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Played
June 2, 2012 11:30 PM BST
Estadio Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti — Capital Federal, Ciudad de Buenos Aires
Referee:‬ V. Rivera‎
Attendance:‬ 50000‎
 
 
 
32′ Lionel Messi
 
 

Argentina - Ecuador Preview: Albiceleste aim for payback in World Cup qualifying against talented visitors

In qualifying for the 2010 World Cup, the home side could only secure one point from two matches against La Tri

By Roger Gonzalez

Sergio Agüero y Lionel Messi, Argentina
GettyImages
  PROBABLE LINEUP

ARGENTINA




Romero
Zabaleta, Garay, Fernandez, C. Rodriguez
Gago, Mascherano, Di Maria
Higuain, Messi, Aguero



ECUADOR




Banguera
Achilier, Campos, Espinoza, W. Ayovi
Valencia, Castillo, Noboa, Saritama
Suarez
Benitez


Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella is set to start this World Cup qualifier with three strikers. In the middle, Fernando Gago and Javier Mascherano will likely play together, with Angel Di Maria joining them. At the back, Ezequiel Garay and Federico Fernandez start in the middle of the first time together. 

There is no Carlos Tevez in this squad, however, as the former Boca Juniors man was not called up.

For Ecuador, Reinaldo Rueda looks to play only one forward, hoping to be able to have enough players back to contain the Argentine attack. Christian Benitez will start up top, with Christian Suarez playing attacking midfielder.

  DID YOU KNOW?
  • Argentina are tied for first in South America's World Cup qualifying with seven points from four games, level with Uruguay, who have the same amount of points from one less match.
  • In their last qualifying game, the two-time World Cup winners won 2-1 at Colombia, thanks to goals from Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero.
  • Messi, who has 22 goals for the senior team, is 34 behind the nation's top all-time scorer Gabriel Batistuta, who had 56.
  • Ecuador are in fourth place in qualifying with six points from three games, having won two and lost one. 
  • In qualifying for the last World Cup, the visitors earned four points from two games against the Argentines, winning one at home and drawing in Buenos Aires.
  • Their last qualifying game was a 2-0 win over Peru in November, where Edison Mendez and Christian Benitez bagged goals.


Field Report
Reader's Predictions
Top 3 Predictions
Head to Head
International Friendlies ‎(FR)‎ 16 Nov 2013 Ecuador 0 - Argentina 0
  • Player Ratings
  • Match Report
  • Play by Play
  • Preview
World Cup Qualification - South America ‎(WCQS)‎ 11 Jun 2013 Ecuador 1 - Argentina 1
  • Player Ratings
  • Match Report
  • Play by Play
  • Preview
World Cup Qualification - South America ‎(WCQS)‎ 2 Jun 2012 Argentina 4 - Ecuador 0
  • Player Ratings
  • Match Report
  • Play by Play
  • Preview
World Cup Qualification - South America ‎(WCQS)‎ 10 Jun 2009 Ecuador 2 - Argentina 0
  • Player Ratings
  • Match Report
  • Play by Play
  • Preview
World Cup Qualification - South America ‎(WCQS)‎ 15 Jun 2008 Argentina 1 - Ecuador 1
  • Player Ratings
  • Match Report
  • Play by Play
  • Preview
Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
Players to Watch
Sergio Romero
Sergio Romero
Position: Goalkeeper
Squad Number: 1
Games Goals YC RC
14 0 0 0
Criticized recently in Argentine media for a terrible mistake while playing for Sampdoria in Serie B, the former Racing man needs to show he has the quality to help his nation each and every game. Keeping Ecuador scoreless would be a good start.
Antonio Valencia
Antonio Valencia
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 16
Games Goals YC RC
15 0 4 1
The Manchester United winger has terrorized Argentina in recent matches. Going up against Clemente Rodriguez, who will certainly push forward, he will have plenty of chances to make noise down the flank. Expect plenty of fine deliveries into the box.
Prediction
With an attack of Lionel Messi, Gonzalo Higuain and Sergio Aguero, it's difficult to imagine the home side not finding the net a few times, despite having trouble with Ecuador in recent years. However, this time around, the two-time World Cup winners should secure three points.
Editor's Prediction
Results
Matchday 5
Times In BST
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Luis Suárez Luis Suárez
Striker
Liverpool
11 2
Lionel Messi Lionel Messi
Striker
Barcelona
10 3
Radamel Falcao Radamel Falcao
Striker
AS Monaco
9 3
Gonzalo Higuaín Gonzalo Higuaín
Striker
Napoli
9 0
Felipe Caicedo Felipe Caicedo
Striker
Al Jazira
7 4