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15th-May-2014

Argentina name provisional 30-man World Cup squad

By Agency

Alejandro Sabella has named some surprise players in his provisional 30-man Argentina squad for the 2014 World Cup, but it's likely that they've been brought in with a view towards the 2015 and 2016 Copa America tournaments, rather than as actual competitors for first-choice players. Franco Di Santo, Lisandro Lopez and Fabian Rinaudo were surprise inclusions, but will almost certainly be among those cut.
Like Diego Maradona in 2010, Sabella doesn't have much to choose from in the way of natural fullbacks, and will have to play someone out of position if his starters get injured. The good news for him is that a few of his central defenders have played right back before, and that Pablo Zabaleta can fill in at left back in a pinch.
Lionel Messi is one of many forwards called into the team, and that list might only have Di Santo cut from it. Messi is likely to play behind a center forward, while both Sergio Aguero and Ezequiel Lavezzi play wide more than they play in the middle for Argentina.
Goalkeepers: Sergio Romero (Monaco), Mariano Andújar (Catania), Agustín Orion (Boca Juniors).
Defenders: Ezequiel Garay (Benfica), Federico Fernández (Napoli), Pablo Zabaleta (Manchester City), Marcos Rojo (Sporting Portugal), José María Basanta (Monterrey), Hugo Campagnaro (Inter Milan), Nicolás Otamendi (Atlético Mineiro), Martín Demichelis (Manchester City), Gabriel Mercado (River Plate), Lisandro López (Getafe).
Midfielders: Fernando Gago (Boca Juniors), Lucas Biglia (Lazio), Javier Mascherano (Barcelona), Ever Banega (Newell's Old Boys), Angel Di María (Real Madrid), Maximiliano Rodríguez (Newell's Old Boys), Ricardo Alvarez (Inter Milan), Augusto Fernández (Celta Vigo), Enzo Pérez (Benfica), José Sosa (Atlético Madrid), Fabian Rinaudo (Catania).
Forwards: Sergio Agüero (Manchester City), Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Gonzalo Higuaín (Napoli), Ezequiel Lavezzi (Paris Saint-Germain), Rodrigo Palacio (Inter Milan), Franco Di Santo (Werder Bremen).