Qatar 2022: Why is Lautaro Martinez not starting for Argentina vs. Netherlands?

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Lautaro Martinez
AFA Via Getty Images

The Inter Milan striker will be on the bench yet again today in Argentina’s quarterfinal match against the Netherlands.

Argentina and the Netherlands are preparing for another World Cup classic. It’s time to advance to the semi-finals, where Croatia will face penalty kicks after knocking out Brazil.

Argentina have two major wins over the Dutch, one in the championship in 1978 and a semi-final penalty shoot-out win in 2014. The Netherlands beat Argentina in historic fashion in 1998 with a stoppage-time winner in the quarter-finals. For Argentina, since losing to Uruguay in the 1930 final, La Albiceleste have been knocked out by a European team in every World Cup they have not won. The Netherlands have won their last three World Cup quarter-final appearances in 1998, 2010 and 2014.

One of Argentina’s main strikers will be on the bench again, find out why Lautaro Martinez is not starting for Argentina against the Netherlands.

Why is Lautaro Martinez benched?

Lautaro Martinez has been the preferred striker for Lionel Scaloni during qualification and the first few matches at the World Cup, but the emergence of Julián Álvarez during his time at Manchester City and on the national team has made Lionel Scaloni think twice.

Martinez does have 21 goals in 44 games for Argentina but is shooting blanks at the World Cup. While Álvarez has two critical goals for Argentina so far in the tournament.

It should also be noted that it would seem that Lionel Messi and Julian Álvarez have a better understanding of each other on the field.

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