Colombia vs Argentina
Lionel Messi leads his Argentina team to the north of South America on Tuesday to take on a tough assignment against the warriors of Colombia.
After five rounds, Argentina are up in second place in the CONMEBOL World Cup qualifier standings while Colombia are heading in the right direction, up to sixth place.
This World Cup 2022 qualifying match at the Metropolitano Roberto Melendez, is one of the stand-out fixtures in SBOTOP’s calendar this week, and the very latest World Cup 2022 betting oddspitch all three results at under 3.00 goals, and that tells us we’re in for a fascinating and hard-fought clash.
A win for Argentina would keep them in touch with leaders Brazil, while victory for Colombia would lift them up among the leading pack.
It’s all to play for…
Colombia’s top-three challenge
After a couple of disappointing World Cup 2022 results, Reinaldo Rueda’s side bounced back with an impressive 3-0 victory in Peru. That win took them up to seven points, level with Paraguay and Uruguay in fourth and fifth, and just two points behind Ecuador in third.
A first-half goal from Everton centre-back Yerry Mina set Los Cafeteros on their way, and Mateus Uribe and Luis Diaz both struck early in the second half to close the game out.
The head coach’s decision to leave out Everton’s James Rodriguez didn’t seem to have weakened his team’s resolve any. He’s been Colombia’s star man for a decade, winning the Golden Boot at the 2014 World Cup. But while James insisted he has worked hard to be fit, Rueda decided to stick with players he knows to be 100 per cent after the Everton man missed the end of the Premier League season with a recurring calf injury.
Colombia are certainly not without flair. Though neither of them was on the score sheet against Peru, strikers Luis Muriel and Duvan Zapata fired Atalanta into the top four of Serie A and to Champions League qualification, and they are never far away from the goals.
Argentina’s impressive firepower
La Albiceleste arrive in Colombia on the back of a disappointing 1-1 draw with Chile in a game they should have won, having bossed possession and the shot count at 16 to seven, and seven to one on target. Messi scored his 72nd goal in 143 appearances for Argentina, a better than one-in-two ratio, with a first-half penalty, but Inter Milan’s Alexis Sanchez equalised for the visitors to deny their hosts all three points.
Losing the La Liga title to Atletico Madrid was a blow to Barcelona and their captain, and Messi would dearly love to end Argentina’s long wait for a major trophy.
The Blaugrana legend won’t have to do it all on his own, though. Head coach Lionel Scalonihas an excess of attacking riches in his possession. The Premier League’s best striker of the last decade, Sergio Aguero, still has plenty in the tank while PSG’s Angel Di Maria is a consistent performer and assist maker.
And now there’s a new generation of strikers showing immense promise. Inter Milan’s 23-year-old forward Lautaro Martinez has 11 goals in 22 appearances for his country and Stuttgart’s 23-year-old goal scorer Nicolas Gonzalez has bagged two goals in his first five games, while Sevilla’s Lucas Ocampos is one of the most admired young players in European football.
Keep an eye out too for Ajax wing-back Nicolas Tagliafico, who has a superb delivery in his locker and will test the Colombia defence.
Argentina are twice World Cup winners, in 1978 and 1986, while Colombia’s best finish came in 2014 with a quarter-final appearance. They followed that up with a round-of-16 exit at Russia 2018, and Los Cafeteros have the potential to reach the knockout phase of Qatar 2022, but there is still plenty of work to be done in qualifying.
La Albiceleste have enjoyed the better of the head-to-head Colombia vs Argentina results, winning eight of the previous 15 meetings, while drawing four and losing three. But they have stumbled in their last two meetings with Colombia, drawing 0-0 in a friendly in 2018 and losing 2-0 at home in Round One of the 2019 Copa America.
Argentina are unbeaten in 12 games and have won three and drawn three out of the last six. Colombia have also won three during that period but Los Cafeteros have lost two, drawing one.