formation.

But in the end on most occasions (especially in competitive matches), EL CHUCHU seems to be the preferred choice on the left.

I hope I made myself clear on this (not everyone, just YOU) because it’s just my humble opinion.

johnny said...

Well, I am really looking forward to this match. I'll have the opportunity to see it here in Buenos Aires. To be able to see Messi live, as well as the rest, is a real treat. Kudos to Coco for picking Roman. Even if he won't be in 90 minute shape(I hope he is), 45-60 minutes of Roman is better than 90 minutes of the other choices. If he is not in tip top shape, Insua can fill in as needed. Let's hope the lack of a big striker doesn't hurt us. I love the little guys(and I am very happy to see Saviola on the squad), but a realiable big man is so valuable.

Roy said...

Not a bad list at all. I'm assuming Crespo will play in some other matches which is fine. No Aimar?... AGAIN? What did Aimar do to deserve this? He wasn't picked for Norway nor Australia for that matter. And it has NOTHING to do with the fact that Zaragoza isn't doing well either. But like I said, aside from that, not a bad list. Very good up front, lets just hope Riquelme isn't rusty.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Roy. How is it that an unfit Riquelme (regardless of how much he trains he isn't going to have any match experience until the qualifiers) gets picked over Aimar? It's starting to look like that Pablito is on the same black list as D'Alessandro...(not to be melodramatic or anything).
His exclusion as well little change in the defense (which has been a weak point in several games) annoys me a bit. I'm happy Demichelis get's another go and I love Zanetti and admit that Burdisso has been solid but what about some of the previos U20 players? Granted there are still home based players to be added so I won't say much about that.
I also wish we had at least 1 tall striker in that list. I can't think of anyone home-based that he would call up but then that's just me blanking out. Who do you think he could call up? I mean I am positive he is going to call up Palacio (who isn't tall or a point-man) but I can't think of another striker...

Still regardless of the squad. Vamos Argentina!


johnny said...

Maybe Coco will call up Palacio, though maybe not. He suffered a severe cut on his right knee recently and missed the defeat against Sao Paulo. Also, it might be hard for Coco to ignore German Denis of Independiente, who has been tearing it up in the local league(bigger and stronger than Palacio).

Anonymous said...

That is true Johnny, I forgot about Palacio's injury and about Denis. This is why I love this blog. I've been out of the loop sports wise for the last couple of weeks due to work and school and you guys always update me. Thanks :)


Rio said...

This is the way I look at it:

We all know it's necessary to have a 2ndary playmaker in this 4-3-1-2, and it'll pretty much have to come from the outside midfielder pair since Mascherano will be at DM.

Coco chose Veron for Copa not because Maxi wasn't fit. Rather that Veron's style was what he thought would fit best with the secondary playmaker role. It is understandable because he had Crespo to work with, and he probably thought Diego Milito was good enough to replace Crespo when necessary.

Now with Crespo's retirement in near future, it's necessary to work the system out for what we have. We might be stuck with shortie forwards for a while, then we'll have to build a team that only defend in the air. All attacks will be executed on the ground.

That's obviously a different approach from what Pekerman did in 06', or even what Coco did in Copa. Therefore eventhough the midfield looked the same, it's in fact going to function quite differently.

Maxi was not a 2ndary playmaker under Pekerman, he was a winger and CAM. The width was sufficient in 06' world cup because the left wing had Sorin. Riquelme was the only midfielder initiating attacks in 06' world cup, although we did have quite a bit of assaults started from t he rear.
Maxi now will have to carry the ball forward if Roman's paths were shutdown.

Also, there's some differences between testing players for performance and testing for strategy.

Seba said...

Well, rumour has it, one of the local players that could be called up is Germán DENIS (Independiente).

He has scored 13 goals in 10 matches this season (none of them from penalty or free kicks). He is know as THE TANK. Even though he is not as tall as CRESPO or PALERMO, he is the form striker these days and I wouldn't be surprised if he gets the call.

DENIS had a couple of great seasons a few years ago and then was very resisted by Independiente fans last season. But now his game is clicking and he looks unstoppable. On his way to break the record set by Martin PALERMO for most goals in a short tournament (20 goals in 19 matches).

I'm not sure if he's ready to be a starter (considering the players that he will have around him), but he could prove to be a valuable addition to our squad.

I'm quite happy with the rest of the list and really looking forward to the match.

I might even go to the match with Johnny!

Seba said...

And I still think Diego MILITO should get more chances.

johnny said...

