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With injury concerns over Spanish Sevilla defender, Gabriel Mercado, Argentina boss, Jorge Sampaoli is expected to unveil a provisional list of 35 players that may feature at next month’s World Cup in Russia.

The final list of 23 players will be released on June 4. Sports Village Square gathered from Argentine sources that the coach was worried about the injury suffered by defender Mercado who was stretchered out after 42 minutes when he injured his right foot in Spanish league match against Betis.

At the moment, there is no official part but surely the technical staff of the National Team will follow it closely.

Even though the player’s Spanish club had not issued an official medical report, Jorge Sampaoli is reportedly worried that the injury came barely a month to the World Cup.

Argentina are in the same group with Nigeria. The timeline of the Argentina team, gathered runs thus:



  • May 14 – Sampaoli must submit the list of 35 pre-selected
  • May 30 Friendly vs. Bolivia in the Bombonera
  • May 31 – Trip to Barcelona
  • June 4 – Sampaoli must deliver the final list of 23 players
  • June 9 – Friendly vs. Israel (in principle, in Tel Aviv)
  • June 10 – Travel to Russia, to the concentration in Bronnitsy
  • June 16 – Debut in the World Cup vs. Iceland
  • June 21 – Second game, vs. Croatia
  • June 26 – Third game, vs. Nigeria


Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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