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Winless Argentina prepare for crucial qualifiers without Messi, Aguero

Argentina will be without Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero for their World Cup qualifiers against Brazil and Colombia next month.

Coach Gerardo Martino has named a 25-man squad for the games and Messi, who remains sidelined with a knee problem sustained during Barcelona's La Liga match against Las Palmas at the end of September, will miss out.

Fellow forward Aguero is also absent after suffering a hamstring tear in the 2-0 defeat to Ecuador earlier this month, prompting a recall for Napoli striker Gonzalo Higuain – a surprise omission last time around.

Manchester United defender Marcos Rojo and midfield duo Ever Banega and Enzo Perez return having missed that match and the 0-0 draw in Paraguay through injury, although Juventus' Roberto Pereyra is out with a thigh complaint.

Argentina host Brazil, who have been bolstered by Neymar's return from suspension, on November 12 before travelling to Colombia five days later.

 

Argentina squad in full:

Goalkeepers: Nahuel Guzman (Club Tigres), Agustin Marchesin (Santos Laguna), Sergio Romero (Manchester United).

Defenders: Martin Demichelis (Manchester City), Ramiro Funi Mori (Everton), Ezequiel Garay (Zenit), Emmanuel Mas (San Lorenzo), Nicolas Otamendi (Manchester City), Marcos Rojo (Manchester United), Facundo Roncaglia (Fiorentina), Pablo Zabaleta (Manchester City).

Midfielders: Ever Banega (Sevilla), Lucas Biglia (Lazio), Angel Di Maria (PSG), Matias Kranevitter (River Plate), Erik Lamela (Tottenham) Javier Mascherano (Barcelona), Javier Pastore (PSG), Enzo Perez (Valencia).

Forwards: Angel Correa (Atletico Madrid), Paulo Dybala (Juventus), Nicolas Gaitan (Benfica), Gonzalo Higuain (Napoli), Ezequiel Lavezzi (PSG), Carlos Tevez (Boca Juniors).