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Messi unlikely to start vs Chile

Argentina vs Chile: Messi unlikely to start in Copa America Centenario opener

June 6, 2016 By Ali M.
The Barcelona superstar appears destined to start from the bench when Gerardo Martino’s crew clash with the reigning champions.

South American powerhouse Argentina will lock horns with Chile, the reigning Copa America champions, on Monday or early Tuesday – depending on where you live. Gerardo Martino’s men will lock to get revenge on La Roja after losing to them in the 2015 final on penalties.

Unfortunately, La Albiceleste may have to overcome Alexis Sanchez and Co. – an already daunting task – without superstar captain Lionel Messi, as reports suggest that the Barca attacker is unlikely to start their opening Copa America Centenario tie.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner only recently reported for international duty, catching up with his compatriots on Friday after appearing before a judge in the Catalonia capital, answering questions over his tax evasion charges.

In addition, the Blaugrana legend is nursing a back injury, having picked up a deep bone bruise in his lower lumbar region in a 1-0 friendly win over Honduras earlier last month. As a result, Diario As write (as per AS) that the 28-year-old will start from the bench.

According to ESPN FC, sources have informed them that Leo has done only two jogs since joining up with the national side, one of which was a low intensity run, with Nicolas Gaitan being lined up as his replacement should Messi be unable to start.

"We're going to wait until after [Sunday night]'s training session,” Tata revealed in a pre-match press conference, as per the Major League Soccer official website.

“The first thing we’ll do is listen to the team doctor, who is the most important voice in this sort of situations, then Leo himself because he's the one who knows how he feels,” expressed Martino. “And after that I'll give him my own perspective in respects to the sporting situation, but the player is the only one who knows how much pain he has.”

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