Diego Maradona, the Argentina coach, is expected to be less adventurous when his team visit Bolivia tomorrow for a World Cup qualifier at high altitude.
Maradona fielded a three-pronged attack of Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero and Carlos Tevez on Saturday and was rewarded with a 4-0 demolition of Venezuela in his first home and competitive match in charge. But he is unlikely to repeat his ambitious 3-4-3 formation at 3,600 metres above sea level, where his players are going to have to pace themselves.
"We can't play the same game as we did against Venezuela, we have to maintain a balance," said midfielder Juan Sebastian Veron. Argentina are second in the 10-team qualifying group with 19 points from 11 games while Bolivia are ninth with nine.
Before being appointed coach last October, Maradona had actively supported Bolivia's campaign against a ban on hosting matches in La Paz. At one point, he played in a charity match in La Paz in which Bolivia's President, Evo Morales, also took part. "You have to play where you are born, not even God can prohibit this and certainly not [the Fifa president Sepp] Blatter," said Maradona at the time. Fifa later overturned the ban.
Tonight, the central defender Martin Demichelis returns after suspension while winger Jonas Gutierrez is out after receiving a second yellow card against Venezuela. Maradona is expected to sacrifice either Tevez or Aguero in attack and add an extra man in defence.
The Bolivia coach, Erwin Sanchez, may make a number of changes from the team which lost 2-0 to Colombia on Saturday. The strikers Marcelo Martins and Joaquin Botero are expected to return, the former despite a lack of match practice with his Ukrainian club Shakhtar Donetsk.Reuse content