- Argentina plays Ecuador in the fourth and final quarterfinal at the 2021 Copa America tournament on Saturday, July 3rd at 9pm ET
- Lionel Messi and Argentina finished atop Group A with 10 points, while Ecuador luckily snuck out of Group B thanks to three successive draws
- Get the odds, our analysis and betting prediction below
After four group stage matches, the 2021 Copa America tournament is onto the quarterfinals. One game every fan will be keeping their eyes on is the final quarterfinal taking place on Saturday night between Argentina and Ecuador.
It is truly a lopsided matchup, but Ecuador have been able to frustrate the last three opponents they have come across. In games against Venezuela, Peru and Brazil, Ecuador have managed to garner a point, ultimately landing them in fourth place of Group B.
Furthermore, it would be fair to say Ecuador are a little bit underrated in this matchup. Despite losing to Colombia and drawing level with Brazil, they actually were in the lead in both games against Venezuela and Peru. Gustavo Alfaro’s side are no joke, and simply cannot be overlooked by Argentina.
Argentina vs Ecuador Odds
|Matchup||Spread at DraftKings||Moneyline||Total|
|Argentina vs Ecuador||ARG -1.5 (+150) | ECU +1.5 (-182)||ARG -205 | ECU +600 | DRAW +310||Ov 2.5 (+104) | Un 2.5 (-129)|
Odds as of July 2 .
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Nonetheless, it would be unfair to brief this game without mentioning how great Lionel Messi has been through the first four games. The 34 year-old already has three goals and two assists to his name, including a spectacular free kick against Chile. Not to mention he has brought home the player of the match award three times already. His greatness is hard to account and prepare for, so it will be interesting to see Ecuador’s plan on defense.
Can Messi Reach His Fourth Copa America Final?
One thing about Messi’s career that is very well documented is his lack of success on the international stage. The free agent has reached multiple finals, including three just at the Copa America tournament, however he is still yet to win major silverware with Argentina.
Messi has already retired from the Argentina side once before and as the forward continues to age, his chances to lift a trophy dwindle further. With that being said, this summer he has a massive chance to do what has always eluded him.
Argentina vs Ecuador Copa America 2021 Statistics
|1.75||Goals per game||1.25|
|7.0||Shots on target per game||4.5|
Argentina have a great mix of veteran leadership with the likes of Sergio Aguero, Angel di Maria and Nicolas Otamendi. Meanwhile, they also have an abundance of youthful talent including Lautaro Martinez and Giovani Lo Celso.
Leo Messi is currently the Copa America's top scorer, top assister, top dribbler, and the player who's won the most MOTM awards (3). pic.twitter.com/JU1HnpYDAP
— Barça Universal (@BarcaUniversal) June 29, 2021
After a strong showing in the group stages, it is heavily apparent that Argentina have what it takes to go far at this summer’s Copa America. In my opinion, even if his team does not show up, Messi will drag this Argentina side to another Copa America final. Unfortunately, Ecuador will just be one stop along the journey.
Ecuador Lacks Composure Late in Games
The main concern for Ecuador is not how they necessarily deal with Messi. As most football fans know, when you gameplan so heavily around one player, it will be the other talents on the team that end up hurting you. Instead, the concern for Ecuador is why they cannot control a lead at this tournament. Ecuador easily could have finished second in Group B, but their lack of composure late held them back drastically.
Ecuador secured their spot in the Copa America quarterfinals with a hard-fought draw against Brazil 👏👏
Catch all the action in our 90’ in 90" ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/BrBRP5v9VE
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 27, 2021
Against a side like Argentina, if you get a lead, it will probably be the only one you get in the match. For Ecuador, I think chances will come towards the end of the match when everything opens up more. The only way this game can swing in Ecuador’s favor is if they manage to keep it scoreless and nick a goal at the death. However, against an Argentina defense that has already held two clean sheets, this is also no easy task.
Argentina vs Ecuador Best Bet
Overall, the best bet for this match is the Argentina spread -1.5 with odds of +150. This bet has great value and it has played out in two of their last three head-to-head meetings. Argentina has too much depth and offense for Ecuador to hold, which is why I see them moving onto the semifinals of the Copa America in comfortable fashion.
Pick: Argentina -1.5 (+150)