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By ESPN Staff

Maradona going local ahead of crucial qualifier

Argentina coach Diego Maradona has added nine home-based players to his squad for the crucial World Cup qualifying matches against Peru and Uruguay.

Boca Juniors striker Martin Palermo is called up after he scored a brace in a 2-0 friendly win over Ghana last week and the winner for his club team as they defeated Velez Sarsfield 3-2 on Sunday night.

Velez Sarsfield defender Nicolas Otamendi and Estudiantes playmaker Juan Sebastian Veron have also been included as expected, while Veron's club team-mate Enzo Perez is in after he made his debut in the Ghana game in Cordoba.

Colon goalkeeper Diego Pozo, Newell's Old Boys defender Rolando Schiavi, Boca duo Federico Insua and Luciano Fabian Monzon and Huracan midfielder Mario Bolatti are the other men to have been added to the squad.

Maradona has had to release Diego Milito, though, after the Inter Milan striker picked up a muscle problem in his right leg that will keep him out for a month.

That leaves the coach with 26 players to pick from for Saturday's match against Peru and the last qualifying game in Uruguay four days later.


Goalkeepers: Sergio Romero (AZ Alkmaar), Mariano Andujar (Catania), Diego Pozo (Colon de Santa Fe)

Defenders: Emiliano Insua (Liverpool), Martin Demichelis (Bayern Munich), Gabriel Heinze (Olympique Marseille), Pablo Zabaleta (Manchester City), Nicolas Pareja (Espanyol), Rolando Schiavi (Newell's Old Boys), Nicolas Otamendi (Velez Sarsfield), Fabian Monzon (Boca Juniors)

Midfielders: Javier Mascherano (Liverpool), Mario Bolatti (Huracan), Luis Gonzalez (Olympique Marseille), Jonas Gutierrez (Newcastle United), Angel Di Maria, Pablo Aimar (both Benfica), Enzo Perez, Juan Sebastian Veron (both Estudiantes), Federico Insua (Boca Juniors)

Forwards: Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Sergio Aguero (Atletico Madrid), Carlos Tevez (Manchester City), Gonzalo Higuain (Real Madrid), Ezequiel Lavezzi (Napoli), Martin Palermo (Boca Juniors)


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