What Argentina need to do for 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification

What Argentina need to do for 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification

What Argentina need to do for 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification

Second-placed Uruguay needs just a draw at home against Bolivia to qualify for World Cup.

Argentina's current campaign, in stark contrast to the last World Cup cycle when they qualified comfortably and reached the final in Brazil, has been dogged by Argentine FA mismanagement, two changes of coach and poor results.

This would mean no Lionel Messi to drive television ratings; no Messi to spur ticket sales for local organizers; no Messi to distract from off-field controversies surrounding the world-governing body, FIFA.

Argentina, who reached the final three years ago in Brazil, lie in sixth place in the 10-team South American group, now outside the qualifying places for Russian Federation.

In other words, outside of Brazil, everything remains wide open in South America heading into the final matchday of World Cup qualifying. The record books point to one likely outcome: Uruguay have beaten the Bolivians in nine of their ten previous qualifying meetings in Montevideo.

Tonight, or half midnight tomorrow morning for those of us United Kingdom based, Argentina travel to Ecuador for their final match and they need a win to qualify.

Indeed, if Argentina wins, any result from Peru and Colombia will be moot. "That will make us all play well".

And if that won't solve it, get set for the drawing of lots.


Argentina are in sixth place in the 10-team South American group. If the deal goes through, Messi's move will also reunite him with former Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola, who is now in charge of Manchester City.

Nothing has worked so far.

But winning in the thin air of Quito, which is 2,850 metres (9,350 feet) above sea level, may be easier said than done.

Argentina, on paper, look favourite for three points, but the way things have gone for the Albiceleste this campaign, anything is possible.

Lionel Messi's Argentina slumped to a goalless draw last week against Peru, leaving them in serious danger of not being in Russian Federation next summer.

Argentina can simplify the equation for their fans, however, if they manage to take all three points. Peru also have a chance even if they draw or lose.

Lying a place and a point behind Argentina, Paraguay play host to Venezuela knowing that they will, in all likelihood, have to win to go through.

Are we poised to suffer a World Cup without the world's best player? A win guarantees at the very least a play-off against New Zealand for which they'd be very strong favourites over two legs.

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