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Lionel Messi's magic can help Argentina to overcome Italy

South Americans building up to World Cup

Argentina superstar Lionel Messi
1 of 1

International friendly
7.45pm Friday

Argentina versus Italy sounds like it should be good enough for a World Cup final but the Azzurri won't be in Russia this summer and they could be beaten by the South Americans at Manchester City's Etihad Stadium.

Italy's rebuild has not started quite yet with 40-year-old Gigi Buffon still in goal and caretaker coach Luigi Di Biagio could be keeping the seat warm for a bigger name come the end of the season.

This game is therefore not overly important, but there is more focus on Argentina as they aim to impress before the World Cup.

Argentina have an embarrassment of riches in the forward department, leaving out Paulo Dybala and Mauro Icardi from their squad. Those two shoot the lights out most weeks in Serie A but the national side can still call upon Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero and Gonzalo Higuain.

The balance of the team could be better in midfield and defence but that may not be of great importance for this kind of low-key contest.

In a competitive fixture Italy, more than most other nations, could be fancied to come up with a plan that makes it difficult for Messi although in a friendly where players tend to bring a more relaxed attitude the favourites should come out on top.

Recommendation
Argentina to win & under 3.5 goals
1pt 8-5 Betway


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