Heinze to start in Hamburg
By Patricio Figueroa
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Gabriel Heinze has been confirmed as a starter in Argentina's World Cup opener.
Manchester United defender Gabriel Heinze has been confirmed as a starter in Argentina's World Cup opener with Ivory Coast on June 10, but there is no place for Chelsea striker Hernan Crespo.
Heinze has made a superb recovery from the serious knee injury he picked up in September and after impressing coach Jose Pekerman in a warm up game, has been given the green light to start in Hamburg.
Chelsea marksman Crespo will have to content himself with a place on the bench, as Pekerman has opted to pair Carlos Tevez and Julio Cruz in attack, while Barcelona star Lionel Messi will not be risked having only recently overcome a thigh complaint.
"The line up of the team for the debut in the World Cup will be the same as the one that played the last friendly match in Buenos Aires before we travelled to Italy," said Pekerman from their training base in Rome.
In light of Pekerman's comments, the Argentine team to face Ivory Coast will be as follows:
Roberto Abbondanzieri; Nicolas Burdisso, Roberto Ayala, Gabriel Heinze, Juan Pablo Sorin; Maxi Rodriguez, Javier Mascherano, Esteban Cambiasso, Juan Roman Riquelme; Carlos Tevez, Julio Cruz.
Pekerman believes Argentina are approaching concert pitch ahead of this summer's tournament.
"We have been working very well and we still have ten more days and that will be very important," added Pekerman.