Starting role for Heinze

09 June 2006 01:32
Argentina coach Jose Pekerman has named Manchester United defender Gabriel Heinze in his starting line-up for Saturday's Group C opener against Ivory Coast. Heinze missed almost the entire Premiership season after suffering a serious knee injury during a Champions League game against Villarreal in September, but will partner Roberto Ayala in central defence in Hamburg. There is no place in the team for Barcelona star Lionel Messi, who is still striving for full fitness after a three-month lay-off with a thigh injury. Up front Pekerman has opted to select Javier Saviola as Hernan Crespo's partner, meaning Carlos Tevez will have to settle for a place on the bench. Argentina team to face Ivory Coast: Roberto Abbondanzieri; Nicolas Burdisso, Roberto Ayala, Gabriel Heinze, Juan Pablo Sorin; Maxi Rodriguez, Javier Mascherano, Esteban Cambiasso, Juan Roman Riquelme; Javier Saviola, Hernan Crespo.

Source: ESA