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Argentina's shock starting XI for crunch World Cup clash with Ecuador revealed with NO Paulo Dybala or Mauro Icardi

 

Argentine TV claims Jorge Sampaoli will play Boca Juniors striker Dario Benedetto ahead of star pair

SERIE A superstars Paulo Dybala and Mauro Icardi will both be left OUT of Argentina’s crucial World Cup clash with Ecuador.

Argentine TV claims to have found how under-pressure boss Jorge Sampaoli will line up in the crucial match against Ecuador.

 Paulo Dybala (left) and Mauro Icardi (right) are expected to be left OUT of Argentina's crucial World Cup qualifierPaulo Dybala (left) and Mauro Icardi (right) are expected to be left OUT of Argentina’s crucial World Cup qualifier
 Argentine TV thinks this is how Jorge Sampaoli will line upArgentine TV thinks this is how Jorge Sampaoli will line up

The former Chile manager will continue with Boca Junior striker Dario Benedetto up top, at the expense of the Serie A superstars.

Argentina have endured a truly awful South American qualification campaign.

Heading into the final round of fixtures Argentina can still qualify automatically but it’s not guaranteed.

A win will see them at least reach the play-offs, but they need other results to go their way to pick up a top four spot.

 Things could not be tighter with just one South American World Cup qualifying fixture leftThings could not be tighter with just one South American World Cup qualifying fixture left

How Argentina are on brink of Cup exit

It may come as a shock that Dybala, who already has 12 goals for Juventus this season, and six-goal Inter captain Icardi are mooted to be on the bench.

But neither player has impressed at all in this campaign.

Dybala has played eight matches and is yet to score – he was even sent off in the game against Uruguay.

Icardi has had less of a chance to impress, playing just three times in the whole campaign.

The pair started, with Messi against Venezuela last month but were both subbed off after failing to impress in the 1-1 draw.

During the campaign, which started back in 2015, Argentina has gone through a rotating cast of strikers – and managers.

Sampaoli is the third manager of this campaign.

 Mauro Icardi has barely been given a chance during this campaignMauro Icardi has barely been given a chance during this campaign
 Paulo Dybala has more red cards (one) than goals (zero) in eight matchesPaulo Dybala has more red cards (one) than goals (zero) in eight matches

And between him, Gerardo Martino and Edgardo Bauza, they have used a huge number of strikers.

Along with Messi, Dybala, Icardi and Benedetto, the trio have used Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain, Carlos Tevez and Lucas Pratto in different parts of the qualification.

Creating chances and goals has been a problem throughout, with Lionel Messi their top scorer with only four goals in nine games.

Aguero, Icardi and Dybala have scored ZERO goals between them and Higuain has just one.

Only Bolivia have scored fewer than Argentina’s tally of 16 goals in 17 matches.

 Jorge Sampaoli is the third manager to take charge of Argentina in this qualification campaignJorge Sampaoli is the third manager to take charge of Argentina in this qualification campaign
 Boca Juniors striker Dario Benedetto will lead the line against EcuadorBoca Juniors striker Dario Benedetto will lead the line against Ecuador

Rivals Brazil, in comparison, have 38 goals from their 17 matches and Edinson Cavani leads scorers with nine goals in 14 Uruguay matches.

Benedetto, 27, has never played outside of South America, spending four years in Mexico after coming through the ranks at Arsenal de Sarandi.

He moved to Boca in June 2016, scoring 23 goals to lead the club to the title.

It is not clear with Salvio or Emiliano Rigoni will line up on the right wing.

Angel Di Maria is expected to play in a midfield role alongside defensive pair Javier Mascherano and Lucas Biglia.

Sampaoli is expected to play a back three after playing a back four against Peru.

Marcos Acuna will be dropped, with Roma man Federico Fazio comin in.

Ever Banega and Alejandro Gomez will also be dropped for the game.

Lionel Messi had a night of frustration against Peru as Argentina face World Cup exit during qualifiers

Source: https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/football/4652560/argentina-vs-ecuador-xi-dybala-icardi-dropped/

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