Argentina vs Italy: TV channel, live stream, squad news & preview

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Lionel Messi Argentina
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Lionel Messi and co. will be strutting their stuff in Manchester as they take on an Azzurri side that is still licking their wounds

Argentina kick off their World Cup preparations with a friendly match against Italy at Manchester City's Etihad Stadium on Friday.

Having just barely managed to reach the finals in Russia, Jorge Sampaoli's men will be keen to set off on the right foot by picking up a win, with another warm-up match against Spain to come four days later.

Italy, of course, are one of the biggest casualties the qualification process and the Azzurri are undergoing a changing of the guard following their disastrous play-off defeat to Sweden last November.

Luigi Di Biago has taken over from the deposed Gian Piero Ventura on a temporary basis and he will be hoping to lay down some groundwork for the eventual appointment.

Game Argentina vs Italy
Date Friday March 23
Time 19:45 GMT / 15:45 ET
Stream (US only) fubo TV (7-day free trial)

TV Channel & Live Stream

In the United States (US), the game can be watched live and on-demand with fuboTV (7-day free trial).

New users can sign up for a free seven-day trial of the live sports streaming service, which can be accessed via iOS, Android, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Apple TV as well as on a web browser.

US TV channel Online stream
beIN Sports fubo TV (7-day free trial)

In the United Kingdom (UK), the game cannot be watched live on TV but it can be followed live on Goal here

UK TV channel Online stream

Squads & Team News

Position Argentina players
Goalkeepers Romero, Guzman, Caballero
Defenders Mascherano, Rojo, Otamendi, Funes Mori, Mercado, Fazio, Tagliafico, Bustos
Midfielders Di Maria, Banega, Biglia, Acuna, Salvio, Perotti, Paredes, Lanzini, Lo Celso, Meza, Perez
Forwards Messi, Aguero, Higuain, Correa, Pavon, Martinez

Jorge Sampaoli has opted against including Paulo Dybala and Mauro Icardi in his squad for the upcoming games but Lautaro Martinez could be in line for his first cap after earning a call-up on the back of his performances for Racing.

Angel Di Maria will be expected to pull strings in midfield behind the likes of Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero, but here is no place in the squad for PSG team-mate Javier Pastore. Willy Caballero, meanwhile, could be set for his first cap at the age of 36.

Potential Argentina XI: Romero; Mascherano, Rojo, Otamendi; Biglia, Banega, Di Maria, Lo Celso, Salvio; Messi, Aguero.

Position Italy players
Goalkeepers Buffon, Donnarumma, Perin
Defenders De Sciglio, Ferrari, Darmian, Ogbonna, Spinazzola, Rugani, Bonucci, Zappacosta, Florenzi
Midfielders Bonaventura, Verratti, Jorginho, Pellegrini, Parolo, Gagliardini, Cristante
Forwards Candreva, Belotti, Insigne, Verdi, Cutrone, Immobile, Chiesa

Giorgio Chiellini is the chief absentee for Italy after the Juventus defender suffered an injury, but his Bianconeri team-mate Gianluigi Buffon has come out of retirement to take a place in the squad.

The likes of Eder, Manolo Gabbiadini and Federico Bernardeschi did not make the squad, while Andrea Barzagli and Daniele De Rossi have retired.

Potential Italy XI: Buffon; Bonucci, Ogbonna, Rugani, De Sciglio, Zappacosta; Verratti, Parolo, Pellegrini; Insigne, Immobile. 

Betting & Match Odds

At 21/20, Argentina are favourites to win according to dabblebet, with Italy priced at 13/5. A draw is considered an 11/5 bet.

Click here to see all of dabblebet's offers for the game, including goalscoring markets, correct score predictions and more.

Match Preview

Gigi Buffon Italy

While Buffon and co. are still processing their World Cup catastrophe and attempting to pick up the pieces, Argentina are looking ahead to Russia.

However, the sole reason the Albiceleste are on their way to the tournament is Lionel Messi, whose hat-trick against Ecuador clinched their qualification.

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Sampaoli may be assessing potential additions to his final World Cup panel in the upcoming friendly games but he has left no doubt as to what he wants from them and that is to work well with the Barcelona star.

"Each time he plays better," Sampaoli told reporters. "For me this is the headline: This is Messi's team.

"To have the best in the world on the pitch generates different themes to develop regarding the main idea of management. We have to see, within the format that we use, which players can connect better with Messi."