How Argentina should line up for the 2018 FIFA World Cup
This article shows how Sampaoli can fit his best players in a 3-4-1-2 formation to fight for the 2018 FIFA World Cup
With only a few months left for the World Cup fever to take over the world, Argentina's boss Jorge Sampaoli still has a major task to fulfil - fitting Lionel Messi and Paulo Dybala in the same formation.
Till now, we have barely seen these two players play together but when you are the manager, you surely wouldn't want a genius like Dybala to sit on the bench just because his playing style is similar to Messi.
The road to the World Cup was rather disastrous for Argentina but that doesn't necessarily rule them out. In fact, they still are one of the favourites to lay their hands on the cup.
On that note, here we take a look at a formation that could make la Albiceleste stronger for the World Cup:
Goalkeeper and Defenders
Sampaoli can choose between Sergio Romero and Geronimo Rulli to guard the goal. Romero is far more experienced than the latter, but Rulli has been a lot more pretty impressive in recent seasons. As a result, Rulli could well be preferred for the slot between the stick because of his superior skills on the ball, as well as his razor sharp reflexes.
Meanwhile, the Argentina defence has been questioned a lot. There is surely a difference between the level of quality of defenders and attackers in this side, but still, they have quite a few quality players to choose from. However, their three-man wall would ideally consist of Ezequiel Garay, Nicolas Otamendi and Marcos Rojo.
Otamendi has an impressive rate of successful take-ons (60%) so far in the Premier League this season. He is often seen delivering long balls for his wingers under the guidance of Pep Guardiola, so it can be expected that he does the same for this team.
On the other hand, Rojo, in spite of playing only 7 games for United, has an unbelievable 100% success rate at take-ons. Meanwhile, Garay can be used for his body strength. He is also strong in the air.
In essence, this defensive line would be full of aggression and physicality - something Argentina will desperately require if they are to seriously stake their claim for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Notably, Germán Pezzella and Federico Fazio can be very good backup options for Sampaoli.