Colombia v Argentina: Martino steadfast on style


Gerardo Martino knows Argentina will face a difficult task to control their World Cup 2018 qualifier against Colombia on Tuesday.

Martino's side were held to a draw 1-1 draw by Brazil in Buenos Aires on Friday, despite dominating much of the fixture, leaving them ninth in the table and without a win from their first three games of the campaign.

Tuesday's trip to Barranquilla will see them take on a less pragmatic opponent, according to Martino, who still does not believe a change in approach from his side will be necessary.

"Colombia away is not going to be same game as Brazil. We will try to take control of the game but I believe we will face a team that is going to attack more," Martino said.

"In the dressing room the boys know what kind of game they played [against Brazil]. We did not get the result we deserved.

"We know the path we are looking for and the table does not change our view."

Argentina's fixture with Brazil was delayed by a day as heavy rain made the Monumental pitch unplayable on Thursday, affording Colombia an extra 24 hours to prepare following their 1-1 draw away at 2015 Copa America champions Chile.

Jose Pekerman's side trailed to an Arturo Vidal header on the stroke of half-time, but James Rodriguez - who missed the first two qualifiers due to injury - earned a point with 22 minutes remaining.

The Real Madrid star took Edwin Cardona's place in the starting line-up, but, after replacing Carlos Sanchez early in the second half, the Monterrey midfielder thinks they will be capable of playing together on Tuesday.

"I am proud to play alongside James, because he's a good person and a great player," Cardona said.

"It's good to feel his support on the pitch, which was what he had to do - support and help improve the attack.

"I hope to continue contributing, creating opportunities, because I feel comfortable playing alongside the star that is James."

The 22-year-old acknowledged that even without the likes of Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero, Carlos Tevez and Javier Pastore, Argentina have enough depth to remain a formidable opponent.

"We know our responsibility and the match we will face. They have great players; even with several absentees they have quality players to replace them," he added.

"It will be a tough match, and they showed that against Brazil - without Messi, Aguero, Tevez or Pastore it was an even match."

Further to their current injury worries, Argentina could be without Gonzalo Higuain (foot) and Erik Lamela (muscular injury) as the pair trained apart from the group on Saturday.

They will also be without Facundo Roncaglia due to suspension, but Gabriel Mercado has been added to the squad to bolster their defensive options.

Colombia have suffered a blow of their own with Jackson Martinez ruled out by an ankle sprained suffered against Chile.

Sanchez and Santiago Arias will also be unavailable for selection due to an accumulation of yellow cards.