Sampaoli turns to Argentina duo for World Cup qualifier

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Buenos Aires, Oct 9 (IANS) Benfica forward Eduardo Salvio and River Plate midfielder Enzo Perez are set to be handed starting berths for Argentina’s final World Cup qualifier in Ecuador on Tuesday.

The pair trained with the Albiceleste’s first eleven in Buenos Aires on Sunday, replacing Alejandro Gomez and Ever Banega in the team that drew 0-0 with Peru on Thursday, Xinhua news agency reported.

Jorge Sampaoli’s squad travelled to Ecuador on Sunday night and will stay in the port city of Guayaquil until just hours before Tuesday’s match in Quito to minimize the effects of the capital’s 2,850m altitude.

Argentina, who have qualified for every World Cup since 1974, must beat Ecuador to secure at least a playoff spot for next year’s tournament in Russia.

Ecuador are out of contention, having won just six of their 17 qualifiers to date.

–IANS

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