The Indian Post Online

For Argentina’s World Cup qualifier against Paraguay, Lionel Messi is still questionable

<p>Despite “looking good” in training, Lionel Messi remains questionable for Argentina’s South American World Cup qualifying match against Paraguay on Thursday, according to coach Lionel Scaloni.</p>
<p>On Saturday in Major League Soccer, Messi joined the World Cup champions after making his injury comeback as a substitute for Inter Miami.<img decoding=”async” class=”alignnone wp-image-230050″ src=”” alt=” stock market updates hcl tech and infosys trade down sensex in the red nifty above” width=”1198″ height=”671″ srcset=” 300w,×84.jpg 150w” sizes=”(max-width: 1198px) 100vw, 1198px” title=”For Argentina's World Cup qualifier against Paraguay, Lionel Messi is still questionable 6″></p>
<p>Messi returned from international duty last month with an injury and has only played 37 minutes for his club since then.</p>
<p>“We only have one training session left, and this one is crucial for him… I need to discuss it with him and make sure we both agree that he can start. He presented well. We’ll see the rest of the squad after that, Scaloni remarked.</p>
<p>The Argentina coach said that in addition, he had to consider the fact that his squad will play Peru five days later in Lima.</p>
<p>The most crucial factor, he stated, is that if he is not well enough to play, whomever replaces him will perform just as well.</p>
<p>Argentina is tied for first place with Brazil on six points after winning both of its qualifying matches so far.</p>
<p>Should Messi not be able to play, Scaloni may start with Julian Alvarez of Manchester City and Lautaro Martinez of Inter Milan as a duo.</p>
<p>“They have already started games together. I’m flexible in many ways. The contest will determine it. There would be no issue. Although they are different, they can play, he said.</p>
<p>With one point after two games, Paraguay is in sixth position, one spot shy of securing automatic qualifying for the 2026 World Cup.</p>
<p>On Thursday, Brazil and Venezuela will face off in Cuiaba. The ‘Vinotinto’ have three points following victories against Paraguay and Colombia, both by the score of 1-0.</p>
<p>The “Selecao,” according to midfielder Casemiro, won’t undervalue a rival seeking their first championship.</p>
<p>It will be a challenging game. Venezuela has various advantages, including a large number of talented players who play in Europe. Respect is key in this situation, the former Real Madrid and Manchester United midfielder said during a press conference.</p>
<p>“One of the few sports in which the favorite does not usually win is football… And there are no easy games in South America, he said.</p>
<p>Brazil will play their third match under interim coach Fernando Diniz, and Casemiro said the squad is still getting used to the new strategy.</p>
<p>“We are working as hard as we can to adjust, but it takes time. In a club setting, it often takes months. We aim to follow that work ethic as rapidly as possible and minimize errors in the national team, he added, using videos and other tools.</p>
<p>Brazil visits Marcelo Bielsa’s Uruguay on Tuesday in Montevideo after the match with Venezuela. Chile will visit Venezuela.</p>
<p>Other games on Thursday are Bolivia vs. Ecuador, Peru vs. Chile, and Colombia hosting Uruguay.</p>

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