Ecuador and Argentina will square off in the last round of the South American World Cup qualifiers. Ecuador has been already knocked out of contention, while Argentina needs a win in order to at least advance into the playoffs – or even qualify directly (depending on other results). Argentina, currently 6th, can also qualify to the playoffs with a draw, if Peru loses at home with Colombia. Even a loss could do, if Peru loses by more goals than Argentina does. But of course, the Argentinians need to play this game to win.
Ecuador started the qualifications well with a 2-0 win in Argentina back in 2015, but the hosts couldn`t keep up the momentum and went from good, to bad, to worse. Ecuador completely collapsed by the end of these qualifiers, losing the last 5 matches, conceding two goals in each of those defeats. Ecuador is now 8th in the standings, they have no chances to advance and morale is at an all time low.
Argentina is on the brink of missing the 2018 World Cup, which would be a historic disaster for such a proud football nation. The visitors haven`t won in 4 games (scoring a combined total of one goal) and are coming after 3 consecutive draws. They also haven`t won away from home in these qualifiers since March 2016, six matches ago, and haven`t won in Ecuador since 2001. There is obvious unrest among the squad, but Argentina will undoubtedly be helped by Ecuador’s situation.Bet on Ecuador vs Argentina and claim your 100% (100 Eur) bonus at Ohmbet now!
Team news: Ecuador has missed a lot of players recently due to various reasons (Caicedo, Paredes, Noboa, Ayovi among them), but otherwise there are no fresh injuries reported ahead of this clash. Argentian will probably miss Gago.
Argentina’s recent results, their struggle in front of goal and also the fact that this match is played at high altitude in Quito, where Argentina hasn`t won since 2001, are all reasons for worry as far as the visitors are concerned. However, a deeper look might suggest that this could be an easier match than expected.
Ecuador is in even worse form, their morale is completely shot and it`s hard too expect much of a performance from them in this clash against a much more motivated opponent. What`s more, their defense has been very leaky lately, which should work in favor of Argentina.
The most important thing though is the fact that Argentina actually hasn`t played that bad lately and they were very unlucky not to win their last two games at home against Venezuela and Peru. They had tons of clear cut chances in both of those games, but met two keepers in their form of their lives. It just wasn`t to be.
Also, while Argentina has struggled in this group, fact is that they won 18 points in the 9 games in which Messi played, and only 7 points in the 8 games when he was out. They have actually been good when Messi was on the pitch, which will be the case in this clash.
Argentina should finally get over their scoring issue against this very poor Ecuadorian defense. It`s hard to believe they will miss as many clear scoring chances as they did in their last two games.
While the odds are disappointing and I have to admit I was hoping for better, I have a lot of confidence in Argentina winning this game, so I will bet on them even if the value maybe isn`t that great. I will also resist the temptation on betting the handicap, and I will stick with the safer straight win, but with maximum stakes. My tip is Argentina to win. Prediction: Ecuador – Argentina 0-2.