Injured Di Maria to be replaced by Perez against Dutch

July 9, 2014 at 3:20 pm
Posted under: 2014 FIFA World Cup, Argentina, Argentina News, Netherlands, Netherlands News, News

Argentina's midfielder Angel Di Maria (bottom C) is given aid after an injury during a quarter-final football match between Argentina and Belgium at the Mane Garrincha National Stadium in Brasilia during the 2014 FIFA World Cup on July 5, 2014.  AFP PHOTO / CHRISTOPHE SIMON
Argentina's midfielder Angel Di Maria (bottom C) is given aid after an injury during a quarter-final football match between Argentina and Belgium at the Mane Garrincha National Stadium in Brasilia during the 2014 FIFA World Cup on July 5, 2014. AFP PHOTO / CHRISTOPHE SIMON

Enzo Perez is expected to take the place of injured Angel di Maria in Argentina’s World Cup semi-final with the Netherlands on Wednesday, coach Alejandro Sabella said.

“I can’t confirm the line-up but very probably it will be with Enzo Perez,” Sabella said. The attacking Benfica midfielder Perez took the place of Di Maria when he limped off during the 1-0 quarter-final win over Belgium.

Sabella said that Di Maria’s loss is a big one, also because he is an important team-mate of Lionel Messi, but said that “Perez has matured … He has a lot of dynamics, runs a lot and opens spaces.” While missing Di Maria, Sabella can welcome back Marcos Roja from a suspension and forward Sergio Aguero back from a thigh muscle problem, although Aguero will likely not be in the starting 11.

“We will see. If we need him he will be ready,” Sabella said. Sabella said Argentina want “to take the next step” into the final on Sunday in the Maracana against Germany, who thrashed hosts Brazil 7-1 in a memorable first semi Tuesday.

The coach named Germany “a power” but also said their result somehow highlights that “football is the least logical sport in the world,” but first he is wary of the Dutch led by Arjen Robben. “He is a great player and very important for his team, just like Neymar for Brazil and Messi for Argentina. But Messi is the best of them all,” Sabella said.

SAPA


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