|Albacete breathes after completing the turnover that saw Argentina win|
Saturday´s match at the Millennium Stadium will see a Pumas side desperate for victory face the European Champions who performed well but were not able to defeat South Africa last weekend. In many ways it looms as being a defining match for the 2013 Pumas similar to the Rugby World Cup 2011 match against Scotland in Wellington.
The injury list facing Argentine rugby is notable and growing. Both Gonzalo Tiesi and Juan Imhoff were injured against England last Saturday with Tiesi´s appearance being limited to minutes. Imhoff was hurt but remains in the squad and could face Italy next weekend. Both players started against Wales in the 2012 fixture as did the retired Felipe Contepomi who joined Tiesi in the mid-field. Imhoff played in a back-three with Gonzalo Camacho and Juan Martín Hernández, both of whom are injured.
The clash against Scotland in 2011 saw two key Argentine players leave the match in the first half through injury. Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe and Rodrigo Roncero were replacement which saw serious questions asked of Argentina. One player to stand tall was Patricio Albacete who got through a mountain of work in producing a stand-out defensive performance which saw him tackle endlessly, carry well, work well in the scrums and lineouts and compete at the breakdown. It matched his performance against Scotland in Paris four years earlier. In 2011 the match was secured three minutes after full time when Albacete fetched the ball from the tackle area before a ruck had been formed. Marcelo Bosch collected and booted the ball into touch.
A similar performance will be required in Cardiff this weekend to end the losing streak which has seen Los Pumas lose seven matches in a row. A loss in Cardiff would equal the worst ever losing streak by a Pumas team. Argentina therefore has everything to play for and will need its players to shine. Players returning from the 2011 match in Wellington include Albacete, Manuel Carizza, Julio Farías Cabello, Horacio Agulla, Marcelo Bosch, Santiago Fernández and captain Juan Manuel Leguizamón.