Ecuador has a great opportunity to shock the current leader of the South America World Cup qualifiers as they host Argentina, this Tuesday at 5 PM ET at the Atahualpa stadium.
Argentina has 25 points and is on top of the standings, and Ecuador is third with 20, both are in good pace to be in the World Cup.
“We will face Argentina with order, strategic, so we must have patience, do an intelligence game and be aggressive in our proposal,” Ecuador coach Reinaldo Rueda said at a meeting with journalists prior to training on Sunday.
“Argentina will maintain their rank with any of the players that jump starts. With the respect he deserves the world’s best player, Lionel Messi, our work will not change even if he’ll be on the field; Argentina has a very strong team.”
Messi has been injured over the last month, but sources say he might play the entire 90 minutes against Ecuador. “I’m not well. Today I could play a little, but I wasn’t sure how my leg was going to respond,” Messi said after the match against Colombia.
“We spoke about it before the match with the coach and decided that it would be best to come on for a while in the second half.”
Argentina beat Ecuador 4-0 the first time they met in these qualifiers, but Ecuador has not lost a point at home so far, so expect the game to be a battle. Last time Ecuador host Argentina they won 2-0.
An Ecuador win pays +145, a draw +270 and Argentinean win +170.