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June 11, 2013 5:00 PM EDT
Estadio Olímpico Atahualpa — Quito
Referee:‬ E. Cáceres‎
Attendance:‬ 35000‎
17′ S. Castillo
Sergio Agüero 4′ (PG)

World Cup Qualifying Preview: Ecuador - Argentina

The visitors will be without Higuain and Zabaleta, but will hope for three points against a Tricolor side bruised by defeat at the hands of Peru on Friday.

By Daniel Edwards

Retamozo ante Benitez - Peru vs Ecuador
Getty Images

With Gonzalo Higuain and Pablo Zabaleta suspended while Lionel Messi struggles for fitness, Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella is likely to repeat the same 5-3-2 formation used for the Albiceleste visit to Bolivia in March. Jose Basanta will enter in the middle of the defense, while Gino Peruzzi looks to have the advantage over Clemente Rodriguez to replace Zabaleta.

In attack, Sergio Aguero is likely to be partnered by Rodrigo Palacio, with Angel Di Maria supporting from deep, although Sabella could still plump for Ezequiel Lavezzi to play alongside the Manchester City man. Messi is once more expected to start from the bench.

The most significant change from Ecuador will see Felipe Caicedo regain his place in the starting lineup. The striker was a fitness doubt in the loss to Peru thanks to a muscle strain, but appeared in the second half of that fixture and is expected to partner Christian Benitez up front.

  • Ecuador currently sits in third place in the World Cup qualifying standings, a 1-0 reverse to Peru meaning Colombia moved ahead of the Tricolor on goal difference. 
  • Just two of the side's 11 games so far have ended in a draw, with Reinaldo Rueda's men winning six clashes and losing three. All six victories have come at home in Quito. 
  • The South American side has qualified for two World Cups in its history, failing to make it past the first round in 2002 and 2006.
  • Argentina has made just one trip to altitude so far in the campaign, coming away with a 1-1 draw in La Paz against Bolivia.
  • The team's last clash with Ecuador ended in resounding fashion, Argentina running out a 4-0 winner thanks to goals from Gonzalo Higuain, Sergio Aguero (right), Lionel Messi and Angel Di Maria.
  • The Albiceleste could seal their passage to Brazil 2014 with victory, if both Peru and Uruguay fail to win

Field Report
Reader's Predictions
Top 3 Predictions
Head to Head
International Friendlies ‎(FR)‎ Nov 15, 2013 Ecuador 0 - Argentina 0
  • Player Ratings
  • Match Report
  • Play by Play
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WCQ 2014 (Conmebol) ‎(WCQS)‎ Jun 11, 2013 Ecuador 1 - Argentina 1
  • Player Ratings
  • Match Report
  • Play by Play
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WCQ 2014 (Conmebol) ‎(WCQS)‎ Jun 2, 2012 Argentina 4 - Ecuador 0
  • Player Ratings
  • Match Report
  • Play by Play
  • Preview
WCQ 2014 (Conmebol) ‎(WCQS)‎ Jun 10, 2009 Ecuador 2 - Argentina 0
  • Player Ratings
  • Match Report
  • Play by Play
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WCQ 2014 (Conmebol) ‎(WCQS)‎ Jun 15, 2008 Argentina 1 - Ecuador 1
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Last Five Matches
Team News
Available Squads
22Alexander DomínguezGoalkeeper
3F. ErazoDefender
2J. GuaguaDefender
4Juan Carlos ParedesMidfielder
10W. AyovíDefender
14S. CastilloMidfielder
16Antonio ValenciaMidfielder
6C. NoboaMidfielder
9Felipe CaicedoStriker
24J. RojasMidfielder
9Jefferson Antonio MonteroMidfielder
1Máximo BangueraGoalkeeper
-E. Bone
21G. AchilierDefender
-O. BaguiDefender
-P. Quiñónez
19L. SaritamaMidfielder
-M. de Jesús
7R. IbarraStriker
-Juan Luis Anangonó
Matchday 14
Times In EDT
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Luis Suárez Luis Suárez
11 2
Lionel Messi Lionel Messi
10 3
Radamel Falcao Radamel Falcao
AS Monaco
9 3
Gonzalo Higuaín Gonzalo Higuaín
9 0
Felipe Caicedo Felipe Caicedo
Al Jazira
7 4