Batista calls up Fernando Gago and Ever Banega for the Seleccion's first game since the World Cup...Interim Argentina coach Sergio Batista has named his side as the Albiceleste prepare to take on Ireland and has included several of the players left on the sidelines by predecessor Diego Maradona.
TyC Sports reports that Batista will line up with a 4-1-4-1 formation, playing three orthodox central midfielders and pushing Lionel Messi and Angel di Maria to supporting roles on the right wing and left wing respectively. This means that Real Madrid front-man Gonzalo Higuain will play as a lone striker.
The change means a Seleccion recall for two of the players who Maradona controversially left at home for the World Cup in midfield, giving continuing captain Javier Mascherano support in the engine room. Valencia man Ever Banega and 24-year-old Real Madrid midfielder Fernando Gago will both get the opportunity to prove to the interim coach that they can perform at international level against the Irish tomorrow night.
Two definite omissions for the Albiceleste are forwards Carlos Tevez and Sergio Aguero, who both travelled to meet the squad in Dublin but will take no part in the game due to illness. Diego Milito and Ezequiel Lavezzi are the two attacking alternatives on the Argentina bench.
Argentina Team (4-1-4-1): Romero; Burdisso, Demichelis, Samuel, Heinze; Mascherano; Messi, Banega, Gago, Di Maria; Higuain