Ecuador and Argentina are clashing at Estadio Monumental Banco Pichincha in round 18 of the CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifications. Ecuador has scored their spot at the World Cup, but the question is if they will qualify from 3rd or 4th place. Argentina has also qualified already, they will end in 2nd place, and they have been playing really great in these qualifications.
Ecuador hasn’t won any of their last 4 games, but thanks to some other favorable results, Ecuador has remained in 3rd place, and they have successfully ended these qualifications. Offensively, Ecuador has done well with 26 scored goals, and Estrada is their leading goalscorer with 6 goals. Defensively, Ecuador hasn’t been the best, far from it, and that is something they will need to improve that before the World Cup because their bad defense might cost them a lot. It’s good that Ecuador has qualified for the World Cup before the last round, otherwise, the pressure would be too great for them, and I’m not sure they would qualify in that situation.
Argentina has won 6 of their last 7 games, while that one game they didn’t win was a draw against Brazil. For years, Argentina was struggling with their defense, but since Coppa America last year, their defense has been impressive, they have kept a lot of clean sheets, while at the same time their offense has been producing a lot of goals. In their last game against Venezuela, Argentina has scored 3 goals, and they have won that game 3-0. Unfortunately for Argentina, they can’t reach first place, but they also can drop to 3rd, so there is no pressure here. Of the 26 goals, Messi and Martinez have scored 7 each, while Gonzalez has added 3 goals. Argentina has had a few young players in their lineup against Venezuela, and since they don’t need anything here, I expect there to be a few more. Argentina finally looks like a complete team with great defense, outstanding offense, and a coach capable of winning trophies.
Ecuador has been pretty solid at home in these qualifications, but I’m pretty sure Argentina wants to stay undefeated. We can expect a bit of a mixed lineup on both sides, and for that reason, I will go with the draw.