The latest word out of Argentina's camp is that Sampa is ringing in several changes for Thursday's showdown with Croatia: Caballero Mercado-Otamendi-Tagliafico Salvio-Perez-Masche-Acuna Messi-Aguero-Pavon There are a lot of problems here. Starting at the back, switching to a 3-man defense at this point seems ill-advised. Most players are not trained in this system and Argentina have clearly spent some, if not most, of their time working the 4-man line. I will grant Sampa that Mercado-Otamendi-Tagliafico is a solid trio for the formation, but this would be a real gamble. I'd include Fazio in the CB pairing and keep it simple with a 4-man unit, but it ain't me. If Croatia has any organization they will find gaps in this system that the players almost certainly don't know how to execute effectively. Not to mention Modric is probably the single best MF in the world at ball movement and controlling a match from the MF and Rakitic is a willing and able sidekick. Mix in Mandzukic up front who is an absolute load and Perisic who can do it all and I'm very worried. That MF is not going to be able to get the ball to Messi. There are literally only two guys on the squad who can bring the ball up and make a forward pass in the MF - Banega and Lo Celso. I'd argue that Dybala could do it too, but he would leave the team too unbalanced because he does not track back and does not have a good work rate. Playing without one or both of those players will slow down the attack. Perez, Acuna, Salvio, and Meza are all nice players, but none of them can initiate the offense. Moreover, I'd select Biglia over Masche at the pivot. I used to dislike Biglia, but once I realized he is simply a destroyer with decent possession passing skills, I came to appreciate him. He is better than Masche as the sole pivot, but Sampa seems set on Masche. Subbing Pavon for Di Maria may be enough to stir the drink, but I cannot understand why Sampa would not include two, or even one of, Banega, Lo Celso, and Dybala.