Make or break for Messi and Argentina in World Cup qualifier

Barcelona news Lionel Messi

And so tightly bunched are the six remaining contenders that it is well worth studying the standings ahead of the 18th and final matchday and making a note of each side's goal difference, which could well be a decisive factor in determining who goes through to Russian Federation 2018. Colombia's surprise defeat to Paraguay has constricted the qualifying group like a shrinking concertina.

In South America qualification, the last match of Argentina was against Peru which was hosted at Argentina's home venue.

Intrigue surrounding Argentina's crucial World Cup qualifier against Ecuador has led to world-famous rock band U2 delaying a scheduled gig in Buenos Aires to allow fans to watch the match. Danger lurks upon La Albiceleste, who could even lose the playoff place if they lose. In that in a recent game with Peru 0: 0 in his field.

As for the rest, no one has a clearer path to Russian Federation than Uruguay, who lie second on 28 points.

The two-time world champions, runners-up three years ago, have been a mainstay in the showpiece tournament since missing the 1970 edition in Mexico, but three consecutive draws have left Argentina adrift of the play-off spot on goals scored. They need a single point against the ninth-placed team. Uruguay is next with 28 and is widely expected to qualify.

Incredibly, considering how they have already grabbed top spot in qualifying and since they are major rivals with Argentina, Brazil also have a role to play.

To put it simply, Uruguay only needs a draw at home to Bolivia, which has lost nine of 10 qualifiers in Montevideo, to ensure its spot in Russian Federation next summer, however even a loss isn't likely to bump them from the competition.

Argentina still have a chance to quality automatically if other results go in their favour as well.

Sampaoli had earlier stated that he is setting up a side to enhance Lionel Messi's scoring prospects. Sincethenin In World Cup qualifying games since, they have been beaten twice, in 2005 and 2009, before scraping a 1-1 draw in 2013.

Marcos Rojo, Ramiro Funes Mori and Fernando Gago are out as well due to injury. For the tour before the end of the selection, the Argentines do not get to the world forum with 25 points and the goal difference is 16-15 occupying the 6th place in the table.

A victory would guarantee Peru at least a playoff.

And between 1967 and 1969, Argentina also operated a managerial revolving door.

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