BUENOS AIRES - Argentina need a convincing win in their World Cup qualifier against Colombia on Saturday to help wipe out memories of their nightmare 6-1 in Bolivia and restore faith in Diego Maradona's coaching ability.
Argentina also need the points against goal shy Colombia to get themselves out of a tricky situation in the 10-team South American qualifying group.
The April 1 defeat in La Paz has left them fourth in the group with 19 points from 12 games - the lowest position in which they could finish and qualify for South Africa directly.
A fifth place finish would mean facing a two-leg playoff against a team from the CONCACAF region, possibly Mexico.
"We have to change our image in the face of the public," said Lionel Messi.
Midfielder Juan Sebastian Veron added: "Nobody likes to lose like that. We have to prove to ourselves that we can play well."
Maradona, who had won his first three matches as coach without the team conceding a goal, has replaced goalkeeper Juan Carrizo -- who has seen little activity at Lazio recently -- with Mariano Andujar.
Argentina's previous five-goal defeat was against Colombia in Buenos Aires in 1993. That famous match was the last time they lost a World Cup qualifier at home.
Central defender Ivan Cordoba returns for Colombia after a two-year absence. The Inter Milan player publicly fell out with coach Jorge Luis Pinto after the Copa America in 2007.
Pinto was fired last year and replaced by Eduardo Lara.
Colombia, in sixth place with 14 points, have conceded only 10 goals in 12 qualifiers but their problem has been at the other end where they have scored a measly six.
Midfielder Fabian Vargas said his team still believed they could qualify for their first World Cup since 1998.
"If we want to keep our hopes alive, we have to leave here with points in the bag," he said in a radio interview.
"We have young players who have acquired international experience in Europe and who try to stay faithful to Colombia's football culture."
Argentina: Mariano Andujar; Javier Zanetti, Martin Demichelis, Gabriel Heinze; Javier Mascherano, Fernando Gago, Jonas Gutierrez, Juan Sebastian Veron; Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero, Carlos Tevez
Colombia: David Ospina; Camilo Zuniga, Luis Amaranto Perea, Ivan Cordoba, Mario Yepes; Fabian Vargas, Freddy Guarin, Gerardo Bedoya, Pablo Armero; Macnelly Torres, Radamel Falcao Garcia
Referee: Rene Ortube (Bolivia)comments