Premier League

Argentina predicted lineup vs Ecuador: Copa America 2024

Julian Alvarez

Argentina kicks off the Copa America 2024 knockout stage on July 4 against Ecuador, and Lionel Scaloni has a few tough decisions to make about his lineup.

Argentina breezed through the group stage at Copa America 2024, earning all nine points and conceding zero goals against Canada, Chile, and Peru. The reigning Copa America champions topped Group A and therefore get to face Ecuador, the second place finishers from Group B, in the quarter-finals.

Despite La Albiceleste’s success, the squad has had their fair share of obstacles to overcome. Lionel Scaloni earned a suspension for Argentina’s late exits from halftime, and Lionel Messi sustained a minor right groin/adductor injury against Chile. If the eight-time Ballon d’Or winner cannot start on Thursday, then his manager must decide who will go on in his place.

Here’s what Argentina’s starting XI could look like against Ecuador in Houston, Texas.

Julian Alvarez

Lionel Messi is expected to be featured against Ecuador. / Alex Slitz/GettyImages

GK: Emiliano Martínez – Martinez has been unbeatable so far at Copa America 2024, keeping three clean sheets in as many matches.

RB: Nahuel Molina – Although Molina is a solid defender, the right-back deserves credit for creating the open space that allows so much of Argentina’s attack to develop along the right side of the pitch.

CB: Cristian Romero – Romero is a staple on Scaloni’s backline and a huge reason why Argentina have yet to concede a goal at Copa America 2024.

CB: Lisandro Martínez – Now that Martinez is fully healthy after a season of various injuries, the Manchester United man has emerged as the best defender to play alongside Romero, replacing Nicolas Otamendi.

LB: Nicolas Tagliafico – It looked like Tagliafico might have lost his starting job to Marcos Acuna, but the left-back has looked in great form as he stepped back into his starting role in the aftermath of Acuna’s minor injury.

CM: Rodrigo De Paul – Rodrigo De Paul was fully rested against Peru to prepare for his return to the starting XI against Ecuador.

CM: Enzo Fernandez – Enzo Fernandez has played limited minutes this tournament after undergoing groin surgery in April, but the midfielder looks ready for his first start on Thursday.

CM: Alexis Mac Allister – Mac Allister will get his 29th cap for Argentina in the upcoming quarter-finals. The midfielder assisted La Albiceleste’s first goal of the tournament against Canada.

RW: Angel Di Maria – Di Maria’s place in the starting XI has been uncertain this summer so…

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