Argentina name strong squad ahead of World Cup 2014
The heavily backed Argentina, trading at 5/1 joint second favourites alongside Germany to take the title at Brazil 2014, have announced their 30 man provisional squad. Coach Alejandro Sabella looks to have made some pretty straight forward selections, going for consistency, which means that Spurs striker Erik Lamela doesn’t get a spot, and neither does Juventus forward Carlos Tevez.
Tevez, despite some great form for Juventus in Serie A this season, netting 19 goals, never expected to be called in from the cold to join the World Cup squad.
At the back, Manchester City’s centre half Martin Demichelis put himself in the picture, the first time that he has featured for Argentina since back in 2011 in a qualifier against Bolivia. Demichelis took a lot of time to adjust to life in England , being called out for some poor performances by City fans. However, he grew in stature towards the end of the season, to become a rock at the back for them as they pushed for the Premier League title.
Real Madrid’s Angel Di Maria was named in the squad and he should be fit after a hamstring problem towards the end of the season. Argentina go in Group F of the 2014 World Cup, and they open against Bosnia-Herzegovina on June 15th, before moving on to play Iran and Nigeria. Argentina are odds on 1/4 shots to win Group F outright.
Goalkeepers: Sergio Romero (Sampdoria), Mariano Andujar (Catania), Agustin Orion (Boca Juniors).
Defenders: Pablo Zabaleta (Manchester City), Federico Fernandez (Napoli), Ezequiel Garay (Benfica), Marcos Rojo (Sporting Lisbon), Hugo Campagnaro (Inter Milan), Martin Demichelis (Manchester City), Jose Basanta (Monterrey), Nicolas Otamendi (Atletico Mineiro), Lisandro Lopez (Getafe), Gabriel Mercado (River Plate).
Midfielders: Javier Mascherano (Barcelona), Fernando Gago (Boca Juniors), Lucas Biglia (Lazio), Ever Banega (Newell’s Old Boys), Ricardo Alvarez (Inter Milan), Augusto Fernandez (Celta Vigo), Jose Sosa (Atletico Madrid), Angel Di Maria (Real Madrid), Maxi Rodriguez (Newell’s Old Boys), Fabian Rinaudo (Catania), Enzo Perez (Benfica).
Forwards: Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Gonzalo Higuain (Napoli), Sergio Aguero (Manchester City), Rodrigo Palacio (Inter Milan), Ezequiel Lavezzi (Paris St-Germain), Franco Di Santo (Werder Bremen).