Bauza ready for 'challenge' without Messi

Edgardo Bauza believes Argentina can deal without the injured Lionel Messi in matches against Peru and Paraguay.

Argentina coach Edgardo Bauza is confident his side can deal with the absence of Lionel Messi in upcoming World Cup qualifiers.

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The Barcelona star is sidelined with a groin injury and will miss meetings with Peru and Paraguay.

Bauza is aware of the test awaiting his team without Messi, as he named Paulo Dybala and Matias Kranevitter to replace the superstar and Lucas Biglia.

"It is a challenge not to have the best player there. For the team, it is a challenge," he told a news conference. "It has happened and hopefully recovery can follow and we'll have him against Brazil and Colombia [in November].

"The team are what we have worked with and are prepared to play without him."

Bauza hopes his decision to include Dybala and Kranevitter pays off, with Gonzalo Higuain named up front and Sergio Aguero in behind him.

"Kranevitter has more or less a similar function to Biglia. I think it's the best option," he said. "And then Dybala. It is a position he knows, playing on the right side, and when he arrived in Italy too [at Palermo in 2012]. It is not an unfamiliar position.

"While he will not play as a winger, he will have freedom and retreat back to narrow spaces. Peru have good ball movement, we will attack, then we need to recover."

Argentina visits Peru on Thursday before hosting Paraguay in Cordoba five days later.