Argentina manager Jorge Sampaoli has stressed that he is not underestimating the strength of Iceland after deciding to announce the starting line-up, a day before the encounter. The pair are expected to tussle during the opening World Cup game in Group D and Sampaoli has explained that he does not need to hide the line-up which has supposedly been leaked.
He said: “No, no, no, the reason why we have named our team in advance is because we knew since Wednesday what we wanted to do.I’ve told you today because we have trained with the starting XI and I don’t believe it’s necessary to hide this information.We know Iceland’s main man, their captain [Aron Gunnarsson], is recovering from injury but they play well as a group and I’m sure it’s going to be very tough against them.They defend in depth and will probably play on the counter attack. Iceland will be a tough team to beat.”
Former Chelsea star Hernan Crespo believes Argentina should try and secure their progress to the last 16 of the World Cup prior to their final group stage game against Nigeria. Speaking to Championat.com, the Argentine admitted that his nation won’t have an easy game against the Super Eagles in Group D and he is hopeful of seeing them qualifying prior to the encounter.
He said: “In 1999, I played in Moscow in the final of the UEFA Cup. And in St. Petersburg for the first time. Today the weather is fine, and I really like that there are so many enthusiasts here who have such a passion for football. And I’m very glad to be here, to share joy with everyone. The match against Nigeria in Petersburg will be difficult, but we in Argentina hope that by this time we will qualify for the second round ahead of schedule. I would like to see Messi win the World Cup as part of the national team.”
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has confirmed that Sergio Aguero should return to full fitness ahead of this summer’s World Cup finals in Russia. The Argentine had to undergo a knee surgery shortly after City’s Champions League quarter-final exit to Liverpool but Guardiola expects him to return to a good condition before the World Cup kickstarts in Russia, he said: “I have had information from [Dr Ramon] Cugat that he will arrive okay [at the World Cup].”
Aguero’s position had come into question during the backend of the previous campaign but there have been no such doubts this term. Over the course of the 2017/18 season, Aguero has netted 30 goals for the club, but he has unfortunately been stranded on 199 goals since the League Cup final triumph over Arsenal in February.Continue reading
Valencia defender Ezequiel Garay has revealed that he is not giving up on national team selection despite not being considered by Argentina since October 2015. The centre-back last featured for the South American nation during a World Cup qualifier defeat versus Ecuador, and he has since failed to return to national team reckoning.
Sources have since suggested that Garay has snubbed a call-up, but the defence has dismissed this saying: “It’s a question for the Argentina coach. I intend to do things well at my club and after that it depends on the coach. It doesn’t depend on me to decide who goes and who doesn’t. A lot of things were said. Did you hear anything coming out of my mouth? No. Listen… I never gave up. I always believe it’s a dream to be able to play for your country.”
Argentina head coach Jorge Sampaoli has admitted that the likes of Paulo Dybala and Mauro Icardi could miss out on the World Cup despite impressing for their respective clubs this term. The pair have enjoyed good run of form with Juventus and Inter Milan respectively, but Sampaoli has stressed that they have not been able to replicate the results at the national stage.
Sampaoli said: “It is complicated for Dybala to get used to our system. We couldn’t improve his performances and we have to evaluate if the current players [in this squad] are better than Paulo or if we have to keep working with Paulo to improve his performance. Icardi’s situation is similar to Dybala’s. The transition of Icardi’s performance from Inter to Argentina weren’t the best. I don’t dismiss him, but, as Argentina’s coach I have to focus on performances in the field.”
Wayne Rooney believes Liverpool’s attacking trio of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah are still far off from emulating Manchester United’s famous strike force in 2008. Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez formed the attacking trident under Sir Alex Ferguson during the 2007-08 campaign and they went on to win a Champions League and Premier League double that year.
Speaking on Sky Sports, Rooney stressed that the current Reds frontline needs to find success in terms of Premier League medals before they are rated in the same category as United’s famous trio, he said: “I think they are very dangerous, Firmino works very hard to win the ball back and they have a lot of pace.
Shanghai Shenhua have dismissed speculation linking star forward Carlos Tevez with a move to Mexico. The Argentine has been associated with a switch to Liga MX, where he is a transfer target for giants Tigres, America, and Pumas.
In a report covered by Shanghai Morning Post, Shenhua team manager Mao Yijun appeared to categorically ruled out Tevez’s exit by confirming that the entire squad will link up for the training camp in Spain, he said: “We will head for Spain for a month long preseason training at Marbella on Tuesday morning and all of our foreign players will be there. We will bring 29 Chinese players [to Marbella] this time. With all the foreign players on board, it will be a 34-man squad.”
Chelsea forward Alvaro Morata says that his interactions with Carlos Tevez have helped him learn a lot. The two players were teammates when the former moved to Juventus in 2014. He was able to become a major hit after scoring 27 goals in two seasons with the Italian outfit. These goals were a major factor behind Juventus reaching the Champions League final and also winning the Italian Serie A title. Tevez is also known for his time at Juventus, and it appears that the Argentine forward has claimed that it really is a top destination for strikers.
The Argentine is currently playing in Chinese football and has the tag of being the best paid player in the world, although these are unconfirmed reports. Morata joined Juventus as a young player and he appears to have learnt a lot from Tevez, who represented the likes of Manchester United, Manchester City, and Juventus amongst many other outfits in European football. There is a criticism of Italian football being too slow, but this does not seem to be the case as far as Tevez is concerned. Morata claims that the Argentine was extremely happy with the time spent in Italian football. After having spoken in glorious terms about Italy, Morata refused to rule out a return to Italian football in the future.
Argentine striker Carlos Tevez has shed up to six kilos of weight in order to prove himself to Shanghai Shenhua faithful, who labelled him as a ‘very homesick boy. The former Juventus man has had a turbulent 10 months in the Far East, where received a hero’s welcome from the fans before missing half of the club’s games through injury or the lack of fitness.
Early in September, new Shenhua boss Wu Jingui termed the 33-year-old as overweight and ordered him to get fitter in order to make the matchday squad. Tevez has since taken the word strictly as per the club’s sources, and the striker lowered his weight from 78 to 72 kg to make his first-team comeback.
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