MX23RW : Saturday, January 19 03:06:29

Willy Caballero: 'Argentina can cope without Lionel Messi'

Caballero: 'Argentina can cope without Messi'
© Reuters
Argentina goalkeeper Willy Caballero defends his national team, insisting that they could cope without Lionel Messi in the World Cup.

Chelsea goalkeeper Willy Caballero has insisted that Argentina are not reliant on Lionel Messi and can cope without the Barcelona star.

Messi watched from the stands as his international team were thumped 6-1 by Spain in March as the forward was struggling with injury.

While Messi will be fit to play for Argentina in the group stages, Caballero is adamant that the team will not see a repeat of their match against Julen Lopetegui's side - with or without Messi.

"It was a really, really weird game," Caballero told reporters.

"The result was strange ­because they had six chances and scored six goals. We had four and scored once. So our performance was not ­reflected in the result. But it was good that loss ­occurred when it did. It gave us time to improve. Of course, we can say on paper, 'Messi didn't play or [Angel] Di Maria didn't play'. But we defended Argentina and did it well enough.

"So it doesn't matter who is out. We have to do it ­better, as we did against Italy (winning 2-0) four days earlier."

Argentina will face Iceland, Croatia and Nigeria in Group D of the World Cup later this month.


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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool22183150104057
2Manchester CityMan City22172359174253
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs22160646222448
4Chelsea22145340172347
5Arsenal22125546321441
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd22125544321241
7Watford229583232032
8Leicester CityLeicester229492625131
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham229493032-231
10Everton228683331230
11Wolverhampton WanderersWolves228592328-529
12Bournemouth2283113142-1127
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2275102430-626
14Crystal Palace2264122028-822
15Burnley2263132343-2021
16Southampton2247112339-1619
17Cardiff CityCardiff2254131941-2219
18Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2246121631-1518
19Fulham2235142049-2914
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2225151337-2411

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