It’ll be a battle of the river plate on Thursday in Mendoza, with 3 massive points on the line.
The South American World Cup Qualifiers resume on Thursday and the big match of the round are between neighboring countries Argentina and Uruguay. The Uruguayans, who had a disastrous Copa America in June enter the round at the top of the CONMEBOL Qualifying standings tied on points with Ecuador with Argentina right behind them on 11 points in third place.
The two teams however approach Thursday having gone through different summers. Uruguay, with Luis SUAREZ injured, crashed out of the group stages of the Copa America while Argentina suffered a third consecutive tournament loss. Both teams will be looking to put that all behind them on Thursday in Mendoza.
Looking at the last three matches between the two nations, it’s Argentina with two wins and the Uruguayans with one. The 2014 World Cup Qualifying campaign saw Argentina pick up an extremely impressive 3-0 win with the return match ending 3-2 in Uruguay’s favor (although it must be said, Argentina had already secured a spot in Brazil and were fielding a B side).
The last match came at the 2015 Copa America in the group stages with the Albiceleste winning 1-0 courtesy of a goal by Sergio AGUERO. In terms of goals, Gabriel MERCADO is Argentina’s leading goal scorer so far in the Qualifiers with two goals (Lucas BIGLIA, Angel DI MARIA, Ezequiel LAVEZZI and Lionel MESSI all on one goal each). MESSI enters Thursday with a record of 3 goals in 6 matches against the Uruguayans (all 3 of them coming in World Cup Qualifying).
Sergio AGUERO and Javier PASTORE are both out of the Argentina squad due to injury which opens the door for Juventus wonderkid Paulo DYBALA to start. Here’s the (very likely) Argentina line-up:
For the Uruguayans, veteran coach Oscar TABAREZ is sticking with big names Luis SUAREZ, Diego GODIN, Edinson CAVANI and Fernando MUSLERA as they are in the squad. Here’s Uruguay’s squad for the match:
Here are the highlights from the last 3 matches:
Argentina 1 -0 Uruguay – Copa America 2015
Uruguay 3 – 2 Argentina – World Cup Qualifier 2013
Argentina 3 – 0 Uruguay – World Cup Qualifier 2012
Both teams will be out to try and secure top spot heading into next week’s matches and if the last 3 encounters between these two teams are anything to go by… We’re in for a treat.