Argentina prepare for World Cup qualifier against Uruguay

Updated: 25 February 2007 09:07 IST

Argentine Coach Jose Pekerman marks his first fixture in charge with a World Cup qualification match against Uruguay in Buenos Aires on Saturday.

Argentina prepare for World Cup qualifier against Uruguay

Buenos Aires:

The Argentine national squad begin a new era on Saturday under the guidance of coach Jose Pekerman, who took over after the sudden resignation of Marcelo Bielsa less than a month ago. Pekerman marks his first fixture in charge with a World Cup qualification match against Uruguay in Buenos Aires on Saturday. On the eve of the match, Pekerman faced the media and spelt out some of his ideas for the future, but also had tradition in mind. "There is a traditional starting point which is 4-3-1-2, but we have to be flexible. It all depends on the characteristics of the players, the evolution of the match, the pressure depending on the location, the way the strikers play. But the general outline of the game goes beyond the system we use, because it is the tradition of the Argentinean team that counts," said Pekerman. Argentina entertain Uruguay in Buenos Aires and already the new coach is making his mark. It is thought that several players, often ignored by Bielsa, will return from the international wilderness, including strikers Hernan Crespo and Javier Saviola - Pekerman is expected to retain the core of the side though, and prefers evolution to radical change, but if his team drop points at home to Uruguay, or away to Chile next week, his tenure could be short-lived. It seems likely that Pekerman will bring back strikers Hernan Crespo and Javier Saviola to the starting line-up, players that his predecessor often ignored. Currently, Argentina are second in their 10-nation World Cup qualification group, one point below leaders Brazil. After playing at home on Saturday, the team will fly off to Santiago for their next match, against Chile on Wednesday. (AP)

Topics : Football
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