Tevez faces fight for place, warns Martino
12 November 2014, 08:05
London - Carlos Tevez faces a battle for a berth in the Argentina team after being recalled following three years in the international wilderness, new national coach Gerardo Martino warned on Tuesday.
Tevez, 30, is due to make his first international appearance for over three years when Argentina play Croatia on Wednesday in a friendly at London's Upton Park, home of his former club West Ham United.
But with captain Lionel Messi guaranteed a starting berth and Sergio Aguero and Gonzalo Higuain also gunning for the number-nine slot, Martino says that the Juventus striker will have to wait for opportunities.
"Higuain doesn't play like Tevez or Aguero, but in our scheme they are number nines and they have little chance of playing on the wings," the former Barcelona coach told a press conference.
"It's going to be hard to see them all in the starting line-up at the same time. It would be unfair on the other players who are not nines and who we want to see.
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"We have decided that Messi will play on the right because if he played like he does for his club, we would have a fourth number nine."
Martino has set Argentina out in a 4-3-3 system in his three matches since taking over from Alejandro Sabella, who stepped down after the South American giants lost 1-0 to Germany in the World Cup final in Brazil.
Aguero started as a lone striker in the first two matches -- a 4-2 win over Germany and a 2-0 loss to Brazil -- with Higuain leading the line in last month's 7-0 rout of Hong Kong.
Messi has taken up a right-sided starting position similar to the one he adopted in his early days at Barcelona, with the other flank given over to an attacking midfielder such as Angel di Maria.