Racing 92’s star number 10 Russell will shift to inside centre to allow his former Glasgow colleague Hastings to start at stand-off.
Townsend tried the partnership out briefly towards the end of this month’s eight-try demolition job on Fiji and hopes it will pay off again after the pair combined to set up Hastings for his first ever Scotland touchdown.
The 22-year-old Warriors fly-half’s inclusion is one of eight changes Townsend has made to the team which pushed South Africa close last weekend.
A new front row of Allan Dell, Fraser Brown and Simon Berghan start, while lock Grant Gilchrist is joined in a new-look pack by flanker Jamie Ritchie and number eight Josh Strauss.
In the backs, Edinburgh full-back Blair Kinghorn is also given a run-out on against the Pumas on the right wing.
Gary Graham, the Newcastle flanker who has featured in England squad but was drafted in by Scotland ahead of the South Africa game but not used, is again not included in the match-day 23.
Townsend said: “While it was a great effort from the players to win in Argentina last summer, we are under no illusions as how different a prospect their team will be on Saturday.
“Under Mario Ledesma Argentina delivered some outstanding performances and they were hugely impressive in their victories over South Africa and Australia in the recent Rugby Championship. I’m sure that they will throw everything at us to end their international season on a high note.
“With four Test matches in succession, we’ve been conscious of rotating the squad to enable as many players as possible to be in the best physical condition for each contest. We are expecting those selected this weekend to bring energy and huge effort to the game and seize the opportunity to perform at their best level against a very good team. It will be another huge challenge, not only for our forward pack, but also for our defence – as Argentina play ambitious, skilful and effective attacking rugby.”
Scotland team to play Argentina at BT Murrayfield
Saturday 24 November (kick-off 2.30pm)
15. Stuart Hogg VICE CAPTAIN (Glasgow Warriors) – 64 caps
14. Sean Maitland (Saracens) – 36 caps
13. Huw Jones (Glasgow Warriors) – 18 caps
12. Finn Russell (Racing 92) – 39 caps
11. Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh) – 6 caps
10. Adam Hastings (Glasgow Warriors) – 6 caps
9. Greig Laidlaw CAPTAIN (Clermont Auvergne) – 65 caps
1. Allan Dell (Edinburgh) – 16 caps
2. Fraser Brown (Glasgow Warriors) – 37 caps
3. Simon Berghan (Edinburgh) – 13 caps
4. Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh) – 27 caps
5. Jonny Gray VICE CAPTAIN (Glasgow Warriors) – 46 caps
6. Jamie Ritchie (Edinburgh) – 5 caps
7. Hamish Watson (Edinburgh) – 22 caps
8. Josh Strauss (Sale Sharks) – 16 caps
16. Stuart McInally (Edinburgh) – 21 caps
17. Alex Allan (Glasgow Warriors) – 6 caps
18. Willem Nel (Edinburgh) – 25 caps
19. Sam Skinner (Exeter Chiefs) – 2 caps
20. Ryan Wilson (Glasgow Warriors) – 40 caps
21. George Horne (Glasgow Warriors) - 4 caps
22. Alex Dunbar (Glasgow Warriors) - 30 caps
23. Byron McGuigan (Sale Sharks) – 5 caps