Seba-"Might go to the match" my butt ! You are going ! :)))

Also, Coco might consider Belluschi from River Plate. He is playing very well, and as I recall Coco had him on the squad in the friendly way back against Chile in Mendoza. I don't know about him though, he vanishes sometimes and also has a short fuse.

Rio said...

I heard there will be 3 local players. Maybe 1 will be a goalie?

I don't think Belluschi will get to start unless Naxi injures himself again. He deserved to get called up especially since we don't have many outside midfielder options.

German Denis...
[b]Does the Tevez + Messi pair not satisfy you people??[/b]
When Messi was asked who he loved to play with the most on the NT, what was he answer?

And Diego Milito again?
(many words delected)
I can't wait for Gonzalo Rod to recover so I don't have to see any "Milito" on the starting list.

A new #9 is at the cost of Carlito. We can probably get a LB and some wingers for free...

John said...

Johnny, I'll give you the green light to drag Seba's @$$ to the stadium :)

I feel for you, Roy and Argentinafan about the exclusions of AIMAR and D'ALLESANDRO. The fact that they do play for their clubs should have no problem when it comes to match fitness.

But in the end, COCO seems to have a soft spot for ROMAN. At this point of time, we can't argue about that so I'm just hoping that we get the two wins first.

Surprisingly, I have to agree with Rio that COCO preference for short players up front. As he mentioned, we'll be seeing a lot of the ball movement on the ground rather in the air, especially in offense.

Oh yes, what has happen to Javier PINOLA? Is he off the radar?

Rio said...

why is it surprising that you had to agree with me?

Rio said...

cambiasso + crespo scored a goal to put inter ahead. And julio cruz just put in one and made it 3-1. Why can't these people do the same when playing for Argentina?

and anyone watching zaragoza natch? My wife is asking why isn't d'alessandro playing.

Anonymous said...

I didn't see the match but didn't he come on and score against Sevilla?
From what I heard there have been rumours since Wednesday when he didn't come on against Barcelona on Wednesday. Supposedly he was involved in some altercation on Wednesday or something and was being punished but that appears to be untrue. Zaragoza are saying that he had pulled a muscle.


Rio said...

ya. he played 2nd half. why wasn't he playing first half? I saw the end of the broadcast, and ray hudson was saying something Zaragoza looked like 2 different teams before and after D'alessandro came on.

He also didn't play against Barza. Is he hurting or something?

Anonymous said...

Yup. According to Zaragoza they were checking him for a pulled muscle or something. I imagine that he only came on in the second half because he isn't 100% yet.


Rio said...

D'alessandro really deserve a spot on the NT. More than Aimar and you know who.

Roy said...

Messi scored today for Barca aswell. I swear, this kid is as close as we're going to get for Maradona. Chances are he won't surpass Maradona but its as close as we're gonna get.

johnny said...

WAYYYYY off topic ! How bout them Auburn Tigers !!!!

John said...

News Around Europe

English Premier League

Both TEVEZ and JAVIER were starters for their respective clubs and enjoyed 1-0 win against their respective opponents

Italian Seria A

Don't forget Mario SANTANA was on target for Fiorentina in their 3-0 win over Livorno

German Bundesliga

Martin DEMICHELIS was a starter in Bayern 1-0 over Bayer Leverkusen

Hey Johnny, care to share with us about the Auburn Tigers?

johnny said...

OK John ! My alma mater, Auburn University upset the Florida Gators Saturday night in Gainesville Florida. It's 2:48AM in Buenos Aires and still celebrating. I don't maniacally(is that a word ?) follow american sports like I used to, but my heart still beats to the rhythm of Auburn football !

Anonymous said...

I heard Mr.Aguero scored a beautiful goal today. Him and Messi are tied for La Liga in goals with a piece!

Hey Seba I have a question for you and I wonder if you know about this kid. Liverpool has just signed the "New Messi", his name is Gerardo Bruna. He has signed a 3year deal with Liverpool from Real Madrid. He has yet to decide to either play for Argentina or Spain.


Anonymous said...

THIS is why Aguero is so GOOD!. Today's goal.

Rio said...

And you guys would rather see Aguero over Tevez?

Anonymous said...

