Argentina’s practice on Sunday didn’t show whether the 36-year-old Lionel Messi will play against Peru. He took part of the morning session at his national team’s training ground, but has recently felt muscular pains in his right leg that have sidelined him for several MLS matches for his club, Inter Miami.
Form guide (World Cup qualifying)
Messi substituted Julián Álvarez in the 52nd minute against Paraguay, when Argentina was already in the lead. He hit the post twice, but had a low key performance overall at the Monumental de Nuñez Stadium in Buenos Aires.
Peru has lost its latest two qualifying matches in South American qualifying. The squad arrived in silence shortly before dawn so no fans could be at the airport protesting after its 2-0 loss at Chile. Players and coach Juan Reynoso know they will face a much tougher challenge against the World Cup champion.
“May this defeat today suit us for what is coming,” Reynoso said in a news conference after the match in Santiago. “You don’t qualify by playing beautiful soccer, you do it by playing well. For us to do that, we need to be a chamaleonic team that adapts to various cirumstances.”
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