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Argentina World Cup team capsules
Question of the Day
Argentina heads into the World Cup final on Sunday against Germany with winger Angel Di Maria in doubt because of a thigh injury. Here’s a look at Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella’s likely starters and substitutes.
Sergio Romero - The goalkeeper was Argentina’s weak link before the World Cup due to a lack of playing time at French club Monaco, but has been rock solid in Brazil. Hasn’t conceded a single goal in the knockout phase and stopped two penalties in the semifinal shootout against the Netherlands.
Pablo Zabaleta - Hard-working right back who has stepped up his game after bland performances in the group stage. Finished the semifinal with a bandage on his face after clashing with Netherlands winger Dirk Kuyt.
Martin Demichelis - Late addition to the World Cup squad and also to the starting lineup in Brazil. After watching Argentina’s first four World Cup matches from the bench, Demichelis replaced mediocre center back Federico Fernandez in the quarterfinals, giving an immediate boost to Argentina’s defense.
Ezequiel Garay - Central defender with strong aerial game who moves into the opposite penalty area on set pieces. Cemented his place in the lineup in World Cup qualifying.
Marcos Rojo - Left back who likes to support the attack with runs down the flank and crosses into the area. Also strong in the air, and headed in the winner in Argentina’s 3-2 victory over Nigeria in the group stage.
Lucas Biglia - Entered the lineup in the quarterfinals to replace Fernando Gago, who had disappointed in the group stage. The shift has bolstered Argentina’s midfield, particularly when it comes to regaining possession.
Javier Mascherano - Tough-tackling defensive midfielder who has been one of Argentina’s best players in the World Cup, providing crucial support for the back four. Played key role against the Netherlands, stopping late attempts by Arjen Robben.
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