Lionel Messi starts for Argentina, Vinicius Jr. replaces injured Neymar in Brazil lineup
- Coach Lionel Scaloni named Lionel Messi in the starting XI against Brazil
- Neymar will miss the clash due to left thigh pains
- Vinicius Jr. will start for Brazil tonight
Resting all the speculations surrounding the extent of Lionel Messi's inclusion in the highly-anticipated clash against age-old rivals Brazil, Argentinian coach Lionel Scaloni named La Pulga in the starting XI for Tuesday night's encounter.
Messi, who has been bothered by a knee injury, played only 15 minutes in Argentina’s 1-0 victory over Uruguay on Friday. He also missed two Paris Saint-Germain matches because of the injury but is back in the lineup tonight.
Meanwhile, Brazil will be handicapped on the other hand as their star forward Neymar will miss the clash due to left thigh pains. Real Madrid youngster Vinicius Jr. will take his place in the starting XI.
Scaloni's men will be lined up in a conventional 4-3-3 formation with Messi, Lautaro Martinez and Angel Di Maria forming the front three. Meanwhile, Leonardo Paredes, who was said to have been still recovering from an injury, will start in the midfield for the Albiceleste. His addition will come as a massive boost for the Argentine side, who have often lost matches due to their slim midfield strength.
Cristian Romero and Nicolas Otamendi will form the centre-back pairing for the Copa America champions while the ever-reliant Emiliano Martinez will start between the sticks.
Matheus Cunha will be leading the line for the Brazilian side, which has been hit by injuries to several key players including Roberto Firmino, Neymar and a suspended Casemiro.
In Leeds winger Raphinha and Vinicius, Brazil have two extremely tricky wide players to stretch the game and keep the Argentine fullbacks on their toes. The Real Madrid forward has been in a rich vein of form for the capital city club and will hope to continue the same for his country.
Vinicius was initially left out of the Brazil squad but received a call up after Firmino suffered an injury.
Meanwhile, in the midfield, Fabinho will replace Casemiro and along with Fred and Lucas Paqueta, complete the midfield three. Skipper Marquinhos and Eder Militao will be in the centre of the defence with Danilo and Alex Sandro deployed as fullbacks.