|Date / Time:||Competition:||Live / Repeat:|
|October 11, 2009 - 4:00am(GMT+6:00)||World Cup Qualifying||Live|
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Argentina vs Peru South Africa 2010 World Cup Qualifier Match Preview
Importance of the game
The last time these two teams met in World Cup Qualifying was on September 10, 2008, where they drew 1-1 in Lima.
Unfortunately for Peru, no result from this game will increase their chances for a ticket to South Africa, as they were the first team to be eliminated from South America World Cup Qualifying. Currently they sit at the bottom of the table with just 2 wins, 4 ties, and 10 losses.
Argentina is in a much more interesting situation, to say the least. Currently sitting in 5th place of the 10 COMNEBOL teams, they no longer hold their fate concerning automatic qualifying to South Africa.
Not only does coach Diego Maradona and his currently struggling team need a win here, but they also need a few other games to go their way in order to secure that all too important 4th spot. Otherwise, they will go to a home-and-away playoff with a CONCACAF team or worse, go nowhere at all.
Changes from Maradona’s side
With the results Argentina has had recently (namely a 2-0 loss in Ecuador, 1-3 loss at home in Rosario, and 1-0 loss in Paraguay), it is not surprising that the pressure is on Diego Maradona to put the best team out that he possibly can.
Some early surprises came when Diego left out recent starters and former captain Javier Zanetti, Fernando Gago, and Jesús Dátolo, who was the lone goal scorer against Brazil last month.
Additions were also made, however, as standout forward Gonzalo Higuain (Real Madrid) was finally called after what many claim was too long. This 22-year old is confident of Argentina’s chances as he stated “We're going to make it to the World Cup, of that I have no doubt,” in a FIFA.com interview.
Other big additions made for the team include two Benfica midfield standouts, Angel Di Maria and Pablo Aimar, as well as Liverpool defender Emiliano Insua.
What to expect
The Argentines have everything to play for. At a time where Argentina desperately needs a hero, expect to see one, if not more.
Lionel Messi (Barcelona) will most likely start up front where Diego likes to play him. He may be paired with newcomer Higuain or with veteran Martin Palermo (Boca Juniors), who recently scored two goals in a friendly against Ghana.
At the defensive end, Pablo Zabaleta (Manchester City) will most likely take Javier Zanetti’s normal role at right back, while Diego favorite Javier Mascherano (Liverpool) will resume his role as captain and defensive midfielder.