Yukihito Taguchi-USA TODAY Sports Argentina forward Lionel Messi (10) looks on against Mexico during the first half of a group stage match during the 2022 World Cup at Lusail Stadium.
The reigning FIFA World Cup champions are back in action.
Argentina has a pair of 2026 World Cup qualifiers on the docket over the week, starting with a Thursday night matchup against Paraguay in Buenos Aires. A contest versus Peru in Lima will follow on Tuesday.
La Albiceleste won their first two qualifiers last month, beating Ecuador 1-0 and Bolivia 3-0. Now, Argentina looks to keep pace with Brazil atop the Conmebol qualifier standings.
But will national team coach Lionel Scaloni have captain Lionel Messi at his disposal for the Paraguay match?
Will Messi play tonight vs. Paraguay?
Messi is part of Argentina’s squad, but whether he makes an appearance against Paraguay is up in the air.
He was named to the bench for the starting 11.
Messi, 36, scored a goal in Argentina’s first qualifier before missing the second match due to a scar tissue problem. That issue also caused Messi to to be sidelined for five of six games with MLS club Inter Miami.
The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner was back on pitch for Inter Miami on Saturday, appearing as a 55th-minute substitute against FC Cincinnati.
“For him, one more training session is important and I will talk to him to decide whether he plays or not, but I have to talk to him first and above all I have to be sure that he can start,” Scaloni told reporters on Wednesday.
“We have another game in four days against Peru and it is not so easy to define if he is available, the important thing is that he feels comfortable. What leaves us calm is that if he is not fit, whoever replaces him will do just as well.”
What time does the Argentina vs. Paraguay match start?
Argentina-Paraguay is set for 7 p.m. ET on Thursday.
What TV channel is the Argentina vs. Paraguay match on?
The match will air in English on fuboTV and in Spanish on Universo.