Dennis Grombkowski

CONMEBOL 2014 World Cup qualifying: Argentina have no problem with Venezuela

Argentina are on top of CONMEBOL qualifying and look to be a good bet to become the first team to qualify for the World Cup from South America.

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Argentina swat aside Venezuela

The Albiceleste achieved some measure of revenge for the 1-0 loss Venezuela inflicted upon them in October with an easy 3-0 win featuring a brace from Gonzalo Higuain and a penalty goal for Lionel Messi.


Uruguay and Paraguay draw after crazy finale

A madcap finish to the game saw Uruguay appear to snatch a late win and then throw it away as two late goals gave pleasure and then pain to the hosts.


Argentina vs. Venezuela: Lineups

Argentina are taking on Venezuela in COMNEBOL World Cup qualifying action, and the big question about Alejandro Sabella's lineup is how it's going to utilise Lionel Messi. With Gonzalo Higuain playing at centre forward, the world's best player isn't going to get to occupy the space he normally likes. Will he start wide with Ezequiel Lavezzi on the opposite flank? At the head of a diamond in a 4-3-1-2? I don't know, but I'm looking forward to finding out.

Venezuela, meanwhile, look as though they're in a pretty typical 4-4-2. It'll be a surprise if they can come away from Buenos Ares with a result, but hey, miracles can happen.

Argentina starting lineup:
Sergio Romero; Pablo Zabaleta, Federico Fernández, Ezequiel Garay, Marcos Rojo; Fernando Gago, Javier Mascherano, Walter Montillo; Lionel Messi, Gonzalo Higuaín, Ezequiel Lavezzi.

Venezuela starting lineup: Dani Hernández; Alexander González, Oswaldo Vizcarrondo, Andres Túñez, Gabriel Cichero, Tomás Rincón, Franklin Lucena, Luis Manuel Seijas, Juan Arango, Frank Feltscher, Salomon Rondón.


Colombia destroy Bolivia

Bolivia generally struggle away from home, so a loss is no surprise, but ... yeesh.


Colombia vs. Bolivia: Lineups

Colombia has opted to start Teofilo Gutierrez ahead of Jackson Martinez and other striker options for their qualifier against Bolivia. Their formation isn't entirely clear, but it looks like they're sticking with the 4-4-2 that they've used for most of qualifying. Bolivia appears to be matching them with the same formation.

Jose Peckerman has opted to add a bit of youth to his lineup, leaving out some of the more senior members of his squad. Mario Yepes remains in the team, however. The most notable player in the Colombia team is probably central defender Carlos Valdes, who has played himself back into the national team conversation with his form at Santa Fe, after he failed to stick in MLS.

Colombia lineup: David Ospina; Juan Cuadrado, Carlos Váldes, Mario Yepes, Camilo Zuñiga, Edwin Valencia, Abel Aguilar, Macnelly Torres, James Rodríguez, Radamel Falcao, Teófilo Gutierrez

Bolivia lineup: Carlos Edwin Arias; Rony Jimenez, Edward Zenteno, Luis Alberto Gutíerrez, Marvin Bejarano, Alejandro Chumacero, Walter Veizaga, Ronald García, Rudy Cardozo, Carlos Saucedo, Marcelo Martins


Uruguay look to end rough run against Paraguay

Uruguay have only won twice since the start of last year, and with their qualification for the World Cup still far from secure, Friday night's game against Paraguay in Montevideo is crucial.


Argentina without two stars against Venezuela

Even though Argentina have the depth to withstand any injury, there are question marks about their team heading into their qualifier against Venezuela.


Colombia expected to roll

Expect Los Cafeteros to score early and take three points against Bolivia.


Has Tabárez found the winning formula for Uruguay?

Since Uruguay's thrilling Copa América win in 2012, their coach has struggled to find the right balance in his starting eleven. With La Celeste stuttering in their World Cup qualifying campaign, time is of the essence.

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