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Lionel Messi expected to play against Bolivia in Copa game

But Argentina manager Gerardo Martino was coy on Monday as to whether Messi will be on the field from the start, or if it’ll be another supporting performance off the bench from the star forward who has been dealing with a back injury.

Argentina is already assured of a place in the quarterfinals of the tournament and is likely to be the top of Group D baring the highly unlikely scenario of a Bolivia win and a barrage of goals scored by Chile against Panama.

That lack of drama surrounding the final group match leaves the status of Messi as the biggest question.He certainly looked healthy in his limited role last Friday against Panama. Messi played just 29 minutes and managed to score a hat trick in the 5-0 victory that clinched Argentina’s passage to the next round of the tournament.

“He could have started if it was necessary,” Martino said through an interpreter. “After four days, as I understand he’s even better.”Argentina is likely to go into the game without Angel Di Maria. 
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