Argentina pick Messi, Aguero, 20 others for Super Eagles clash

Lionel Messi after Argetina lost Copa America 2016 to Chile

Argentina coach, Jorge Sampaoli, has named his 22-man squad for the international friendly against Nigeria.

Both nations will clash in the Southern Russian city of Krasnodar on November 14 in preparation for next year’s World Cup.

With the Albiceleste billed to face World Cup hosts, Russia, three days before, the ex-Chile boss has swiftly picked his troops for the double fixtures.

Leading the pack is five-time Ballon d’Or winner, Lionel Messi.

Juventus superstar, Paulo Dybala, Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero, Mauro Icardi of Inter Milan and Paris Saint-Germain’s Angel Di Maria are also included.

But surprisingly, Juventus forward, Gonzalo Higuaín is left out.

“Higuaín has nothing to prove and I still have him in mind so he will be in our final evaluation,” Sampaoli stated.

“I don’t see the difficulty with Messi and Dybala complementing each other on the pitch. Establishing compatibility between players is the coach’s job.

“Aguero gives us the option to partner with Leo (Messi) in the game. We also see him as a nine and so we have the possibility to choose among the best forwards in the world.”

Nigeria has only beaten the two-time world champions once in seven meetings.

Full squad

Goalkeepers: Sergio Romero (Manchester United), Nahuel Guzmán (Tigres), Agustín Marchesín (Club América)

Defenders: Gabriel Mercado (Sevilla), Nicolás Otamendi (Manchester City), Federico Fazio (Roma), Javier Mascherano (Barcelona), Germán Pezzella (Fiorentina)

Midfielders: Ever Banega (Sevilla), Eduardo Salvio (Benfica), Emiliano Rigoni (Zenit), Lucas Biglia (Milan), Marcos Acuña (Sporting CP), Alejandro Gómez (Atalanta), Leandro Paredes (Zenit), Matías Kranevitter (Zenit), Diego Perotti (Roma)

Forwards: Sergio Aguero (Manchester City), Paulo Dybala (Juventus), Mauro Icardi (Inter), Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Angel Di María (PSG)