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World Cup A-Z: A for Argentina

LETHAL WEAPON: Sergio Aguero will be hoping to help shoot Argentina to World Cup glory in Russia

LETHAL WEAPON: Sergio Aguero will be hoping to help shoot Argentina to World Cup glory in Russia

The greatest football show on earth finally kicks-off in Russia later this week when the FIFA 2018 World Cup officially begins.

There will be no shortage of interest in the tournament from a City perspective – not least because the Blues will have a record-equalling 16 players in action.

And to help mark the occasion, we are launching our own A-Z of the World Cup – with the focus firmly trained on City.

A is for Argentina

Traditionally one of the World Cup’s real powerhouse nations having won the tournament in both 1978 and 1986, not to mention finishing runners-up in 1930, 1990 and 2014, City fans will undoubtedly be casting an eagle eye on the fortunes of La Albiceleste.

The reason is crystal clear as our all-time record goalscorer Sergio Aguero and defensive powerhouse Nicolas Otamendi should both be key components in Jorge Sampaoli’s side.

Kun, who will hopefully be back to full fitness after the knee injury which prematurely ended his domestic season, currently lies third in Argentina’s all-time record goal-scoring lists having secured 37 goals from 85 appearances to date and could form a potent strike force with compatriot Lionel Messi.

READ: World Cup profiles - Sergio Aguero

GENERAL ORDERS: Nicolas Otamendi is set to be a key figure for Argentina in their World Cup campaign

Nico, meanwhile, has headed out to Russia full of confidence after a superb season for City which saw him join Sergio as part of the PFA’s team of the year.

With 54 caps to his name to date, the General should also be a vital cog in the Argentina defensive machine as they first look to navigate their way out of Group D where the South Americans are pitted alongside Croatia, Iceland and Nigeria.

And if we needed another reason to keep careful tabs on Argentina's fortunes, there will be a former Etihad favourite on duty in the familiar shape of goalkeeper Willy Caballero.

Indeed, the 36-year-old, who spent the domestic 2017/18 campaign with Chelsea, could be in line to start for Argentina following last month's injury to regular first-choice Sergio Romero which ruled the Manchester United goalkeeper out of the tournament.

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