Argentina’s national team are set to face the Netherlands in the first round of the 2018 World Cup, but their chances of a home playoff have been dealt a big blow with the news that goalkeeper Marcelo Balboa will miss the match.
Goalkeeper Balboa has been the subject of speculation for some time, but the news has now been confirmed by his manager.
“Marcelo has been in good health and we will take it one game at a time,” goalkeeper Jorge Luis Pinto told La Estrella de Fútbol (El País).
“It’s not a good news, but it’s good news for us.”
The Dutch are currently in second place in Group A after beating hosts Portugal in the final, while the Netherlands have already drawn the first leg of the final against Spain.
The Netherlands are currently tied on points with Colombia and Spain with seven games remaining.
Argentina play in the second round of qualifying with the final in the US.
The team have qualified from Group C in both 2014 and 2016.