• FT

    Bolivia

    1

    Venezuela

    1

  • FT

    Argentina

    0

    Colombia

    0

  • FT

    Paraguay

    1

    Chile

    2

  • FT

    Peru

    1

    Ecuador

    0

WORLD CUP QUALIFYING - CONMEBOL

Antonio Vespucio Liberti, Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires, Argentina

Referee: Escalante, Marlon

* Local time based on your geographic location.

0 - 0

FT

Argentina v Colombia: Preview

Argentina are waiting on the fitness of captain Lionel Messi ahead of their World Cup qualifier with Colombia, where the Albiceleste will look to take another significant step towards sealing a place in next year's finals in neighbouring Brazil.

Messi missed the end of the Primera Division season with Barcelona due to an ongoing hamstring problem but the four-time reigning world player of the year is in the Argentina squad and could yet lead his side out in Buenos Aires tomorrow.

Coach Alejandro Sabella had positive news about Messi's prospects from training but also insisted he would be erring on the side of caution if there were any doubts about the 25-year-old's fitness.

``I think his leg is well. He looks fast to me, but we have to analyse his inactivity. We do not need to take unnecessary risks,'' Sabella said.

Argentina can afford not to rush Messi back as they are in a strong position at the top of the South American qualifying group, lying four points clear of nearest challengers Ecuador.

However, they have also played a game more than the two teams immediately below them and a defeat at the Monumental stadium tomorrow would see third-placed Colombia close to within two points of Argentina.

Anderlecht midfielder Lucas Biglia, who will replace the injured Fernando Gago in the Argentina midfield, said: ``It will be an entertaining match, between two squads that play good football.

``We will try to control the ball, but we must not get overexcited so as to ensure we don't suffer any problems.''

Messi was among the goalscorers as Argentina fought back from a half-time deficit to beat Colombia 2-1 in Barranquilla earlier in qualifying, and Los Cafeteros defender Mario Yepes needs no reminding of the threat posed by the Barca superstar.

However, Yepes also knows better than to assume Argentina are just a one-man team.

``Messi is the best in the world, he has been proving that year after year,'' he said.

``But we are worried about Argentina, not only about one player, as we believe that besides Leo there are other important attackers.''

Colombia forward James Rodriguez, who will link up with international team-mate Radamel Falcao as new signings for big-spending French club Monaco next season, expects tomorrow's clash to be an entertaining one between what he feels are the two leading sides in qualifying.

He said: ``It is an attractive game due to the fact they are two top-class squads.

``Both sides know their game, how to play and they do it well. I believe it will be a nice, but hard game between the best teams of these qualifiers.''

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