Argentina were handed a relatively favourable draw for this winter’s tournament in Qatar, yet they trail several teams in World Cup betting.

Winners of the Copa America last year, La Albiceleste have tournament experience on their side, and plenty of top-tier talent to call on. 

World Cup success has been hard to come by in the 21st century, however. Since 1990, Argentina have reached the semi-finals just once, which resulted in a heart-breaking final loss to Germany in Brazil in 2014.

If the Argentines are to go one better in Qatar, these five players need to shine. 

Lionel Messi

Simplistic, perhaps, but this will most likely be Lionel Messi’s last World Cup, and definitely the last anywhere near his peak.

He has relinquished his status as Argentina’s most valuable player. While not quite the player he once was, Messi is still capable of things that others cannot even fathom. 

Failure to win a World Cup does not harm Messi’s legacy in a meaningful way, but neutrals will be desperate to see some magic from the PSG star this winter.

Lisandro Martinez

Following some overly simplified criticism after his move to Manchester United, Lisandro Martinez has been a rock at the heart of the Red Devils’ defence.

Their online betting chances of a clean sheet are much improved with Martinez in the side, and he will surely be a starter at the World Cup. 

Martinez will be tested early on, with Argentina set to face Robert Lewandowski in the group stage. If Argentina are to succeed, they need their defence to be without drama.

There are some hot-headed personalities in this back line, but Martinez’s form indicates he could be a much-needed reassuring presence.

Rodrigo De Paul

With over 40 caps to his name, Rodrigo De Paul is an established member of the Argentina squad. He can bring a bit of everything to the team this winter, and will help to balance the side around Messi. 

There are plenty of options in the midfield for Lionel Scaloni. De Paul looks set for a place in the XI, though, and has an eye for goal which could swing a match at some point in the tournament.

Rodrigo de Paul Argentina

Lautaro Martinez

A record of 21 goals in 40 Argentina caps is more than deserving of a place on this list.

Lautaro Martinez is a menace for opposing defences, and the latest in a long line of elite Argentinian strikers, following in the footsteps of Gabriel Batistuta, Hernan Crespo and Sergio Aguero.

An intelligent runner and hard-working, Martinez is a superb complement to Messi. He’s an interesting dark horse for the Golden Boot.

Giovani Lo Celso (Injured)

A starter in three of Argentina’s last four matches, Giovani Lo Celso is in line for a big role at the World Cup. Likely slotting in on the left of the attack, Lo Celso could also be utilised in the midfield three in they go to 4-3-3. 

While he is set to miss out on the opener through injury, the Villarreal midfielder should be available for the rest of the tournament.

At his best, Lo Celso can be a connective player, linking the midfielders to the attack.

*Credit for all of the photos in this article belongs to AP Photo*


FIRST PUBLISHED: 2nd November 2022

Sam is a sports tipster, specialising in the Premier League and Champions League.

He covers most sports, including cricket and Formula One. Sam particularly enjoys those on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean – notably MLB and NBA.

Watching, writing and talking about sports betting takes up most of his time, whether that is for a day out at T20 Finals Day or a long night of basketball.

Having been writing for several years, Sam has been working with 888Sport since 2016, contributing multiple articles per week to the blog.