With just four more match days remaining in the CONMEBOL qualification for next summer’s World Cup in Russia, only Brazil are guaranteed to be there. The South American system is regularly the most competitive when it comes to reaching major tournaments, and Argentina, who have been in disarray for large parts of their 14 games, are still outside of the top-four places that give a guaranteed place in the last-32.
As it stands, Argentina will have to navigate a two-legged inter-continental play-off in order to advance, though a strong points haul from their last four gamers would see them climb the table, with even second place still very much attainable. It should be noted that their old rivals Uruguay are a single point ahead, so will be under immense pressure for their home match on Friday morning.
Uruguay’s main issue has been in a lack of solidity. Though their seven wins have somewhat bailed them out, La Celeste have tasted defeat on five occasions, which is more than any other country in the top six. Conceding 17 goals has not helped this, and it is thanks to their forward Edinson Cavani – the Paris Saint-Germain striker is CONMEBOL’s top scorer with nine goals - that they are still in contention to finish second.
In comparison, Argentina have spread their paltry 15 goals around. Lionel Messi has four, with three players (Angel Di Maria, Gabriel Mercado and Lucas Pratto) on two, and five on a goal apiece. With this a derby match, it would not be a surprise to finally see La Albiceleste finally freed of the tactical shackles that have stopped them scoring freely. They do, after all, boast Sergio Aguero and Paulo Dybala as options for their frontline.
Tipbet have 59 markets for this important World Cup 2018 qualifier and as the above statistics show, goals are to be expected. 83% of matches in this qualifying section have had over 1.5 goals – this outcome can be backed at 1.25. Argentina are rated as the favourites – they are 2.25 to get the three points, with their hosts 3.20. It is 1.65 for them both to find the net.