The first historic meeting between Argentina and Iraq will take place at the Prince Faisal bin Fahd Stadium in the Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh.
After the World Cup failure, Jorge Sampaoli has stepped down from the head coach’s role, with Lionel Scaloni taking charge of the national team as an interim solution. The former Deportivo La Coruna player has wrapped up a comfortable 3-0 win over Guatemala at his debut but failed to beat Colombia immediately after, having played out a scoreless draw with the South American rivals. With a friendly match with arch-rivals Brazil around the corner, La Albiceleste would like to get a victory to enter the encounter with a boosted morale.
On the other hand, after missing out on the 2018 World Cup in Russia, the Lions of Mesopotamia have been held to a 2-2 draw with Kuwait in an international friendly, which was their third draw in the previous five games. Except for a 3-0 triumph over Palestina, Srecko Katanec’s failed to clinch a victory, losing 3-2 to Qatar in the process. Additionally, Iraq managed to keep a clean sheet just once in the past six matches, which could be their principle problem ahead of a duel with the South American heavyweights.
Leo Messi, Sergio Aguero, Ever Banega, Gonzalo Higuain, and Angel Di Maria are omitted from the Argentina squad, while Columbus Crew star Justin Meram expected to return to the Iraq team after months of absence due to an injury.
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