The way Aguero has been playing, I would say win win. Tevez made a HUGE mistake when he signed with Man United. I think most Argentines should go to Spain and play, it is the best league in the world for them. Germany,Russia,England are all carrer killers for Argentines. Tevez made a epic run with West Ham but he should of left right after. He just needs to find his form again, I know he hates to come of the bench but he bites his lip about it. PPL were saying of Kun shows flashes of talent and that is it. The problem was Mr. Torres, hometown kid and hero, and he plade 2nd fiddle to him. Sooner or later you will hear rumbeling that ppl will want to see Aguero, kid is only 19 years old and is amazing with the ball. That goal he scores today was great, even though he had maxi to his wing, But my answer is, it is win win, and we never seen Aguero and Messi, oh wait did we? BRZ-Arg in england? Can not recall. Messi does perfer Tevez, but we just to wait and see, What do you say Rio???


Rio said...

If we don't have a forward that can compete in the Premiership, we will never win world cup.

EPL is the fastest and most physical professional league in the world. It is the standard to evaluate world class players these days.

Anonymous said...

How many players from BRZ 02 team played in the the EPL, or how many in the 06 ITAL Or French team played in the EPL. If the EPL was so high and mighty their players could easily transform to other european based leagues, which they have tried and failed. EPL is a very very tough league and it is great to have under it's belt, what kills Argentina is lack of motavation and sleep walking through games.


John said...

I'm to agree with Rio about the EPL. It is very much physical and tough to play there but should anyone succeed that can only make them a better player.

However based on current form, there's no doubt that COCO should start KUN and MESSI up front.

But if RIQUELME gets the nod despite not having played club football, then I guess TEVEZ is the most obvious choice to partner MESSI.

Rio said...


Other reasons aside, all three countries you named had/have plenty physical players. Their players don't need to play in England to learn that style, becase they are the ones raising the bar...

Italy picked all 23 players out of SerieA, but these do not represent the entire league. They were the best players playing in that country, and they were (some already left Italy) there because the serieA teams would pay extra to make sure the fan favorites were Italians.

Same cannot be said about France, since the French league isn't nearly as profitable as serieA, so a good portion of the French team was from England. In fact, England is the biggest donor country to the 06' Franch NT besides Ligue 1.

Brazil is a physical team too nowadays. Look at their Copa team. They were like horses... Those people would set the physicality standard wherever they go.

Argentina doesn't have as many physical players as these countries, so it's more vital that our players are comfortable with that style. Because that's what it takes to win WC.

Rio said...

IMHO, Tevez and Messi should take every chance they can get to learn how to work with each other. The pair is the hope of Argentine NT, all other forwards are merely insurance pieces.

johnny said...

Champions League group play gets fired up again tomorrow and Wednesday. Tomorrow both ManU and Barcelona are on tap. I can't decide about this Tevez versus Aguero issue. I hope Carlito's confidence isn't being hurt. This issue could be debated for a long time. I will say this-if we expect Carlitos to score in bunches at ManU-it ain't likely to happen. The Golden Boy is gonna get his goals, Rooney is going to get his share, and then Carlitos. Tevez is a working class hero, and as long as he scores some, he will be a favorite with the fans whereever he plays. He is unselfish. I would like to see him get as much glory as possible.

Anonymous said...

The new Messi(ah!)
Phil Ball

Quite a week here in Spain, with three league games crammed into a space of seven days. Although it's still too early to make any sweeping statements, it's nevertheless interesting how such a short and intensive period of league action can make a difference to a team's morale, in both the positive and negative senses. Whether it makes a difference only in the short-term we will have to wait and see, but take poor Sevilla, for starters.

Junade Ramos: Feeling out of his depth?

