Argentina vs. Venezuela, 2014 World Cup qualifying: Preview and TV schedule

Laurence Griffiths

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

Argentina manager Alejandro Sabella, who regularly confirms his starting XI more than a day before his team plays their matches, has yet to announce his team to face Venezuela. It wouldn't be surprising to learn that this is the case because he hasn't figured it out yet.

After years of tinkering from Sabella and previous Argentina managers, he finally found a team that fit together perfectly during this qualifying cycle. Two of the key attacking players in his first choice team -- Angel Di Maria and Sergio Aguero -- are unavailable on Friday night, presenting him with a pair of tough decisions. He has no like-for-like replacement for either, even though he has a huge stable of talent at his disposal, and he's made a number of odd lineup choices in the past.

Meanwhile, Venezuela are no longer South America's minnows. They sit fourth in the qualifying table, in an automatic qualifying spot for the World Cup, and defeated Argentina at home on Matchday 2. The leadership of captain Juan Arango and the central defense partnership of Oswaldo Vizcarrondo and Fernando Amorebieta are the heartbeat of the team, and they have a stable of solid role players around them deeper than Venezuela has ever enjoyed. They're not pushovers, and are very capable of stealing points on Friday night.

Match date/time: Friday, 8 p.m. ET

Venue: Antonio Vespucio Liberti, Buenos Aires, Argentina

TV: beIN Sport

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