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
Zabaleta, Garay, Fernandez, C. Rodriguez
Gago, Mascherano, Di Maria
Higuain, Messi, Aguero
Achilier, Campos, Espinoza, W. Ayovi
Valencia, Castillo, Noboa, Saritama
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.
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Top 3 Predictions
Argentina 3-1 Ecuador
- 13.91 %
Argentina 3-0 Ecuador
- 12.59 %
Argentina 2-0 Ecuador
- 8.6 %
|International Friendlies (FR)||16 Nov 2013||Ecuador 0 - Argentina 0|
|World Cup Qualification - South America (WCQS)||11 Jun 2013||Ecuador 1 - Argentina 1|
|World Cup Qualification - South America (WCQS)||2 Jun 2012||Argentina 4 - Ecuador 0|
|World Cup Qualification - South America (WCQS)||10 Jun 2009||Ecuador 2 - Argentina 0|
|World Cup Qualification - South America (WCQS)||15 Jun 2008||Argentina 1 - Ecuador 1|
|5 Mar 2014||Romania 0 - Argentina 0||FR|
|19 Nov 2013||Argentina 2 - Bosnia 0||FR|
|16 Nov 2013||Ecuador 0 - Argentina 0||FR|
|16 Oct 2013||Uruguay 3 - Argentina 2||WCQS|
|12 Oct 2013||Argentina 3 - Peru 1||WCQS|
|7||Ángel Di María||Midfielder|
|4||Juan Carlos Paredes||Midfielder|
|8||Edison Vicente Méndez||Midfielder|
|9||Jefferson Antonio Montero||Midfielder|
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.
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.
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.
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed