The last time CONMEBOL's qualifying leaders visited the Bolivian capital it ended in disaster, and they will be desperate to avoid another humiliation at altitude
Jimenez, Raldes, Zenteno, Gutierrez, B'rano
Chumacero, Garcia, Veizaga
Zabaleta, Garay, Fernandez, Rojo
Mascherano, Banega, Di Maria
Messi, Higuain, Lavezzi
A devastating 5-0 defeat away to Colombia on Friday was compounded for Bolivia by an injury to goalkeeper Carlos Arias, who came off in Barranquilla after conceding the first goal. A muscular complaint keeps the shot-stopper out, and he will be replaced by Sergio Galarza. One piece of good news for the hosts is the return of defender Ronald Raldes, who served a suspension in the last fixture.
Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella is keeping the team for Tuesday closely under wraps, as the trainer considers how to play best at 3,500m above sea level in La Paz. Two changes, however, appear inevitable. Fernando Gago was ruled out due to a muscle strain, leaving the door open for Ever Banega to start after replacing the Velez man on Friday; Angel Di Maria, meanwhile, completed a one-game suspension against Venezuela and will return to the first team in place of Walter Montillo.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Bolivia is one of four South American nations to have changed coach during the qualifying campaign. Paraguay, Chile and Colombia all sacked trainers during the first half of the competition, as did World Cup hosts Brazil.
- La Verde have made just one appearance at a World Cup finals, in 1994.
- The nation's home stadium, Hernando Siles, is one of the highest football arenas in the world, at 3637m above sea level. In 2007 FIFA briefly banned games from La Paz due to the altitude, but relented after fierce protests.
- Hernando Siles was the site of 2009's 6-1 destruction of Argentina, one of five wins overall for Bolivia on home soil against the Albiceleste - they have six in total.
- One Argentine star who will be especially keen to take revenge is Angel Di Maria (right). The Real Madrid man saw red in 2009 as Diego Maradona's charges collapsed to defeat.
- Lionel Messi also has unfinished business with the Verde. Tuesday's hosts are the only CONMEBOL side who have not conceded a goal from the Barcelona magician.
- Currently top of the CONMEBOL standings, Argentina require just three wins from their last six clashes to be certain of qualifying, regardless of any other results.