The 2018 World Cup could be missing (arguable) the best player in the world. A disappointing 0-0 draw against Peru last night means Lionel Messi & Argentina currently sit in 6th place in the South American qualifiers, one place outside the play-off spot. They now need to win away to Ecuador on Wednesday to guarantee a least a play-off. Given the altitude involved – and the fact they haven’t won on any of their last three trips there – this is not a given by any stretch of the imagination.
So close!! On another night Lionel Messi would've scored all these chances, but Argentina are now on the brink of World Cup elimination pic.twitter.com/2XUq6DMPm0— Goal UK (@GoalUK) October 6, 2017
Despite having such attacking options as Aguero, Di Maria, Dybala, Higuain, Icardi & Messi it’s goals where they’ve struggled. Only Bolivia (14) have scored less than Argentina (16) in their 17 CONMEBOL group matches.
As a result, the 2014 World Cup finalists have drifted out to a best price of 14/1 to win the 2018 World Cup – having been 7/1 at the start of the campaign. Punters are backing Jorge Sampaoli’s side to gain qualification, and clearly see the value in them to win the tournament outright. Today, they are the most backed side to become World Champions, taking 23% of all bets on the market.
With three points a must, Argentina are a best price of 40/85 to beat Ecuador in Quito and keep their Russia 2018 hopes alive.
Oddschecker spokeman, George Elek: “Argentina haven’t failed to qualify for a World Cup since 1970, but look in real danger of ending that run this campaign. A trip to Quito is not what they would have wanted next, but punters have shown faith at a price of 14/1 to win the tournament outright.”