Tuesday 20 March 2018

Batista aims to stop rot

Argentina will look to end a run of five matches without beating Brazil when South America's big two renew their rivalry in a friendly in Qatar today.

The Argentines last beat Brazil 3-1 in a World Cup qualifier in Buenos Aires in June 2005, since when they have lost four and drawn one, conceding 13 goals and scoring just two.

But coach Sergio Batista will look at a different statistic, no doubt -- his Olympic team's emphatic 3-0 victory over Brazil in the 2008 Beijing Games semi-finals.

Former Barcelona team-mates Lionel Messi and Ronaldinho will meet again in Doha, having faced each other at those Olympics, where the Argentine ace inspired Batista's team to the gold medal.

Ronaldinho, overlooked by Brazil's 2010 World Cup coach Dunga, has been recalled by Mano Menezes, who has overseen three friendly wins since he was handed the task of preparing his country's team to host the 2014 finals.

Argentina will be without Esteban Cambiasso, Walter Samuel and Gabriel Milito and strikers Carlos Tevez and Sergio Aguero.

Argentina v Brazil,

Live, ESPN, 5.0

Irish Independent

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