SCOTLAND will need to improve significantly all round the park in today’s second Test if they are going to level the series. Head coach Gregor Townsend highlighted the restarts as one area of concern in last week’s 26-18 defeat, but in reality his team were second best to Argentina in many departments.

Yet while every player will have to focus on getting the better of his opposite number, three members in particular of Townsend’s starting 15 will need to gain the upper hand if Scotland are going to go on and win.

1 Hamish Watson v Marcos Kremer

After missing out last week because of injury, Edinburgh openside Watson is back in the ranks in a back row which also features Glasgow’s Rory Darge and Matt Fagerson. Scotland were all too often second best at the breakdown in the first Test in Jujuy, and when they did win ball it tended to come back slowly. Watson’s task will be to win possession cleanly and quickly, denying Kremer and his back-row team-mates Juan Martin Gonzalez Samso and Rodrigo Bruni the platform from which to launch attacks.

Having also sat out Scotland ‘A’’s comfortable win over Chile a fortnight ago, Watson is refreshed and looks ready to put in a big performance. If he does, this afternoon’s contest in Salta will at least be closer than it was last week.

2 Blair Kinghorn versus Santiago Carreras

Townsend insisted after naming his squad on Thursday that he and his assistant coaches have “massive belief” in Edinburgh stand-off Kinghorn. Having played a large part in the 25-year-old’s switch from full-back around a year ago, the head coach has seen the wisdom of that positional change widely questioned, not least by Scotland supporters who feel frustrated by the player’s at times wayward decision-making.

Yet while Kinghorn made errors last week, he was also responsible for some of the best things about Scotland’s performances, playing his part in the two tries, scored by Mark Bennett and Rory Hutchinson, and being deemed unlucky by his coach to see a third, by Sam Johnson, chalked off for a marginally forward pass.

Carreras came on midway through the first half last week to replace the injured Nicolas Sanchez and was able to settle into the game far more comfortably than he might reasonably have expected. Today it will be up to Kinghorn to ensure the Pumas playmaker has less time to think when on the ball - and ideally no time at all to think when Scotland are on the attack.

3 Rory Hutchinson v Emiliano Boffelli

Full-backs may be further apart from each other on the pitch than is the case with opensides and stand-offs, but this duel at a distance will be none the less important for that. Edinburgh’s Boffelli was influential enough when playing on the wing last week, and at 15 can be expected to see more of the ball. Hutchinson, normally a centre and still adapting to his new position, will need to kick intelligently to ensure Boffelli has as few chances as possible to launch counter-attacks from deep.