Conmebol qualifying for the 2022 World Cup is almost over with just one full round of fixtures to go and things at the top are already wrapped up. The four automatic qualification spots are done and both Ecuador and Argentina are set for Qatar.
For Ecuador, it will be a return to the World Cup after a one-tournament absence, missing 2018, and their fourth appearance this century. It hasn’t been a convincing qualification campaign, with Ecuador winning just seven of their 17 games so far, but they have picked up some big results along the way including a 4-2 win over Uruguay and 6-1 thrashing of Colombia.
Argentina are always expected to qualify for the World Cup and they’ve done just that, with relative ease. Despite sitting just one place above their opponents, Argentina are 13 points clear of Ecuador having played one game fewer. While the rest of Conmebol’s teams will be done after this week, Argentina still have game against Brazil to be rescheduled.
It’s because of that game that Argentina do have something minor to fight for, though it’s out of their hands. Argentina are four points behind Brazil at the top of the qualifying group and will be hoping their rivals drop points against Bolivia, opening up the opportunity for La Albiceleste to get the bragging rights.
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Ecuador vs Argentina: Match Stats
Lionel Messi has admitted he is unsure what he will do after the World Cup, but that’s not for another nine months and for now Argentina will be grateful to rely on one of the best players in football’s history. The Paris Saint-Germain forward has scored seven goals in World Cup qualifying so far, with only Neymar (eight) and Marcelo Moreno (10) managing more.
Argentina have been decent in attack, scoring 26 goals in their 16 games so far this season but they have been even better in defence. Only Brazil (five) have conceded fewer goals than Argentina’s seven, and they have won seven of their 16 World Cup qualifying games either 1-0, 2-0 or 2-1.
4 July 2021 – Argentina 3-0 Ecuador – Copa America
9 October 2020 – Argentina 1-0 Ecuador – World Cup Qualifying
13 October 2019 – Argentina 6-1 Ecuador – Friendly
11 October 2017 – Ecuador 1-3 Argentina – World Cup Qualifying
9 October 2015 – Argentina 0-2 Ecuador – World Cup Qualifying
Argentina have enjoyed their games against Ecuador in the past, with 22 wins, nine draws and just five defeats in 36 matches. They go into this game on a four-game win streak against Ecuador including a 3-0 win in the quarter-finals of last year’s Copa America.