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Zabaleta encourages Argentine triumvirate

Argentina full-back Pablo Zabaleta has backed Lionel Messi, Gonzalo Higuain and Sergio Aguero to lead the line for their upcoming matches.

Coach Alejandro Sabella has tended to play only two of the three forwards so far in his tenure, although the trio featured in the second half of November’s World Cup qualifier against Colombia to devastating effect as Argentina turned around a one-goal deficit to win 2-1 in Barranquilla.

The starting XI for Saturday’s clash with Ecuador is still to be confirmed, but all three have been placed together in training to create an ambitious 4-3-3 scheme.

Speaking to Ole on Thursday, Manchester City defender Zabaleta backed his club companion Aguero to join the Barcelona and Real Madrid stars in attack, stating that it was the best way to ensure the Argentines showed their true potential.

“Having Leo (Messi), Pipa (Higuain) and Kun (Aguero) gives you a massive confidence boost. Our most powerful part of the team is up front, it is the strongest point and I hope they will get the chances and put them away,” Zabaleta said.

The 27-year-old Buenos Aires native said the perceived lack of decent wide defenders in Argentine football was a common problem across all teams.

“Brazil are the greatest creators of full-backs in the world, nobody has a chance of comparing to them. They always have four or five options down each flank and all with brilliant quality,” he said.

Argentina face Ecuador in their fifth World Cup qualifier on Saturday June 2, before meeting Brazil in a friendly encounter seven days later.

Thu 31 May, 2012
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