Diego MILITO and Ezequiel LAVEZZI have both been sent back to Italy due to injuries. To read more about that, please click here.
Diego MARADONA is likely to play a 4-4-2 consisting of the following:
Lucho GONZALEZ or Maxi RODRIGUEZ---MASCHERANO---GAGO---Maxi or DI MARIA
The position in italics is unknown. Italics bold is the favourite to start at that position.
The situation in midfield seems to be favouring the inclusion of Lucho GONZALEZ. In order to do that, MARADONA will use Maxi RODRIGUEZ on the left and put Lucho where he is more comfortable: on the right. If he chooses DI MARIA, then Maxi stays on the right and the Benfica youngster goes to the left.
Argentina vs. Bolivia, the statistics
Argentina's overall record vs. Bolivia
Out of 29 matches against Bolivia, Argentina has won 22 of them compared to Bolivia's 5. They also have 2 draws between them.
Argentina's World Cup Qualifiers record vs. Bolivia
Argentina and Bolivia have faced each other 15 times in Qualifiers. 11 of those matches have been won by the Albicelestes as opposed to Bolivia's 3 wins. Only 1 draw between them.
Goals scored in Qualifiers vs. Bolivia
Much like Venezuela, Argentina has outscored their opposition by a large margine. Argentina has scored an impressive 33 goals in Qualifiers(against Bolivia) which comes up to an impressive 2.2 goals per match ratio. Bolivia on the other hand has only scored 14 goals(against Argentina), which brings their goal scoring ratio to under 1.0 a game... 0.93 goals per game to be exact.
Matches at La Paz, Bolivia
Argentina has only played 7 games in Bolivia for World Cup Qualifiers. They're record is split even, with 3 wins, 3 losses and 1 game drawn.
Last match played at La Paz
The last time Argentina travelled to Bolivia to play a World Cup Qualifier was 3 years ago, on March 26, 2005. Bolivia took the initial lead in the 49th minute thanks to a Jose CASTILLO goal, Argentina then scored twice in a row. The first by Lucho FIGUEROA in the 57th minute and the second goal came shortly after by Luciano GALLETTI in the 63rd minute as Argentina defeated Bolivia 2-1.
The lone survivor
Only one player played at La Paz in 2005 who's still currently on the team... and surprisingly its not Javier ZANETTI! Maxi RODRIGUEZ is the lone survivor from that match against Bolivia having played 63 minutes before being substituted off for Leonardo PONZIO(but not before being show a yellow card in the 41st minute). Other notable names include: Roberto ABBONDANZIERI, Nicolas BURDISSO, Gabriel MILITO, Esteban CAMBIASSO and last but not least Daniel DIAZ. Though DIAZ is on the current team, he did not play in the match. He was left on the bench for the 90 minutes.
Diego MARADONA's record against Bolivia
As a player, Diego played 91 times for Argentina. A career spanning over 10 years, but he only played twice against Bolivia. The first match came at the 1979 Copa America(in Buenoes Aires) where Argentina defeated Bolivia 3-0. Diego also scored his third National Team goal in that match. The second match took place at Goiania(Brazil), where the match ended 0-0. Once again, it was a Copa America match, this time the 1989 edition.
A sneak peak for "The Curious Case of Javier ZANETTI"
If you haven't heard of the new movie hitting theatres near you, please click here The following is a sneak peak of "The Curious Case of Javier ZANETTI".
Chapter I: The Bolivia Chapter
July 8, 1995: Javier ZANETTI has played 6 matches against Bolivia. The first coming at the 1995 Copa America in Uruguay, where Argentina defeated Bolivia 2-1.
April 24, 1996: The second match took place nearly a year later, where once again Argentina came out on top. This time the Albicelestes won the match 3-1 in a 1998 World Cup Qualifier in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
June 4, 2000: They say all good things come in 3's and in this case its the truth as Argentina once again defeated Bolivia in yet another World Cup Qualifier, this time a 2002 World Cup Qualifier. Argentina came out on top 1-0 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Javier ZANETTI, Walter SAMUEL and Juan Sebastian VERON all played in that match and are on the current team.
April 25, 2001: Javier ZANETTI's perfect record against Bolivia was somewhat tarnished as Argentina eeked out a draw in La Paz, Bolivia. Hernan CRESPO scored twice for Argentina and former Albicelestes captain, Juan Pablo SORIN scored in the 89th minute to salvage a point for Argentina as the match ended 3-3. Like the previous match, this was a 2002 World Cup Qualifier. Along with ZANETTI, Walter SAMUEL and Juan Sebastian VERON all played in that match and are on the current team.
November 15, 2003: Remember when I said all good things come in 3's? Well, in a 2006 World Cup Qualifier in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the host country thrashed Bolivia 3-0. This time only Javier ZANETTI and Walter SAMUEL played in that match.
November 17, 2007: Yup, you guessed it... in 3's! Argentina, once again, thrashed Bolivia 3-0, this time in a 2010 World Cup Qualifier. And yes, once again, the match took place in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Chapter 2: Most played minutes
29 players(31 including goalkeepers) have played for Argentina so far in this edition of the World Cup Qualifiers. Javier ZANETTI has played the most minutes clocking in 990 minutes for Argentina. Lionel MESSI is in second place, behind by only 9 minutes, as he has played 981 minutes. And last but not least, captain Javier MASCHERANO has played 873 minutes.
Last meeting vs. Bolivia
The last time Argentina played versus Bolivia was on November 17, 2007. Argentina won the match 3-0, with Sergio AGÜERO scoring once and Juan Roman RIQUELME scoring twice.
Martín DEMICHELIS, Javier ZANETTI, Sergio AGÜERO, Carlos TEVEZ, Javier MASCHERANO, Lionel MESSI, Maxi RODRIGUEZ and Fernando GAGO all played in that match.
As mentioned, 29 players(31 with goalkeepers) have played for Argentina so far in this edition of the World Cup Qualifiers. However, only 8 players have scored. Carlos TEVEZ, Esteban CAMBIASSO, Gabriel MILITO, Maxi RODRIGUEZ and Rodrigo PALACIO all scored 1 goal each. Juan Roman RIQUELME, Lionel MESSI and Sergio AGÜERO have all scored 4 goals each.
Jonas GUTIERREZ is suspended for this match due to accumulation of yellow cards. However, Martín DEMICHELIS(who missed the match against Venezuela due to an accumulation of yellow cards) will be back for Argentina.
Eight players are carrying yellow cards, meaning 1 more and they will miss the next match.
Javier ZANETTI (booked against Chile)
Gabriel HEINZE, Carlos TEVEZ, Lionel MESSI and Javier MASCHERANO (all booked against Uruguay)
Daniel DIAZ, Sebastián BATTAGLIA and Fernando GAGO (all booked against Peru)
Sitting in before last match with 9 points, Bolivia have made it difficult for themselves to qualify for the 2010 World Cup. Out of 11 matches, they have only managed 2 wins, 3 draws and lost 6 times. In the process scoring 13 times and allowing 24 goals(the most allowed so far in the Qualifiers).
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