Argentina await Lionel Messi for crunch Colombia clash

Lionel Messi's importance to Argentina is obvious, with Celta Vigo midfielder Augusto Fernandez saying: "He can make the difference with one leg, that's why we want him to play."

updated: June 06, 2013 20:45 IST
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Paris: Argentina can all but secure their place at the 2014 World Cup finals in neighbouring Brazil with a win in Friday night's qualifier against Colombia at River Plate's Monumental Stadium in Buenos Aires.

However, Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella was still waiting on the eve of the game to see whether Lionel Messi would be fit enough to take his place in the starting line-up.

The Barcelona star hardly featured for his club towards the end of the season because of a hamstring injury, and while he was named in the squad for this month's qualifying double-header against the Colombians and Ecuador, a decision was only due to be taken on his fitness in Thursday's training session.

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