Copa 2021 Preview: Argentina vs Ecuador, Lionel Messi to guide Argentina through On Copa Quest

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The group stage matches of Copa America has been completed and we head towards the quarter-final fixtures. Bolivia and Venezuela are the two teams that were eliminated at the end of the group stages. Argentina will take on Ecuador in the final quarter-final fixture in what is probably the most lopsided of the four fixtures.

Argentina head to the knockouts unbeaten across the four matches. They have conceded just twice and bagged seven goals so far – a record only bettered by Brazil. Lionel Scaloni’s men will settle for nothing less than the trophy. The upcoming match against Ecuador should be nothing less than a simple hurdle they will be expected to clear.

 

 

Ecuador did not win a single match so far and managed to scathe through with three draws. They conceded a goal more than they scored but a decent performance against Brazil on the final day will give them some confidence. They head into the match knowing they will be under constant pressure from the prolific Argentinian forwards. Ecuador will have to be organised at the back and their forwards will need to find the goal with the few chances they might get.

 

TEAM NEWS

Argentina will have the option of fielding 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 field. If Sergio Aguero is fielded as the main centre-forward, will likely take the no.10 position behind him. Otherwise, Messi will usually be found on the right-wing of the 4-3-3.

 

 

ARGENTINA PROBABLE STARTING LINEUP- Martinez; Tagilafico, Pezzella, Romero, Molina; Rodriguez, Paredes; Di Maria, Messi, Gomez; Aguero

Enner Valencia and Moises Caicedo are doubtful for the Ecuador Argentina clash. Both picked up injuries against Brazil and might not recover in time for the quarter-finals. Ecuador will not be under any sort of pressure heading into the match. This mentality might just allow them to play free-flowing football. A determined Messi led Argentina can be tested if Ecuador pulls themselves together.

 

 

ECUADOR PROBABLE STARTING LINEUP- Galindez; Estupinan, Hincapie, Arboleda, E. Preciado; Palacios, Caicedo, Mendez, Franco; A. Preciado, Mena

 

GAME CHANGERS

LIONEL MESSI

Messi marked his milestone appearance for Argentina with two goals against Bolivia. Ronaldo’s record-breaking Euro campaign had ended but this GOAT seems to have only started. Messi leads the chart with three goals, more than any other player in the competition. He also has two assists to his name, a tally equalled only by Brazil’s Neymar.

 

 

There are no looming doubts as to Messi’S prowess. He is the instigator on this Argentina side. Every move either originates or passes through him. Like always, there aren’t many teams capable of containing the threat of this extraordinary pair of legs. Ecuador will have to fight tooth and nail if they hope to survive long enough to threaten Argentina.

 

PERVIS ESTUPINAN

La Liga side Valencia’s young left-back Pervis Estupinan has played every game for his national side so far. The defender is just 23-years of age and is among one of the most prominent names in the squad. His involvement in the game will be key for Ecuador in what is a talent overloaded Argentinian right-wing.

 

 

If Messi is deployed on the right-wing, Estupinan’s primary role would be to shut him down. If not, he will have to deal with the trickery of Di Maria. The young full-back will need to be on his toes if he is to help his team survive the fixture.

 

PREDICTIONS

Argentina are the clear favourites to win the match. Ecuador’s primary motive would be to keep Argentina at bay for as long as possible. Long balls and quick counterattacks might be the best route through to goal for Ecuador. Argentina are determined to help Messi finally add a trophy with his national side. Therefore, they will not back down against Ecuador and will go in headfirst. FootTheBall predicts a victory for Argentina. Argentina 2-0 Ecuador.

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