“slow without him” – Argentina fans fear the worst as ‘essential player’ is not named in starting XI for FIFA World Cup QF

Argentina fans are worried to see Angel Di Maria not named in La Albiceleste‘s starting line-up to face the Netherlands in their FIFA World Cup quarter-final clash.

Argentina made a disastrous start to the 2022 FIFA World Cup campaign, losing 2-1 to Saudi Arabia in their opener. However, they have since won each of their three games, making their way into the quarter-finals of the competition.

La Albiceleste booked their place in the last eight of the FIFA World Cup after beating Australia 2-1 in the Round of 16. They will now be hopeful of going all the way in Qatar this year.

Lionel Scaloni and company, however, have to first beat the Netherlands to earn a place in the semi-finals of the tournament. The two teams will lock horns at the Lusail Stadium today (December 9) with the hope of qualifying for the last four.

With less than an hour to go until kick-off, Argentina have announced their starting line-up for the match. Scaloni has notably made just one change to the team that beat Australia in the Round of 16.

Argentina eleven: Emiliano Martínez; Molina, Romero, Otamendi, Lisandro Martínez, Acuña; DePaul, Enzo, MacAllister; Messi, Alvarez. Via @DiarioOle🇧🇷 🇧🇷

La Albiceleste have switched to a back three, with Lisandro Martinez coming into the side. Alejandro Gomez has been relegated to the bench to make space for the Manchester United defender.

Meanwhile, Di Maria, who started in Argentina’s all three group matches, had to settle for a place on the bench for the second game in a row. The Juventus man had an injury in the days leading up to the game, but is available for team selection.

Scaloni is confident that his preferred XI will get the job done against the Netherlands today. However, fans fear the worst after seeing Di Maria miss out on a place in the starting line-up. One fan wrote on Twitter:

“No Di Maria. I’m officially scared. We were so [Lionel] Messi-dependent and slow without him.”

@RoyNemer @DiarioOle No Di Maria… I’m officially scared we were so Messi dependent and slow without him

Another supporter tweeted:

“I understand [Julian] Alvarez is playing cause he’s been on form, but why is Di Maria not playing? He’s an essential player for big games. Did Argentina forget how they lost the [2014 FIFA World Cup ]final against Germany?”

Man….. I understand Alvarez is playing cuz he’s been on form but why is Di Maria not playing….. he’s an essential player for big games. Does Argentina forget how they lost the finals against Germany

Here are some more reactions to Di Maria not starting against Holland:

How are Netherlands lining up against Argentina in the FIFA World Cup?

Louis van Gaal has made just one change to the team that beat the USA in their FIFA World Cup Round of 16 clash. Davy Klaassen has been relegated to the bench, with Steven Bergwijn taking his place from him.

Both sides will be hopeful of earning a place in the semi-finals of the competition. It now remains to be seen if Scaloni and company can emerge victorious over the Netherlands.

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Edited by Dakir Mohammed Thanveer


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