Argentina vs Australia lineups: Messi starts – Starting XIs, confirmed team news, injuries for World Cup 2022 – Evening Standard

ionel Messi has made the Argentina starting line-up for tonight’s World Cup last-16 tie agains Australia despite both sides complaining of a lack of rest.
Australia beat Denmark on Wednesday four hours before Argentina secured top spot in their group by beating Poland. La Albicelestes take the field for the knockout game after just two days of rest, with the Socceroos enjoying a few short hours more.
“How can the Fifa organisation [do this] at such a high-prestige tournament,” said Australia assistant coach Rene Meulensteen. “But we’ve got almost no time to let it all sink in. It’s recovery, recovery and getting their brains ready again for that challenge.”
Angel Di Maria, 34, was taken off on the hour mark against Poland but is only on the bench today.
Messi, who is 35, has played every minute so far and will again start at the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium.
Lautaro Martinez misses out to Manchester City’s Julian Alvarez, while Enzo Fernandez has been handed a start. Alexis Mac Allister keeps his place after scoring against Poland.
For Australia, there are currently no fresh injury concerns. Right-back Nathaniel Atkinson is still hoping to be fit, but Milos Degenek impressed against Denmark so keeps his place.
Argentina XI: E. Martinez; Molina, Romero, Otamendi, Acuna; De Paul, Fernandez, Mac Allister; Gomez, Messi, Alvarez.
Australia XI: Ryan; Degenek, Rowles, Souttar, Behich; Mooy, Irvine, McGree, Baccus; Duke, Leckie.
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