We’ve had two rounds of the marathon South American World Cup qualifying campaign already and remarkably these two giants have just one win from their combined four matches. Furthermore, Argentina are yet to even register a goal and a defeat here would leave them in a bit of trouble ahead of a difficult trip to Colombia next week.
These two nations have played each other regularly in recent years but with Brazil not having to qualify for the last World Cup they’ve not faced off competitively in over six years. Argentina have won four of seven friendlies in the meantime but while Neymar is here for Brazil, and in superb form, Argentina’s most dangerous players are absent. Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero are injured while Javier Pastore has only just returned to action and the defence also looks highly vulnerable. Ecuador stunned La Albiceleste in their opening home qualifier but before that Argentina had lost just one of 47 competitive home games since 1996.
In all matches, Argentina are unbeaten in their last 12 games against nations we have ranked in the top 10 in the world but since 2013 that record features seven draws in 10 matches, including five nil-nils. Of course besides Neymar there is nothing that special about this Brazil team. They’ve not kept a clean sheet in their last 11 competitive matches and they’ve lost their last four competitive games against teams in the top 10 of our rankings. Furthermore, the only goal they scored in those four games was a consolation in the 7-1 demolition by Germany.
It’s easy to see why there is no clear favourite in this match and so we’d avoid the match outcome markets. However, both teams’ lack of penetration and defensive minded coaches means we can certainly take a position in the goals markets. Under 2.5 Goals has to be the pick at 3/4 but a punt on the 0-0 Correct Score at 17/2 is also worth a few quid.
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