Argentina vs. Columbia / World Cup Qualifiers – It as widely expected that both teams qualify for the coming World Cup but ahead of them is a great battle. It particularly refers to Argentina and this match is labelled as decisive one as the Gauchos didn’t win in previous four rounds. They occupy mere seventh place in the standings. Columbia stands better, it is third but it has just two points more than Argentina and this match can turn everything up-side down. The Columbians also didn’t win in previous two matches, or more precisely they drew them, which is why they lag behind the leading duo. Argentina triumphed their first head-to-head in this qualification as guests by 1-0, and it also had an upper hand at last years’ Copa America. Begins: 16.11.2016 – 00:30 CET
Argentina lost the final of previous World Cup and two finals of Copa America in a row in just two years. We need to add that they are still No. 1 in FIFA rank list. If we look from that perspective it could be concluded that the Gauchos have no problems at all except losing so many final matches. However, the Argentinian problems are of different nature and this great team is threatened with missing the coming World Cup. As the qualification progresses the situation gets more difficult. The last blow comes from Brazil, which humiliated them several days ago in Belo Horizonte and won by 3-0. It was second defeat in a row in which Argentina didn’t score a goal, after two draws before that.
It didn’t help that Messi was back in the team, who didn’t play in three matches before Brazil. He looked hapless just like the rest of team, although they tried to be offensive. In the second halftime Argentina fully opened after Aguera came off the bench and on the pitch were Messi, Higuain and Maria, which together with Aguera made four classic strikers, but nevertheless they scored no goals. It didn’t help that defenders Zabaleta, Otamendi and Funes Mori were back in the team and played from the first minute. Aguero could be a starter now, probably instead of Higuain, and perhaps Banega plays too.
Probable lineups Argentina: Romero – Zabaleta, Otamendi, Funes Mori, Mas – Mascherano, Biglia, Banega – Messi, di Maria, Aguero
Columbia is not in a particularly good shape either but they at least don’t lose that often. They were undefeated in previous three matches with one victory and two draws. They won Paraguay, after which came two matches at home which could have resolved many things if they managed to win them. Instead, they merely drew; firstly with Uruguay 2-2 when they barely avoided defeat, and several day ago with Chile, when no goals were scored. The battle continues, although if they lost this match they might fall below the line e.i. slip below the last position that takes them to the World Cup.
Coach Pekerman, who is Argentinian, didn’t change anything in defence after drew with Uruguay and exactly the same players faced Chile, while he did make several changes in attack. Forward Bacca followed the match against Chile from the bench, while Muriel and Torres came in the second halftime, just like returnee in the national team Falcao. J. Rodriguez is again in the team, and we expect new changes now. Perhaps Bacca and Falcao play together in attack, or at least one of them.
Probable lineups Columbia: Ospina – Arias, Mina, O. Murillo, Diaz – C. Sanchez, Aguilar – Cuadrado, J. Rodriguez – Falcao, Bacca
Argentina – Columbia PICK
This is very important match for Argentina as it is high time to end the negative series. The Argentinians are shaken after defeat by Brazil but there are so many great individual in their team who can win also not so good Columbia.
Pick: Argentina wins
Odds: 1.60 at interwetten (down to 1.55 can be played)