Now Messi, along with Gonzalo Martinez, has been ruled out of Argentina's friendly against Morocco on Tuesday.
So, as it was since the end of the World Cup, it will again be a Messi-less Albiceleste who will look to bounce back at the Stade Ibn Batouta in Tangier.
|Game||Morocco vs Argentina|
|Date||Tuesday, March 25|
|Time||7:00pm GMT / 3:00pm ET|
|Stream (US)||fubo TV (7-day free trial)|
TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch
In the United States (US), the game can be
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|US TV channel||Online stream|
|beIN SPORTS||fubo TV (7-day free trial)|
In the United Kingdom (UK), the game will not be broadcast or livestreamed.
|UK TV channel||Online stream|
Squads & Team News
|Goalkeepers||Munir, Bounou, Tagnaouti|
Benatia, Da Costa, Saiss, Hakimi, Banoun, Chafik, Mazraoui, Abdelhamid, El Hajjam, Baadi
|Midfielders||Boussoufa, El Ahmadi, Amrabat, Belhanda, Fajr, Ziyech, Ait Bennasser, Hafidi, Hadraf, El Haddad, Amrabat, Boufal, Harit, Bourabia, Idrissi, Tuhami|
|Forwards||Boutaib, En-Nesyri, El Kaabi, Aliou|
After drawing 0-0 in that match, Herve Renard will likely name a much stronger lineup to face Argentina.
AZ Alkmaar winger Oussama Idrissi is likely to keep his place after making his Morocco debut against Malawi, having just switched his international allegiance from the Netherlands. Several of the team's biggest names, such as Medhi Benatia, Achraf Hakimi and Hakim Ziyech, could step into the lineup.
Potential Morocco starting XI: Munir, Hakimi, Benatia, Saiss, Baadi; Belhanda, Ait Bennasser; Ziyech, Boussoufa, Idrissi; En-Nesyri
|Goalkeepers||Marchesín, Armani, Andrada, Musso|
|Defenders||Mercado, Acuna, Tagliafico, Pezzella, Kannemann, Saravia, Foyth, Lisandro Martinez, Montiel|
|Midfielders||Di Maria, Pereyra, Lo Celso, Paredes, Lazani, De Paul, Rodriguez, Blanco, Marcone, Zaracho|
|Forwards||Messi, Dybala, Correa, Lautaro Martinez, Benedetto, Gonzalo Martinez, Suarez|
Messi and Martinez will be missing from the XI that fell to Venezuela, as Lionel Scaloni named an experimental side to face their fellow South Americans.
Scaloni has already named his squad to face Morocco, with Paulo Dybala returning to the fold and Lautaro Martinez retaining his place.
Confirmed Argentina starting XI: Andrada; Montiel, Pezzella, Kannemann, Acuna, Pereyra, Paredes, Rodriguez, De Paul, Dybala, Lautaro Martinez
Betting & Match Odds
Argentina are the favourites at 1.37/1 to prevail with bet365, while both a draw and a win for Morocco are priced at 21/10.
Argentina's struggles continued against Venezuela, and the side will now face an even biggest test at Morocco on Tuesday.
The Atlas Lions are looking to be among the favourites to take home this summer's Africa Cup of Nations, having played well in last summer's World Cup despite not making it past the group stage.
Argentina, by contrast, did advance through their group but did so in unconvincing style and were put to the sword in the last 16 by eventual winners France.
The team's talisman Lionel Messi took a break from international action following the tournament and only returned last week against Venezuela.
That return proved difficult, however, with the Barcelona star injuring his groin and failing to inspire his side as they fell to their fellow South Americans.
That will give Paulo Dybala a chance to shine against the Moroccans, with the Juventus star often failing to show his best form with his national side.
Dybala and Co. will be put to the test against a Morocco side that
Though the Moroccan federation has expressed their disappointment that Messi won't play in Tuesday's friendly, the nation is expected to field a strong lineup for the game.
That could spell trouble for an already weakened Albiceleste, who are hoping to secure a favourable result without their star man.