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Ecuador v Argentina predictions, betting tips and match preview - Messi's World Cup hopes hanging by a thread

  • Ecuador v Argentina kicks off at 00:30 BST on Wednesday
  • Get free betting tips & predictions for this World Cup qualifier
  • Watch & bet on Ecuador v Argentina live online at bet365 > sports > live streaming soccer

Argentina are faced with the prospect of missing out on qualification for the World Cup for the first time since 1970 and simply must win on Wednesday when they face Ecuador in Quito to at the very least secure an intercontinental play-off place. Will the mercurial Lionel Messi miss out on showcasing his talent at Russia 2018 or can the La Albiceleste throw a Hail Mary at the death? Read on for all of our free predictions and betting tips.

Watch & bet on Ecuador v Argentina live online from 00:30 BST on Wednesday, 11 October at bet365 > sports > live streaming soccer

Ecuador v Argentina Predictions


Ecuador v Argentina Betting Tips Explained

Argentina travel to the high altitude city of Quito to face Ecuador in unfamiliar territory as they enter the final round of South American qualifying fixtures sitting outside the top five places. A 0-0 draw with Peru in Buenos Aires on Thursday has left The White And Sky Blue languishing down in sixth in the standings, level on 25 points and goal difference (+1) with Peru, however, La Blanquirroja have scored more goals than Messi et al in the campaign with 26 compared to a pitiful - by Argentina's standards - 16.

The top four teams in the standings qualify automatically for Russia 2018, with the fifth-placed side going into a play-off against New Zealand in November. Jorge Sampoali's side are now in a very precarious position to say the least. Only victory over Ecuador will do, but that's easier said than done as the hosts have the notorious advantage of being acclimatised to the thinner air at 9,250 feet in the Andes mountains.

What will make for even more uncomfortable reading for Argentina fans is the fact that the visitors have failed to win on each of their last three trips to Ecuador with two draws and a defeat (0-0, 1-1, 2-0) making their position looking even more ominous. Their last World Cup qualifying win there came in 2001.

On a more positive note, Ecuador have lost their last five World Cup qualifiers and have been beaten three times at home in the last year or so, including a 2-1 loss to Peru in Quito last month. 

On top of that, they out of the running for a top five place and with Peru playing Colombia in their final qualifier, the Argentines know that if they can edge this contest they can at least stay in the race for a ticket to Russia. Colombia are only a point ahead of Peru and Argentina, and can ill afford to slip up either. 

No matter the result in the Colombia-Peru game, a win for Argentina will guarantee a play-off berth and that's what we're backing. Though given Argentina's record in Ecuador, their lacklustre campaign and poor goal scoring form it should be a tight affair. We'll go for a 1-0 winning margin.

Ecuador v Argentina Stats

  • 1970 was the last time Argentina failed to qualify for the World Cup
  • Only Bolivia (14) have scored less goals than Argentina in this qualifying campaign
  • Argentina have the second best defensive record - after Brazil (11) - with 15 goals conceded
  • The visitors have drawn their last three qualifiers but another would see them miss out on Russia 2018

Ecuador v Argentina Predictions


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Ecuador v Argentina predictions, betting tips and match preview - Messi's World Cup hopes hanging by a thread

Argentina are faced with the prospect of missing out on qualification for the World Cup for the first time since 1970 and simply must win on Wednesday when they face Ecuador in Quito to at the very least secure an intercontinental play-off place. Read on for all of our free predictions and betting tips.

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