Published: Mon, March 26, 2018
Culture | By Glenn Strickland

Spain already know their team - Sampaoli seeks Argentina certainty

Spain already know their team - Sampaoli seeks Argentina certainty

The Barcelona forward missed his team's 2-0 victory over Italy at Manchester City's Etihad Stadium on Friday because of a hamstring strain.

But now, Messi has admitted that he has been struggling with injury problems, though he is looking to play in Argentina's friendly against Spain on Tuesday.

Lionel Messi training with Argentina before Italy clash.

Sampaoli said: "The team showed a lot of stability for much of the game and took advantage of the virtues of the players who played".

Without their talismanic star, Jorge Sampaoli's side showed they have strength in depth with a solid display capped by late goals from Banega and Manuel Lanzini.

"I have been suffering from this hamstring injury for some time", Messi told TyC Sports.

Then in a counterattack play in the 84th minute, Higuain dribbled to a spot just shy of the penalty box and dished off to an unmarked Lanzini, who scored past Buffon with his right foot for an insurance goal.

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"We'll try to maintain the idea we used today, regarding each opponents' characteristics, knowing we have to improve some things we did today, trying to generate more domination [in the opponents' half of the] field, we are on that path".

"We must realise this is a hard moment for the team".

The 26-year-old would not be drawn on the prospects of his team winning the World Cup. And Lanzini has another opportunity to further his case for the May plane ride to Russian Federation when Argentina face off against Spain on Tuesday.

Italy custodian Buffon produced a string of fine saves in the first half as he denied Angel di Maria, Nicolas Otamendi and Gonzalo Higuain.

A flowing move reached the edge of the Italy penalty area, where Sevilla midfielder Banega arrowed a low strike past Buffon to the delight of the watching Messi.

But he is now likely to skip Argentina's friendly with 2014 World Cup winners Spain on Tuesday at Atletico Madrid's home the Metropolitan Wanda.

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