Mascherano, Messi and Suárez at a training session | MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

As is only to be expected, Leo Messi, Javier Mascherano and Luis Suárez have been named in the squads for Argentina and Uruguay’s 2018 World Cup qualifying matches in late August and early September.

All three will be involved in a head-to-head match at the Estadio Centenario, Montevideo on August 31.

With Brazil already assured a place in the finals, just four points separate the next five teams in the South American zone. Uruguay have 23 and Argentina 22, so whichever side wins will take a big step towards Russia, while the losers will still have a lot of work to do in order to avoid going into a playoff or, worse, finishing sixth and missing out entirely.

Argentina will then host bottom ranked Venezuela in Buenos Aires, while Uruguay visit Paraguay, a side that still has an outside chance of making the cut. Both those games are being played on September 5.

Argentina, of course, are managed by Jorge Sampaoli while Óscar Tabárez is in charge of Uruguay.

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