Argentina’s Messi likely to be fit for qualifier with Uruguay

Buenos Aires, Nov 9 (EFE).- Argentina captain Lionel Messi took part in practice with the rest of the squad Tuesday and the coach said he was confident the star will be part of the starting 11 for this week’s World Cup qualifier against Uruguay.

The striker has missed the last two matches with his club, Paris Saint-Germain, due to a nagging problem with his left knee.

While Messi was back with the squad, fellow PSG man Leandro Paredes had to train individually Tuesday as he continued to recover from a thigh injury that has kept him out of action since the middle of last month.

Guido Rodriguez of Real Betis will probably start Friday if Paredes isn’t ready.

Coach Lionel Scaloni expressed confidence that he will be able to include Messi in the lineup for the contest in Montevideo.

The logical replacement for the six-time Ballon d’Or winner would be Paulo Dybala, who has shined for Juventus in the Champions League.

But Dybala was unavailable to Argentina for the Copa America because of injury and appears to have fallen in Scaloni’s estimation, which could create an opportunity for Sevilla’s Papu Gomez, Angel Correa of Atletico Madrid or 21-year-old River Plate star Julian Alvarez.

Argentina are second in the South American standings with 25 points, 6 less than leaders Brazil and 8 ahead of Ecuador, who have played one more match than the Albiceleste.

Uruguay, with 16 points, hold down the fifth spot. EFE sam/dr

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