Lionel Messi is one of four injured Argentina World Cup players who will miss Wednesday’s friendly against world champions Germany, the Argentine FA said on Monday.
Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Erik Lamela and Benfica winger Nicolas Gaitan have been drafted in to coach Gerardo Martino’s squad for the match in Duesseldorf, the AFA said in a statement.
“(Messi) is suffering from muscle fatigue in his right hamstring. He is ruled out as a precaution,” said the statement posted on the AFA website (www.afa.org.ar).
The AFA listed forwards Maximiliano Rodriguez and Rodrigo Palacio and central defender Ezequiel Garay as also unavailable through injury.
It added that winger Ezequiel Lavezzi was under observation after missing Paris St Germain’s Ligue 1 match at the weekend with back trouble but he was included in a revised squad.
Lamella and Gaitan, who have a handful of caps between them, join a 20-man squad now captained by Javier Mascherano.
The teams meet again in their first international since Germany beat Argentina 1-0 after extra time in the World Cup final in Brazil on July 13.
Goalkeepers: Sergio Romero (Sampdoria), Mariano Andujar (Napoli)
Defenders: Pablo Zabaleta (Manchester City), Federico Fernandez (Swansea), Marcos Rojo (Manchester United), Hugo Campagnaro (Inter Milan), Martin Demichelis (Manchester City), Jose Basanta (Fiorentina)
Midfielders: Javier Mascherano (Barcelona), Fernando Gago (Boca Juniors), Lucas Biglia (Lazio), Ricardo Alvarez (Inter Milan), Augusto Fernandez (Celta Vigo), Angel Di Maria (Manchester United), Enzo Perez (Benfica), Erik Lamela (Tottenham Hotspur)
Forwards: Gonzalo Higuain (Napoli), Sergio Aguero (Manchester City), Nicolas Gaitan (Benfica), Ezequiel Lavezzi (Paris St-Germain)
Ozil to miss friendly due to ankle injury
Mesut Ozil will miss World Cup winner Germany’s friendly with beaten finalist Argentina in Duesseldorf on Wednesday due to an ankle injury.
Germany team manager Oliver Bierhoff says the Arsenal midfielder is staying in London but “there’s work being done so he can play against Scotland.”
Germany opens its 2016 European Championship qualification campaign against Scotland in Dortmund on Sunday.
Bierhoff says Germany will cope with the retirements of Philipp Lahm, Miroslav Klose and Per Mertesacker after their side’s World Cup win.
Bierhoff, who scored the winning goal for Germany in the Euro 96 final, says “we have always managed to adapt well after such tournaments.”
Germany coach Joachim Loew will name a new team captain to replace Lahm on Tuesday. (AP)
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