MX23RW : Friday, December 6 12:21:48| >> :600:1314252:1314252:
Nov 18, 2019 at 7.15pm UK at ​Bloomfield Stadium (Tel-Aviv-Yāfā (Tel-Aviv))
Aguero (63'), Messi (92' pen.)
FT(HT: 0-1)
Cavani (34'), Suarez (68')

Preview: Argentina vs. Uruguay - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole looks at how Argentina could line up for Monday's friendly clash with Uruguay, including a prediction, team news and predicted lineups.

Lionel Messi will be expected to feature once again when Argentina meet South American rivals Uruguay in Tel Aviv on Monday night.

The Barcelona forward scored the winner against Brazil on his return from a three-month ban, although he may not get the chance to increase his international tally amid fears that Monday's game could be cancelled due to fighting between Israeli and Palestinian forces.

Match preview

Argentina's Lionel Messi in action with Brazil's Alex Sandro on November 15, 2019© Reuters

For Messi, it was fitting that his first game back for Argentina after returning from suspension came against Brazil, whose victory in last summer's Copa America he described as "fixed".

Those comments led to three months away from international action, serving as another blow to Argentinian football, but his winner against their old enemy gave La Albiceleste a rare moment of joy.

Indeed, following a second-round exit at last year's World Cup and a defeat to Brazil in the Copa America semi-final, there are doubts over Argentina's ability to assert themselves at major tournaments in the same way that they did across the 1980s and 1990s.

While the influence of Messi is often salutary, the 32-year-old's presence can sometimes appear to have a stymying effect, with too much tactical emphasis on getting the ball to him and not enough focus on how Argentina can best function as a collective attacking unit.

Under Lionel Scaloni, who took over from Jorge Sampaoli after the World Cup, Argentina now have an opportunity to work towards building a team that does not need Messi to serve as its figurehead.

Luis Suarez reacts after missing a chance for Uruguay in their Copa America defeat to Peru on June 29, 2019© Reuters

With this idea in mind, the Argentina boss ought to take a look at Monday's opponents as inspiration for how one creates a stable base from which an intractable outfit can emerge.

While Argentina have made eight managerial changes since 2006, Uruguay boss Oscar Tabarez has quietly and efficiently remained at the helm for 13 years, overseeing three World Cup campaigns and five Copa Americas, emerging victorious in 2011.

For country with a population of under 3.5 million, Tabarez has always constructed his team on the basis of optimal resourcefulness - something manifested in the way that Uruguay defend with such solidity and unity.

Indeed, while Uruguay may not always thrill spectators with their performances, the fact that they have conceded more than once in a game on just one occasion since October 2018 serves to illustrate that Tabarez has never allowed for the team's levels to drop.

With Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani leading the counter-attacking effort, the two-time World Cup winners know their game-plan as if it were religious doctrine, making them a difficult opponent for any team to face.

Recent Argentina form: WDWDWW
Recent Uruguay form (all competitions): LWDWDW

Team News

Argentina manager Lionel Scaloni picture during the friendly against Venezuela on March 22, 2019© Reuters

Scaloni has overlooked Paris Saint-Germain duo Angel Di Maria and Mauro Icardi, while Roberto Pereyra is out due to injury.

Alexis Mac Allister, who was called up, is expected to feature along with Paulo Dybala after the pair both watched Friday's 1-0 win in Saudi Arabia from the bench.

For Uruguay, Cavani and Suarez are both expected to start up front once again, with the latter coming off at half time and the former scoring during the 2-1 win over Hungary last time out.

Moreover, Juventus midfielder Rodrigo Bentancur looks likely to make way for Arsenal's Lucas Torreira, whose performances for his national side played an important part in the club's decision to sign him last year.

Argentina possible starting lineup:
Musso; Foyth, Pezzella, Otamendi, Tagliafico; Rodriguez, Paredes, Acuna, Dybala; Aguero, Messi

Uruguay possible starting lineup:
Muslera; Gonzalez, Coates, Godin, Laxalt; Pereiro, Torreira; Lozano, Stuani; Cavani, Suarez

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We say: Argentina 1-0 Uruguay

Provided that the bombs stay away, expect a cagey affair in Tel Aviv, with Uruguay players ganging up on Messi and any other pockets of space that Argentina find.

However, Argentina's six-game unbeaten streak, combined with the presence of Messi accompanied by Sergio Aguero, should be enough for Scaloni's side to snatch a winning goal.

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Who will win Monday's friendly clash between Argentina and Uruguay?

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