Argentina in Danger of Missing 2018 World Cup

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A win would grant them a playoff berth, and a win could even send them straight to Russian Federation.

Ecuador failed the second round of the South American selection, and instead of the usual position among the leaders flew past the world tournament. Sergio Batista, a member of the 1986 World Cup-winning team, was scathing in his assessment. The table is large and there are a lot of numbers, some of them bigger than 3, so we're here to simplify it for you.

A disparaging draw with Peru last week has left La Albiceleste desperately needing a victory over Ecuador tonight if they want to save their dwindling World Cup hopes.

Brazil is already in.

The talismanic forward helped Argentina to the final in 2010, but lost to Germany in extra time.

Uruguay is already assured of at least a playoff though, in reality, it's virtually a cinch for a top-four finish.

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. It's not gonna happen - Luis Suarez is going to the World Cup. The good news is that a victory would nearly certainly see them progress to next summer's festivities in Russian Federation, barring the unlikely scenario of Chile winning away at runaway group leaders Brazil.

Of course, Argentina - who are now 6th and outside the playoff spot - will be praying Brazil can do them a massive favour. A win and Chile is in. Michael Arroyo will also be out after receiving a red card in the previous match against Chile. They might be motivated to win, but their recent form has not been impressive since Los Amarillos have lost their past five matches.

Brazil have qualified already and Uruguay are nearly certain to join them. It is now 456 minutes since any Albiceleste player found the net from open play, and despite being heavy favourites against Peru in their last game, they were inept in attack, even with five-time Ballon d'Or victor Messi pulling the strings. Los Cafeteros have since recorded four wins and three draws on Peruvian soil.

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.

If Colombia loses to Peru, they'll be in trouble.

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Chile are just a point ahead of Argentina. The problems for Argentina have surfaced when he wasn't there through injury or suspension, with the team picking up just seven points from the eight games he didn't play.

James Rodriguez and Colombia were a thrill to watch in Brazil 2014, and they'll be back in the World Cup as long as they avoid defeat in Peru.

In case of a draw, Argentina will need other results to go in their favour as well.

The good news - or bad news - depending on your perspective, is that Lionel Messi and Argentina are unlikely to be making the trip across the Pacific ocean. Even if players try to foul him, they can't get near'.

A Peru victory could also stifle Argentina unless they win by a greater margin than their Andean neighbours.

The report, however, claimed that Messi is "happy with his life in Barcelona" as the 30-year-old Argentine feels "wanted" at the club.

Not even Bono can complete with Lionel Messi's star power.

Jorge Sampaoli's side heaved to a draw against Peru in the early hours of Thursday morning.

It's all in Argentina's hands. And at 30, you also need to absorb the cold hard stat that Russian Federation 2018 may be his last FIFA World Cup.

The FIFA supremo told La Nacion: "Messi is extraordinary".

Unfortunately for Paraguay, it may not be enough.

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