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WC Qualification South America

  • June 11, 2013
  • • 22:00
  • • Estadio Olímpico Atahualpa, Quito
  • Referee: E. Cáceres
  • • Attendance: 35000

Ecuador-Argentina Preview: Albiceleste look to seal qualification in Quito

Ecuador-Argentina Preview: Albiceleste look to seal qualification in Quito

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

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 defence, 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 line-up. 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 lie in third place in the World Cup qualifying standings, a 1-0 reverse to Peru meaning Colombia move 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 have qualified for two World Cups in their history, failing to make it past the first round in 2002 and 2006.
  • Argentina have made just one trip to altitude so far in the campaign, coming away with a 1-1 draw in La Paz against Bolivia.
  • Their last clash with Ecuador ended in resounding fashion, Argentina running out 4-0 winners 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

Players to watch

F. Caicedo

Position: Attacker

Games: 9

  • 7
  • 4
  • 0
With five goals, the Lokomotiv Moscow striker is Ecuador's top scorer, and his absence against Peru in the first half was sorely missed. He should be fit to start on Tuesday and will hope to add to his tally to bring Ecuador closer to the World Cup.

S. Agüero

Position: Attacker

Games: 8

  • 5
  • 3
  • 0
With Higuain suspended and Messi still a doubt, 'El Kun' could well be the only member of Argentina's feared attacking trio to start in Quito. Aguero did not have the best of times against Colombia, but will be itching for a better display on Tuesday.

Editor's Prediction

Although Argentina lead the Conmebol table, Ecuador have been impeccable in Quito and will not give up an 100 per cent home record lightly. With several key absences for the visitors, the Tricolor could well emerge triumphant.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head




Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Ecuador ECU
Ecuador Ecuador
Argentina ARG
Argentina Argentina

Top 3 Predictions

Ecuador ECU
1 - 3
Argentina ARG
Ecuador ECU
1 - 2
Argentina ARG
Ecuador ECU
0 - 2
Argentina ARG


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