With the Champions League defeat at Arsenal sandwiched in-between, they've now lost their last four games, something that the present squad has not experienced for some time. Indeed, since taking over the reins, Jaunde Ramos has never lost four on the trot. Small wonder that he declared, with that quietly ironic touch he possesses, that last year he was 'The best in the world, and now I don't know what I'm doing'.
He's right, of course, to point out the absurdity of his being 'questioned' already, after so much achievement and so much wonderful play, and losing to Barcelona and Arsenal is hardly a disgrace. But the other two defeats, a surprise 2-3 reversal in midweek to Espanyol and a 2-0 defeat at Zaragoza this weekend do seem to have revealed a sudden fault-line running below the surface.
Espanyol took revenge of their defeat in summer in the UEFA Cup Final by exposing defensive deficiencies that were always there in theory but which rarely bubbled to the surface in practice, due to the sheer weight of pressure that the team's offensive tactics piled onto opponents. But it could be that other teams are simply getting their measure, or Ramos is losing his nerve.
Against Barcelona, Sevilla were too defensive, which at the moment against the Catalans is simply suicide, and although they tried to return to roots in midweek, Espanyol simply took their time and caught them on the break. Against Zaragoza they tried again to re-establish the 'total-football' approach that has seen them striding Europe like a colossus in recent times, only to founder on the rocks of missed chances. Next week's home game against Deportivo should see them pick up some points and stay within catch-up distance of the top four, but first they have to play Slavia Prague in the Champions League in midweek - a side who won 7-1 at the weekend.
Barcelona, on the other hand, have used the period most fruitfully, stuffing everybody left, right and centre. Crisis what crisis? - whose subtext reads 'Who needs Ronaldinho?' Well, Grimsby Town for example, but let's not go down that road. Ronaldinho has at times in his Barça career appeared to be the Anointed One, particularly with all that gooey stuff glinting in his locks, but he has been supplanted by the new Messiah, as several Barça bloggers are now calling the little Argentine. It is also interesting, in this context, to see - in any given generation of footballers - how long it takes the world press to actually come out and state 'X is the best in the world'.
Several writers were on the point of saying it last season, after Messi's famous goal against Getafe enabled those easier comparisons with Maradona, but something held them back - maybe the presence of a relatively (though not entirely) untroubled Ronaldinho on the scene, and also the fact that up to then, Messi had flitted in and out of competition, gloriously at times but with that butterfly fragility that suggested that he might just not hack it physically - certainly not enough to attain the consistency that finally earns you 'the best' label.
The other 'problem' with Messi is that despite several attempts of late to make him more media-friendly, he's not exactly Mr Charisma. Nice enough guy, of course, and quite amusing when given the chance to talk, but hardly a source of witty and controversial sound-bites. And try as you might, you just can't see him emerging from the disco steps at 2.30 in the morning, nor shielding his face from the paparazzi flash-bulbs as he is caught in flagrante with some society floozie. It's just not going to happen, mainly because you know he's at home sipping his late night hot chocolate before saying good night to his mum.

The Argentine youngster was sublime once again for Barca.

Ronaldinho, of course, is/was no oil painting, but his looks are a source of comment and are a gift to in-house newspaper caricaturists far and wide. Maradona himself was hardly possessed of film-star looks, and was of similar stature to the tiny Messi, but at least with him you could depend on a decent repertoire of histrionics, illegal substances and ludicrous one-liners. Unless Messi uses his recent salary hike to employ a personal trainer cum spin-doctor, the press may continue to only consider him the best in the world if he actually plays good football. What a thing indeed!
Then again, there were times this week, against poor Zaragoza and Levante, when you were keenly aware of the fact that when Messi receives the ball in certain positions, with a certain lay-out of players, angle, distance and pitch before him, he is simply unstoppable. The proof of greatness is surely that. You just think - 'He's going to score soon', and he does.
At Levante, a side bottom of the league but not without spirit, he simply ran them ragged. Henry scored a hat-trick, but funnily enough did not play particularly well. The goals will do him good, but his first was courtesy of a shot from Messi that bounced back into his path, and the second was thanks to an excellent pass from the tiny genius. You could see the Levante players panic and lose concentration every time Messi got the ball. It's the prefect recipe for the other players in the team (Barça) to improve too, because no-one is taking any notice of them. Italian journalists said something similar when Maradona won Serie A with Napoli. Brilliant though Maradona was, it was the turbulence created in his wake that enabled the other players to shine, so preoccupied were opponents with attempting to nullify the Argentine's threat.
But in terms of individual threat, Messi's goal against Levante was particularly interesting. With the game already killed off at 0-3, Messi receives a long crossfield ball, out on the right wing. As he advances, Bruno Cirillo, Levante's Italian defender, reluctantly chooses to put up some token resistance. Knowing that he cannot jump in, because Messi will simply skip past him on either side, Cirillo jogs to goal-side of Messi, hoping to hold him on the edge of the area, until reinforcements arrive. To the left of the camera shot, they are riding in on tired horses, exhausted by the battle so far. But no-one is actually marking either Iniesta (running up in support) or Henry, peeling off again to the far post in the hope of a fourth goal for the evening. Messi, who not only has great skill but perfect vision too - makes his decision. It's almost apologetic, but he moves inside Cirillo, as if to run across him, then suddenly swivels and changes direction, so fast that the Italian, already with the weight on his wrong foot, simply stumbles. On his face you see the expression 'Damn! I knew you were going to do that, but I still couldn't stop you' (however you say that in Italian), upon which our hero skips into the penalty area, pivots on his right foot and sends the ball swerving low across the Levante keeper with his left - plop into the net - exactly as you had suspected he would.
That's the beauty of greatness. You can see what the anointed ones are probably going to do, and lo and behold they do it - but as Cirillo would no doubt remark - there's no solution to the problem. Kick him? Well you can try, but for most of the fifty-one minutes Messi was on the pitch, he was simply too fast for anyone to even foul him.
And as final proof of the pudding of greatness, the Levante supporters rose to applaud him as was taken off by Rijkaard, presumably to save his legs for the Champions League this week. That doesn't often happen in La Liga. So by the way, Messi is the best in the world.
Meanwhile, Real Madrid continue to win as pragmatically as they did last season, this time with a 0-1 win at Getafe in a game where Schuster returned to the scene of his pre-Bernabéu apprenticeship. They may continue to do this for much of the season, but for now, if I were to put money on the league title, I would be looking in the direction of Catalonia.
Valencia are looking strong as usual, and have the quality to sustain a challenge, but they'll have to solve their internal problems before they can really aspire to the title. Villarreal are proving that last season's blip was but a temporary one, and in Rossi and Nihat they would seem to have forgotten the exploits of Forlan and the leadership of Riquelme, still tragically out in the cold.
Atlético Madrid too, are warming up nicely, with the other Argentine of the moment, Kun Agüero, at last beginning to justify his own personal 'the-next-Maradona' tag. Looking at the league in pure squad terms, Atlético have used the Torres money well (Reyes, Simao and Forlan), and if they can get some sort of run together they may turn out to be the main challengers to the Old Firm, assuming that Sevilla fail to recover in time. Whatever, things are warming up very nicely indeed.


