Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Prediciton: Argentina vs Ecuador

Stefan Budur in Free Soccer Predictions 1 Jul 2024

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Verdict: Argentina (-1.5) AH

Best odds: 27/20

Bookmaker: ZetBet

Following a perfect start to their Copa America bid, World Champion Argentina will face Ecuador in the quarter-finals. The match will be played at NRG Stadium in Houston, representing a great opportunity for La Albiceleste to move closer to their 16th title.

Argentina

Argentina started Copa America on the front foot by defeating Canada in their opening round following a second-half top performance. Although Messi&Co needed time to adjust their target after missing many chances in the first half, Argentina’s half-time team talk yielded results in the second part.

Although Julian Alvarez opened the score for Argentina following a brilliant pass from Liverpool ace Alexic Mac Allister, the Messi-Martinez duo stole the show at the end with a goal scored by the Serie A top scorer following a perfect assist from the 8th time Ballon d’Or winner.

With the confidence and mod being red hot high, Argentina narrowly edged Chille (1-0) to progress in the knockout phase. Although the last game against Peru was a simple formality for La Albiceleste, the World Champions defended their status despite sending a weaker side against Peru.

While Lionel Scaloni rested some of his MVPs, including Messi, a brace by Lautaro Martinez was enough for Argentina to finish the group stage with a perfect record (3 wins). More so, leading the top scorer race, the Inter Milan superstar is expected to fire with all cylinders against Ecuador and find the back of the net again.

Being seeded in the more accessible part of the board by avoiding heavyweights Brazil, Uruguay and Colombia, Argentina has a clear path to reach the final. A win against Ecuador will have La Albiceleste play against Venezuela or Canada for a place in the final act of the competition. While Messi is expected to hang his boots sooner than later, the current World Cup winner can achieve further glory for Argentina by leading his team to a historic double (World Cup and Copa America), leaving his team to reign supreme in the Southern Emisphere with 16 trophies.

Team News

Although Messi was rested against Peru, the Inter-Miami superstar is expected to make a full return here. More so, Lautaro Martinez will be keen to have Messi back as the Inter striker looks to add more goals to his name having his sight set on the Copa America’s Golden Boot.

Ecuador

Ecuador had a disappointing start in Copa America following an unexpected loss to Venezuela. Although La Tri was tipped to defeat Venezuela, an early red card received by Ener Valencia turned the contest around. Playing more than 70 minutes with 10 men, Ecuador had a second-half collapse during 10 minutes by conceding twice and leaving the pitch empty-handed.

However, Felix Sanchez’s team bounced back quickly from the disappointing start by defeating Jamaica in the second game (3-1), leaving the knockout phase qualification to be resolved in the final group battle against Mexico. While Venezuela defeated Jamaica to secure the top spot in Group B, Ecuador and Mexico were left to fight for the 2nd position.

Although both adversaries had the same points (3) after two rounds, Ecuador’s goal advantage was enough to have La Tri progressing in the next phase of the competition as the game ended in a goalless stalemate. Facing an uphill battle against the World Champions, Ecuador seems to be a victim again as they achieved their last success against Argentina nearly a decade ago (2015).

Besides, La Tricolor should be wary of Argentina’s excellent form following 8 consecutive wins across all competitions, including a win against their eternal rivals Brazil in a World Cup qualifier contest (1-0).

Team News

Felix Sanchez is expected to line up a defensive system attempting to block Argentina’s firepower. Ecuador’s only chance seems to be hitting on the break as Ecuador’s manager is aware of the magnitude task his player will be subjected to after declaring at the press conference: ‘We know it is an unmatched opponent, and we know how tough it’s going to be, but our players are happy that they’ve moved to the next round, and we’ll see how that unfolds’ he added.

Key factors to consider

  • Argentina qualified in the quarter-final with a perfect record in the group stage (3 wins)
  • La Albiceleste is the favourite to win Copa America benefiting from an excellent schedule that will avoid Brazil, Uruguay or Colombia until the final game
  • Ecuador reached the knockout phase thanks to having a better goal difference than Mexico
  • The visitors’ last win against Argentina stems from 2015

Conclusion

While there is no doubt which team will progress further, the only question remains how many goals will Argentina score? With so much talent and value in the lineup and coming from the bench, we expect the World Champions to get a comfortable win here.

Verdict: Argentina (-1.5) AH

Best odds: 27/20

Bookmaker: ZetBet

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Stefan Budur


Former owner of Betting Mojo, experienced bettor and former punter at Betadvisor, Stefan has done it all when it comes to soccer betting. With more than 15 years of experience in the gambling industry, he gained a lot of knowledge that he'd like to share with SoccerNews.com readers so you can position yourself better every time you place a bet.

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