Argentina World Cup 2022 guide: Key players, injuries, tactics & tournament prediction

Argentina have hope this year
Argentina have hope this year / Briony Painter | 90min

Argentina are a World Cup mainstay and they come into the 2022 tournament in Qatar as one of the favourites to take the trophy home.

The South American side has produced some of the World Cup's greatest moments over the years and some of the best players ever seen throughout history.

They had a disappointing tournament in 2018 where they went home in the Round of 16 and will be out to redeem themselves in Qatar. La Seleccion reached the final as recently as 2014 and many are backing Lionel Scaloni's side to go all the way this year.

When are Argentina's group games?

  • Argentina vs Saudi Arabia (November 22, 13:00 GMT)
  • Argentina vs Mexico (November 26, 22:00 GMT)
  • Poland vs Argentina (November 30 22:00 GMT)
  • Argentina vs Saudi Arabia H2H record: Played 1, Drawn 1
  • Argentina vs Mexico H2H record: Played 12, Won 8, Drawn 3, Lost 1
  • Argentina vs Poland H2H record: Played 1, Lost 1

Who is in Argentina's confirmed 26-player squad for the World Cup?

Goalkeepers: Emiliano Martinez (Aston Villa), Franco Armani (River Plate), Geronimo Rulli (Villarreal)

Defenders: Nahuel Molina (Atletico Madrid), Gonzalo Montiel (Sevilla), Cristian Romero (Tottenham), German Pezzella (Real Betis), Nicolas Otamendi (Benfica), Lisandro Martinez (Manchester United), Marcos Acuna (Sevilla), Nicolas Tagliafico (Lyon ), Juan Foyth (Villarreal).

Midfielders: Rodrigo De Paul (Atletico Madrid), Leandro Paredes (Juventus), Alexis Mac Allister (Brighton), Guido Rodriguez (Betis), Alejandro Gomez (Sevilla), Enzo Fernandez (Benfica), Exequiel Palacios (Bayer Leverkusen).

Forwards: Lionel Messi (PSG), Lautaro Martinez (Inter), Angel Di Maria (Juventus), Julian Alvarez (Manchester City), Paulo Dybala (Roma), Nicolas Gonzalez (Fiorentina), Joaquin Correa (Inter) .

Which Argentina players are missing the World Cup through injury?

Midfielder Giovani Lo Celso is the main absentee for Argentina, with the Tottenham loanee suffering from a torn quad.

There had been a number of significant injury concerns for Scaloni, with Paulo Dybala, Lionel Messi, Angel Di Maria, Juan Foyth and Leandro Paredes all causing scares, but all five have made it into the squad.

Who are Argentina's best players?

Lautaro Martinez, Adrian Mariappa
Lautaro Martinez is rogue shout for the Golden Boot / Elsa/GettyImages

Lionel Messi

Paris Saint-Germain forward Lionel Messi hardly needs much introduction but he will once again be at the centre of everything that Argentina do at the World Cup. He has already confirmed this will be his last global showpiece, so it's now or never.

Lautaro Martinez

Inter striker Lautaro Martinez has hit a good patch of form just in time and seems to be a player that Lionel Scaloni trusts. He has not been to a World Cup before and will want to show why he should lead the line in years to come.

Angel Di Maria

He may not have pulled up too many trees at Juventus so far, but Angel Di Maria is still a wonderful footballer who can hurt any opposition. He has heaps of tournament experience with Argentina and that will prove crucial.

Lisandro Martinez

This Argentina side is great due to the collective togetherness rather than just individual talent (although they have heaps of that too) and Lisandro Martinez encapsulates that. He has taken to life at Manchester United very well and is likely to prove a key player for Argentina.

Argentina predicted starting lineup

Lionel Scaloni uses a mixture of shapes with Argentina due to the many options he has in each position. Based on the absence of Giovani Lo Celso, a 4-3-2-1 is possible.

Argentina predicted XI: E. Martinez; Molina, L. Martinez, Otamendi, Tagliafico; De Paul, Rodriguez, Fernandez; Messi, Di Maria; Lautaro Martinez.

Argentina's form going into the World Cup

Argentina have been busy in 2022 and have played eight times. They have won three friendlies, beaten Italy in the Finalissima, and won three CONMEBOL Qualification games, drawing one other.

Argentina's last five results (all competitions)

Ecuador 1-1 Argentina (CONMEBOL Qualifier)
Italy 0-3 Argentina (Finalissima)
Argentina 5-0 Estonia (Friendly)
Argentina 3-0 Honduras (Friendly)
Argentina 3-0 Jamaica (Friendly)

Where will Argentina finish in the World Cup?

Argentina are expected to be one of the teams in the latter stages of the tournament although they will likely need to beat either England or France to reach the semi-final.

They are certainly capable of doing that though, although an opponent such as Germany or Brazil later in the tournament could mean that the final is a step too far.

Prediction: Semi-final