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2021 Cup Preview: Argentina vs Ecuador: Predictions, Team News & More

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The Copa América group stage matches have been completed and we are heading towards the quarterfinal matches. Bolivia and Venezuela are the two teams that were eliminated at the end of the group stage. Argentina will face Ecuador in the last quarter-final match in what is probably the most uneven of the four matches.

Argentina is heading to knockouts undefeated in all four games. He has conceded only twice and has racked up seven goals so far, a record only surpassed by Brazil. Lionel Scaloni’s men will settle for nothing less than the trophy. The next game against Ecuador should be nothing less than a simple hurdle that they are expected to overcome.

Ecuador did not win a single match so far and managed to slip away with three draws. They conceded one more goal than they scored, but a decent performance against Brazil on the final matchday will give them some confidence. They head into the game knowing they will be under constant pressure from prolific Argentine forwards. Ecuador will have to organize at the rear and their forwards will have to find the goal with the few opportunities they may have.

TEAM NEWS

Argentina will have the option to line up their best players against Ecuador. Lionel Scaloni usually plays a 4-2-3-1 or a 4-3-3 depending on the personnel he chooses to line up. If Sergio Aguero is the main center forward, Lionel Messi will likely be ranked No. 10 behind him. Otherwise, Messi is usually found on the right wing of 4-3-3.

ARGENTINA PROBABLE STARTING LINE- Martinez; Tagilafico, Pezzella, Romero, Molina; Rodríguez, Paredes; Di María, Messi, Gómez; Omen

Enner Valencia and Moisés Caicedo are doubtful for the clash between Ecuador and Argentina. Both were injured against Brazil and may not recover in time for the quarterfinals. Ecuador will not be under any kind of pressure for the game. This mindset could allow them to play fluid soccer. A determined Argentina led by Messi can be tested if Ecuador recovers.

PROBABLE START ALIGNMENT OF ECUADOR- Galindez; Estupinan, Hincapie, Arboleda, E. Preciado; Palacios, Caicedo, Méndez, Franco; A. Preciado, Mena

GAME CHANGERS

LIONEL MESSI

Messi marked his historic appearance for Argentina with two goals against Bolivia. Ronaldo’s record-breaking European campaign was over, but this GOAT seems to have started. Messi leads the table with three goals, more than any other player in the competition. He also has two assists to his name, a count matched only by Brazilian Neymar.

There are no doubts about Messi’s prowess. He is the instigator of this Argentine side. Every movement originates from or passes through it. As always, there are not many teams capable of containing the threat of this extraordinary pair of legs. Ecuador will have to fight tooth and nail if it hopes to survive long enough to threaten Argentina.

PERVIS ESTUPINAN

The young left-back of Valencia de La Liga, Pervis Estupinan, has played every game for his team so far. The defender is just 23 years old and is among one of the most prominent names on the squad. His involvement in the game will be key for Ecuador in what is an Argentine talent overloaded with the right.

If Messi is deployed on the right, Estupinan’s main role would be to shut him down. If not, he will have to deal with Di Maria’s tricks. The young winger will have to be vigilant if he wants to help his team survive the game.

PREDICTIONS

Argentina is the clear favorite to win the match. Ecuador’s main motive would be to keep Argentina at bay for as long as possible. Long balls and fast counterattacks could be the best route to goal for Ecuador. Argentina is determined to help Messi finally win a trophy with their national team. Therefore, they will not back down against Ecuador and will go head first. FootTheBall predicts a victory for Argentina. Argentina 2-0 Ecuador.

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