Argentina vs. Guatemala: Time, Live Stream, TV Schedule and Odds

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistSeptember 7, 2018

NIZHNY NOVGOROD, RUSSIA - JUNE 21:  Paulo Dybala of Argentina in action during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group D match between Argentina and Croatia at Nizhny Novgorod Stadium on June 21, 2018 in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia.  (Photo by Koji Watanabe/Getty Images)
Koji Watanabe/Getty Images

Lionel Messi won't feature when Argentina face Guatemala in an international friendly at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Friday.

Messi and other high-profile stars, such as Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero, won't be involved as La Albiceleste try out a few different options after a dismal campaign at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

Jorge Sampaoli has been replaced in the dugout by Lionel Scaloni after Argentina crashed out in the round of 16 to eventual winners France.

Scaloni has left some big names off the squad list for the trip to California but is still able to call on plenty of talent, including Juventus attacker Paulo Dybala and Sevilla playmaker Franco Vazquez.

La Albiceleste is a heavy favourite at 1-12, according to OddsChecker.com, with Guatemala at 55-1. Meanwhile, the same source has a draw at 16-1.

All odds accurate at the time of writing.

Date: Friday, September 7

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Time: 11 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PST/4 a.m. BST (Saturday)

TV Info: beIN Sports

Live Stream: beIN Sports CONNECT

         

While Scaloni has work to do to restore pride after Argentina's failings in Russia, the match also has significance for Guatemala after the nation's football federation saw a FIFA suspension lifted back in May.

Vazquez has the class in possession to be the creative hub for Argentina.
Vazquez has the class in possession to be the creative hub for Argentina.Aitor Alcalde Colomer/Getty Images

FIFA originally imposed sanctions on Guatemala back in 2016 amid a "corruption scandal." Guatemala lost just two of their last six matches before the ban, per Sky Sports.

It's hard to imagine the Guatemala defence will handle Dybala, Vazquez and Co. for 90 minutes. The former has begun the season slowly, making just one start and an appearance off the bench for Serie A giants Juve.

Even so, Dybala has the flair and vision to torment most defences and play in fellow forwards such as Boca Juniors star Cristian Pavon and Angel Correa of Atletico Madrid.

Dybala and the rest of Scaloni's forward line will rely on the creativity of midfielders Leandro Paredes and Giovani Lo Celso. The latter has played just 10 minutes for Paris Saint-Germain so far in Ligue 1, but he has the passing range to unlock the Guatemala back line.

Lo Celso can kickstart his season after rarely featuring so far for PSG.
Lo Celso can kickstart his season after rarely featuring so far for PSG.Victor R. Caivano/Associated Press

Count on even a reshuffled Argentina lineup having the quality needed in forward areas to defeat a Guatemala side undergoing too many changes on and off the pitch to realistically compete.

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