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Argentina ready to unleash World Cup anger

sports Updated: Aug 10, 2010 08:15 IST

AFP
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Argentina will be desperate to take out their World Cup anger on the Republic of Ireland in Wednesday's friendly in Dublin, according to Giovanni Trapattoni.

Trapattoni's Ireland will provide the Opposition for Argentina's first game since their shock 4-0 quarter-final defeat against Germany in South Africa.

The match, the first soccer international to be played at the Aviva Stadium formerly known as Lansdowne Road, marks the start of Argentina's post-Diego Maradona era.

Maradona was sacked as coach soon after the World Cup and has been replaced by his former international teammate and under-20 boss, Sergio Batista.

Though speculation has continued that Maradona may yet return to management, the man who will definitely be in the Irish dugout, Italian veteran Trapattoni, believes the Argentina players will be desperate to return to winning ways with or without him.

"I think Maradona selected the players, this is his selection and with (Carlos) Tevez, with (Diego) Milito, (Javier) Mascherano and (Angel) Di Maria, I think the spirit is there," Trapattoni said.

"I am sure this team will play with a bite. They'll be looking for a win. They don't like to lose. They will be angry after what happened in South Africa.

"I think they will be hungry because I thought they were one of the three or four teams that could have won the World Cup and after this disappointment, I said to the players we have to expect a hard game."

Argentina, who will stay in Co. Kildare's Carton House resort for the duration of their visit to Ireland, have named their star players for the friendly, with Leo Messi, Tevez, Mascherano and Gonzalo Higauin in the squad.

Manchester City striker Tevez will hope to rediscover his goalscoring form, but club teammate and Ireland goalkeeper Shay Given is looking forward to trying to stop him.

"He's a bubbly guy, and I think he knows more English than he lets on, he pretends he doesn't understand sometimes," joked Given. "But to be honest he's a really good guy."

Though Given will be pleased to see Tevez, he's disappointed Maradona won't be present.

"Diego's a legend, someone who everyone bows to, and rightly so because he was a fantastic player, and a bit of a character now he has turned to management," said Given.