Crespo, Saviola to lead Argentina attack

Herman Crespo and Javier Saviola will lead the Argentinian attack in their opening game against Ivory Coast on Saturday.

updated: February 25, 2007 11:34 IST
  • Total Shares


There were no surprises when Argentina coach Jose Pekerman announced his starting lineup for Saturday's World Cup match against Ivory Coast in Hamburg. Argentina will start with Roberto Abbondanzieri in goal and a back line with Nicolas Burdisso, Roberto Ayala, Gabriel Heinze and Juan Pablo Sorin in the Group C match. Javier Mascherano, Esteban Cambiasso, Juan Roman Riquelme and Maxi Rodriguez will start across the midfield, with Javier Saviola and Hernan Crespo up front. "For me, the team is 23 players and there are no differences," Pekerman said. Although he will not start, 18-year-old Lionel Messi was set to play after recovering from a thigh injury. "Messi is in very good shape and if he's in good shape, we're in good shape," Pekerman said. Argentina has played Ivory Coast only once, a 4-0 victory in 1992 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The Argentines have lost only one of 15 games against African teams, a 1-0 upset by Cameroon in the 1990 World Cup. (AP)