Argentina will be looking to make it three victories in a row in their World Cup 2022 qualification campaign when they travel to Uruguay on Friday night.
Lionel Scaloni’s side are currently second in their South American qualification section, picking up 25 points from 11 matches, while Uruguay occupy fifth spot, boasting 16 points from their 12 fixtures thus far.
Uruguay have won four, drawn four and lost four of their 12 qualification fixtures to date, which has seen them collect 16 points, only enough for fifth position at this stage, but they are just one point behind third-placed Ecuador on the same number of matches.
There is still a lot of football to be played in this section, but Oscar Tabarez’s side will be wary of suffering another defeat in this match, having lost their last two games to Argentina and Brazil last month.
The manner of the defeats would have worried Uruguay, with Argentina winning by three clear goals on October 11 before Brazil put four past them four days later.
The Sky Blues were also held by Colombia on October 8, meaning that they have not been victorious in their qualification section since a 1-0 victory over Ecuador on September 9.
Tabarez’s team are bidding to be present at their fourth World Cup in a row, and they actually reached the quarter-finals of the 2018 edition, overcoming Portugal in the round of 16 before losing to France.
Argentina, meanwhile, could secure qualification for next summer’s tournament this month, although they would need other results to go their way for their spot at the competition to be guaranteed.
Scaloni’s side enjoyed a strong October, picking up seven points from their three matches against Paraguay, Uruguay and Peru to move them onto 25 points in the section, boasting a record of seven wins and four draws from their opening 11 matches.
Argentina are six points behind leaders Brazil, but the gap could be shortened by the time that the two rivals meet on November 16 for what should be a fascinating contest.
The White and Sky Blues are actually unbeaten in all competitions since July 2019 – a run that stretches 25 matches – and they will be looking to make it three straight victories over Uruguay in all competitions.
Argentina have won the World Cup on two previous occasions, in addition to finishing as runners-up twice, but they struggled to make their mark in the 2018 edition of the tournament, losing in the round of 16 to France, who edged a seven-goal thriller.
Uruguay World Cup Qualifying – South America form:
Argentina World Cup Qualifying – South America form:
Argentina form (all competitions):
We say: Uruguay 1-2 Argentina
Uruguay’s squad is not at full strength, and they will welcome a team full of confidence due to their long unbeaten run. Argentina are unlikely to start Messi or indeed use the attacker throughout the 90 minutes, but they should still have enough to put another important three points on the board.