Ecuador vs Argentina Predictions, Betting Tips & Preview
It's now or never for Lionel Messi and Argentina. Messi and Argentina were fantastic at the last World Cup, but the little man especially has fallen so short of standards in this qualifying campaign. If Argentina don't find their first win in five games here, they're out.
Game: Ecuador vs Argentina
Venue: Estadio Olimpico, Quito
Kick-off: Wednesday 11th October, 00.30AM
Ecuador are out and five points behind the chasing pack. They’re guaranteed to finish a minimum of six points outside of the top five despite a blistering start that saw them top the group after seven games. They’ve now lost their last five games, but they’ve all been close, and they are finding the net.
Argentina and Lionel Messi are in sixth-placed and World Cup Qualification is fortunately still in their hands. They sit just goal difference and a point behind Peru and Colombia who happen to be playing each other. If Argentina win then they’ll have a place in Russia next summer at the expense of (most likely) Peru or Colombia.
Chile should be guaranteed at least fifth because of how the final day fixtures, GD and head to heads work out, but fifth is something that Argentina would like to avoid if possible as it means going into a playoff round. If Colombia and Chile win that’s what they’ll need to settle for, but Chile would need to win in Brazil.
Ecuador are in a terrible run of form and are 6/1 with Betfred to spring a surprise here. The draw is available at 7/2 at Bet365 and Argentina, who simply must win, can be backed at 4/9 with Coral.
Argentina might have preferred a home time, but they had chance to wrap things up in a dismal 0-0 draw with Peru last time out. Prior to that, Lionel Messi and co drew 1-1 at home to Venezuela, 0-0 in Uruguay and lost 2-0 in Bolivia. They’re falling apart at the worst time.
The saving grace could be that Ecuador are in even worst form having lost their last five qualification games, but they have been competitive in each. Earlier in the campaign, the Ecuadorian rang rings around Argentina and left with a 2-0 away victory. It’s possible their motivation has dwindled even further, but at the same time they have nothing to fear. Argentina can’t be as wasteful as previous games here.
Back our Free Betting Tip: Over 2.5 Goals at 4/5 with Bet365
Argentina cannot afford to keep battering teams and missing chances. They’ve been regular scorers on the road, but they’ve also allowed two goals in their last three away trips. They’ve had a few 2-2 draws and as they push forward in this game, a relaxed and pressure free Ecuador are dangerous enough to catch them out.
Back our Score Prediction: Draw: 2-2 at best odds 19/1 with Betfred
In 17 games, Lionel Messi’s goal contribution has been two from open-play. Although he provides a lot more than just goals for his club and country, it’s time he finally takes hold of one of these big games like he did in the 2014 World Cup.
Back our Scorer Prediction: Lionel Messi at 6/7 with Bet365