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Argentina name three uncapped players for World Cup qualifiers

Buenos Aires, Aug 28 (IANS) Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli has added three uncapped players to his squad for the football team’s World Cup qualifiers against Uruguay and Venezuela.

Independiente right-back Fabricio Bustos, Boca Juniors striker Dario Benedetto and Lanus forward Lautaro Acosta were among four Argentina-based players included by Sampaoli. reports Xinhua news agency.

The other was veteran River Plate left-back Javier Pinola, who has been capped just twice for the Albiceleste despite making his international debut a decade ago.

The games against Uruguay in Montevideo on Thursday and Venezuela in Buenos Aires five days later will be Argentina’s first qualifiers under Jorge Sampaoli, who replaced Edgardo Bauza as coach in April.

Argentina are currently fifth in the 10-team South American zone standings, 11 points behind leaders Brazil with four matches remaining.

Only the top four teams will qualify directly for next year’s World Cup in Russia while the fifth-ranked side will advance to an inter-continental playoff.

Argentina squad:

Goalkeepers: Nahuel Guzman (Tigres), Sergio Romero (Manchester United), Geronimo Rulli (Real Sociedad).

Defenders: Federico Fazio (Roma), Gabriel Mercado (Sevilla), Javier Mascherano (Barcelona), Nicolas Otamendi (Manchester City), Nicolas Pareja (Sevilla), Fabricio Bustos (Independiente), Javier Pinola (River Plate).

Midfielders: Marcos Acuna (Sporting CP), Ever Banega (Sevilla), Lucas Biglia (AC Milan), Angel Di Maria (PSG), Augusto Fernandez (Atletico Madrid), Manuel Lanzini (West Ham United), Leandro Paredes (Zenit), Guido Pizarro (Sevilla), Eduardo Salvio (Benfica). Enditem(Michael Place)

Forwards: Sergio Aguero (Manchester City), Joaquin Correa (Sevilla), Paulo Dybala (Juventus), Mauro Icardi (Inter Milan), Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Dario Benedetto (Boca Juniors), Lautaro Acosta (Lanus).

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