Anonymous said...

Rio, I do not think one physical player can change a team. Like I said in my posts during Copa America, if we lose the Copa America final everyone will point the finger and say this and that;However if we win we will how beautiful we played, put on a show yada yada yada. We did not hear too many ppl complaining when we trashed Mexico 3-0 did we not? Hey it was a bad day and the cards did not fall in our side. Everything that want wrong did. I do not want to talk about past history, seems like our past history is just negative talk. We have a gem in Messi, and lets work aorund him. To me if Argentina had faced the italians, I do think Argentina would won that game and gone to the final and beat France. Those are should of, could of, would of yada yada yada's. This is all IMHO Rio, nothing thowards you.


Rio said...

Not all opponents are equal, and identical scores don't always mean the samething.

When the Copa team was doing well (aka. killing underrated opponents), there were still criticism against Basile's player choices. Lucho, Milito brothers, Heinze, Veron... Fans were not 100% happy with him playing the same formation game in and game out, and definitely were not satisfied by the benching of Tevez, especially after Crespo's injury.

And what you said doesn't offend me at all. It was clear the stubbornness of Basile was going to be dangerous in the final, and it ended up costing us the silverware.

In fact, I'm still laughing at the people that responded with "Let's go with the samething", "he's been doing well", "coco is a master of technician", "let's stick to what had been working", etc.

All I ever wanted was a more defensive strategy against dangerous opponents such as Brazil...

johnny said...

Roman rumor mill keeps on turning-this time it's Man City. At this point I would be happy to see him play ANYWHERE !

Anonymous said...

Good chap Rio. I was watching FOX FOOTBALL PHONE IN and they talked about some of the worse sub in history. You know one of them was taking Riquelme off vs Germany, when Riquelme had ball pos and they brought in Cambiaso. Also leaving Messi out was another.


Rio said...

Didn't think Basile would call up 5 local players, but then again I didn't know you could enlist 25 guys for the qualifiers either.

Besides Basile's nepotism and Ibarra getting called up again, the other choices were ok. 2 wingers, 1 goalie and 1 target person, although I doubt any of them will see much pitch time.

No D'alessandro is such a let down though. And Crespo... If Ibarra is worth the spot, how does Crespo not?

Funny thing is, Basile just chose silence to answer Palermo's pleading :D I mean, get real, what did Palermo think this was? A supermarket? If he deserves a call up because he scored couple goals for Boca, what about Klimowicz?

Anonymous said...

Road to glory?

Sorry John, not with Abbondancieri as main goalkeeper I'm afraid.

He'd never been outstanding and now he's not as good as he used to be. I believe he's tired up...

Fortunately Mr Basile has called also for Carrizo who, despite errors committed on its first two recent games for River, has now gained back confidence and might advantageously cover the main goalkeeper's position.

Capricious Basile's options will give Argentina a good team or something not to write home about.

Let's cross our fingers & hope for the best.