Argentina team news: Messi and Aguero miss out against Italy

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Two of the Albiceleste's leading strikers are unavailable at the Etihad Stadium, handing a chance to Giovani Lo Celso

Argentina will be without both Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero on Friday as they take on Italy in a friendly clash at Manchester's Etihad Stadium. 

Messi was a late withdrawal for the Albiceleste, who will not risk their captain. 

The Barcelona star is struggling with a sore adductor muscle and will be saved for Tuesday's meeting with Spain, and does not even make the bench. 

"I came here already feeling discomfort... I was training normally but on the last day I felt the discomfort and decided to 'clean up' everything for what is coming," Messi said prior to the game.

"I wanted to play, but as I said recently, there is still a long way to go. We have important things in the club, I hope it can be good to play with Spain to continue my recovery."

The captain is replaced by Giovani Lo Celso, who will occupy the playmaking role in Jorge Sampaoli's 4-2-3-1 formation.

Aguero too is a predictable absentee, with Argentina confirming his withdrawal from the squad minutes before kick-off. 

The Man City star had trained with his international team-mates but was never expected to take the field in either of the two friendlies as he recovers from his own injury problem. 

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For Italy, meanwhile, veteran goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon returns to the fray, while there are starts for PSG star Marco Verratti against club team-mates Angel Di Maria and Lo Celso as well as Lazio's Ciro Immobile.

Argentina: Caballero, Bustos, Otamendi, Fazio, Tagliafico, Paredes, Biglia, Lanzini, Lo Celso, Di Maria, Higuain.

Italy: Buffon; Florenzi, Bonucci, Rugani, De Sciglio; Parolo, Verratti, Jorginho; Chiesa, Immobile, Insigne.

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