Lionel Messi prepares for Argentina World Cup crunch match - in pictures

Victory over Peru will be a huge step for PSG star towards Qatar finals

Lionel Messi's Argentina host Peru in World Cup qualifying on Friday knowing victory will put them on the brink of the Qatar finals.

Coach Lionel Scaloni's side trail South American group leaders Brazil by six points, but more importantly are six points ahead of fourth-placed Uruguay with a game in hand, and will seek another convincing victory in front of home fans to maintain their momentum since their latest Copa America triumph in July.

Scaloni will be keen for 10 of his players to avoid suspension ahead of two difficult rounds in November, when Argentina travel to Uruguay and then host Brazil.

Starters Gonzalo Montiel, Nicolas Otamendi, Rodrigo de Paul, Giovani Lo Celso and Lautaro Martínez will miss the match against Uruguay if they get a yellow card.

Five other players sitting on a yellow card are likely to be substitutes at the Monumental Stadium in Buenos Aires: German Pezzella, Nicolas Tagliafico, Lucas Martinez Quarta, Exequiel Palacios, and Nicolas Dominguez.

Fortunately for Scaloni, talisman Messi is in the clear and the PSG star worked out with his teammates ahead of the Peru match during a training session in Ezeiza, part of the Buenos Aires province, on the eve of the game.

Peru have little chance of qualifying for their second consecutive World Cup after their 1-0 loss at Bolivia on Sunday, while Messi made history on Monday, becoming the first South American to score 80 international goals as his side beat Uruguay 3-0.

Messi working out in training with his teammates can be seen in the gallery above. To see the next image, just swipe.

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Lionel Messi leads Argentina to Copa America

Updated: October 14th 2021, 7:13 AM
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