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Argentina have picked two relative unknowns in attack for crunch World Cup qualifier

Dario Benedetto and Papu Gomez have been selected for Argentina's 2018 World Cup qualifier against Peru

Argentina are on the brink of failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

Lionel Messi and co are in fifth, behind Peru, who occupy the last automatic spot, and only one point ahead of Chile in sixth.

In short, there is very limited room for error.


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No pressure lads

AP:Associated Press
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No pressure lads

So when Argentina’s starting XI for the crunch qualifier against Peru was announced, there was plenty of shock surrounding Jorge Sampaoli’s selections.

With a potential pool of Messi, Paulo Dybala, Mauro Icardi, Sergio Aguero and Gonzalo Higuain to choose from Argentina’s attack is the envy of world football.

But due to injury and loss of form Sampaoli headed into the fixture without Aguero, Icardi or Higuain.

Show ’em how it’s done Jorge

Reuters
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Show ’em how it’s done Jorge

So who did he go for?

Dario Benedetto and Alejandro ‘Papu’ Gomez.

Cue millions of people rushing to Wikipedia to check out who Argentina’s 2018 World Cup hopes now rest on.

Cheer up mate, you’re playing for Argentina

AFP or licensors
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Cheer up mate, you’re playing for Argentina

Benedetto and Gomez join Messi and Angel Di Maria in a four man attack, with Ever Banega and Leandro Paredes sitting behind them in midfield.

We’ll save you the trip to Wikipedia.

Benedetto, who’s been capped once before by Argentina, plays for Boca Juniors where he’s been scoring at an emphatic rate since joining from Mexican side Club America.

Breaking ankles, making friends

AFP or licensors
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Breaking ankles, making friends

Argentina’s qualifier takes place in Boca’s La Bombonera stadium, so Benedetto will be able to call upon his home fans for support.

Gomez has quietly been starring in Serie A with Atalanta since 2014, and scored on his only previous appearance for Argentina.

At 5ft 5in and with lighting quick feet he’s naturally been compared to Messi, whom he’ll now be partnering.

Sampaoli will be hailed as a genius if it comes off and a wally with a brolly if it doesn’t.

But while Steve McClaren had Peter Crouch and Darren Bent to call upon in attack, Sampaoli has Messi.

We know which side we’d rather be on.