Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Argentina dealt huge blow just one hour before World Cup

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Argentina have been forced into a late replacement as Marcos Acuna is replaced by Nicolas Tagliafico for the World Cup final against France.

Acuna, who missed the semi-final win over Croatia through suspension, was initially set to be part of Lionel Scaloni’s side for the all-important clash.

However, the 44-year-old has had to make a late switch, with Tagliafico coming into the side.

The late change was not tactical but forced, with Acuna suffering with an injury and therefore unable to play.

Tagliafico has started just one of Argentina’s World Cup games in the run to the final, being the semi-final, where he helped his side keep a clean sheet in a 3-0 win.

The change is one of two Scaloni has made for the final, with Angel Di Maria coming in for Leandro Paredes in a much more welcome switch.

Di Maria has been battling to be fit for the final, having missed out entirely in the clash against Croatia. He also started as a substitute as Argentina beat Holland on penalties in the quarter-final.

Otherwise, Scaloni has stuck with a back-four in defence, with Cristian Romero and Nicolas Otamendi being the pairing.

Rodrigo De Paul, Alexis Mac Allister and Enzo Fernandez all retain their place in midfield.

Argentina, having been forced into a late change themselves, will come up against a full-strength France side.

Les Bleus have been dealing with a virus outbreak in their squad in the build-up to the game, with Raphel Varane and Olivier Giroud previously emerging as doubts in what was a worrying development for manager Didier Deschamps.

Both players are fit to start, however, while Adrien Rabiot – who missed the semi-final win over Morocco due to illness – is back in the lineup.

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