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

Alex Grimm

Two of the top three teams in CONMEBOL qualfying meet in Buenos Aires in a match that should feature plenty of attacking play and goals.

Argentina will be looking to maintain or expand their four-point lead over Ecuador at the top of the CONMEBOL qualifying table as they welcome third-place Colombia to the Estadio Monumental in Buenos Aires on Friday.

Lionel Messi's hamstring is the biggest story surrounding Argentina at the moment, with his status for Friday's match still being more closely guarded that the most important state secrets. It's not as if Alejandro Sabella doesn't have a plethora of other options to choose from should Messi not be fit, but you'd always rather have the world's best player on the pitch whenever possible.

Jose Pekerman will likely make some changes to his lineup after a defeat against Venezuela their last time out. Teofilo Gutierrez is expected to partner up top with Radamel Falcao, while Carlos Sanchez could replace Edwin Valencia in the midfield.

For the casual viewer, this should be a fantastically entertaining match featuring two teams with a ton of goal-scoring potential and somewhat leaky defenses. You can check out a full tactical preview of the match here.

Argentina injuries and suspensions

Out: Fernando Gago (knee). In doubt: Lionel Messi (hamstring).

Colombia injuries and suspensions

Out: None

The big question surrounding Argentina is the health of Lionel Messi. Reports claim he could be ready to go this match, but the Argentinian camp is staying quiet. If Messi isn't ready, look for Erik Lamela or Ezequiel Lavezzi to take his place. Colombia have no reported injuries.

Match Date/Time: Friday, June 7, 7:05 p.m. local, 6:05 p.m. ET

Venue: Estadio Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti, Buenos Aires, Argentina

TV: beIN Sport, beIN Sport en Español (U.S.), Premier Sports (U.K.)

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