Following an uninspiring qualifying campaign, Argentina came extremely close to not making it to next summer's World Cup., with only a 3-1 victory in Ecuador in their final qualifier securing them an automatic spot at Russia next summer.
Russia are not expected to shine next year, despite home advantage, with the side failing to make an impact at this summer's Confederations Cup which they also hosted.
Indeed, their last showing at a major championship saw them exit at the group stage of Euro 2016 with two defeats and a draw, and since then we have seen precious little to suggest that another early elimination is not on the cards.
It is worth noting that both of Russia's last two friendly matches against quality opponents have ended in draws, following a 1-1 against Chile in June and a 3-3 versus Belgium back in March, but the smart money should be going on Argentina and the price of 8/11 (1.73) for them to record a win is well worthy of consideration.
Lionel Messi is enjoying one of his richest veins of form and his hat-trick against Ecuador was confirmation of just how fundamental he is to the national side, therefore the price of evens (2.00) for him to find the back of the net looks generous as he scored seven of Argentina's 19 goals in qualfying.
How long he features in this friendly match remains to be seen, although Messi's last few friendly appearances have seen him complete all or nearly all of the 90 minutes.
Another market worthy of consideration is backing Argentina's first goal to come in the first half at 5/6 (1.83) and despite their troubles in front of goal during qualifying, Jorge Sampaoli's side will fancy their chances of netting in the first half against a clearly weaker opponent.
|Argentina first goal in first half 5/6 (1.83) for a 3pt stake with Paddy Power|