Ace Football previews the World Cup qualifier between Bolivia and Argentina, and offers the latest betting tips, odds, line-ups, and team news.
Fans will be on the edge of their seats on Tuesday night as Argentina lock horns with Bolivia at one of South American football’s trickiest venues, the Hernando Siles Stadium in La Paz.
The 41,143-seater venue is located approximately 3,650 metres (11,975ft) above sea level. Its high altitude has troubled visiting teams in the past because of the air pressure and subsequently opened the door for a surprise result.
Argentina can attest to this fact, having suffered a humiliating 6-1 defeat at the Bolivian capital in 2009. And in case you were wondering; yes, Lionel Messi played in that game. As did Carlos Tevez, Javier Mascherano, and Javier Zanetti.
Fellow South American giants Brazil, Uruguay, and Chile have also suffered defeats at away to Bolivia.
It’s no secret the Greens save their best work for home, but will that be enough to snatch another memorable victory? Or will Messi draw something special out of the bag? Either way, this World Cup qualifier promises to be an interesting affair.
Bolivia Form & Stats
Cesar Farias’ side have had the bad luck of facing two of the strongest teams for their first World Cup qualifying games in Brazil and now Argentina.
The hosts will certainly hope for better than their result against Brazil last weekend, which ended in a 5-0 defeat. They had no answer for the Copa America champions away from home, rarely posing any threat at all.
Considering this setback, Farias will likely make changes with defenders Jairo Quinteros and Luis Demiquel in line to make their international debuts. The Bolivia coach has many options at his disposal and won’t be afraid to use them.
Bolivia also defeated Argentina 2-0 in their last encounter in La Paz back in March 2017 and held Brazil to a goalless stalemate in their previous World Cup qualifier at the same venue that year.
Key Team Stats
- Lost nine of their last 10 games in all competitions (W1).
- Won five of their last 10 home games in all competitions (D3 L2).
- Over 3.5 goals scored in their last five games in all competitions.
Argentina Form & Stats
The Albiceleste began their World Cup qualification campaign by beating Ecuador 1-0 last Friday. Lionel Messi, who made his first appearance for the national side in nearly a year, scored the decisive goal through a first-half penalty. It wasn’t a perfect start, but the three points are all that matter in the end.
Although Lionel Scaloni would’ve been left concerned by Argentina’s performance all the same. The squad appeared nervous for most of the game. And while the manager boasts a plethora of attacking options, he seems a little short in defense.
The losses of Paulo Dybala and an injured Giovani Lo Celso won’t dwell well for the visitors either. They also haven’t fared well in away games for the World Cup qualifiers, losing two of their last four trips. That includes a 2-0 loss to Bolivia in March 2017.
Scaloni is aware that another challenging encounter awaits his side in La Paz and implied in his pre-match conference he will only start players who are 100% ready. He admitted the lack of preparation will hurt his side’s chances.
Key Team Stats
- Won to nil in four of their last five games against Bolivia in all competitions.
- Unbeaten in their last eight games in all competitions (W5 D3).
- Over 2.5 goals scored in their last five games in all competitions.
Argentina: Marcos Rojo, Giovani Lo Celso, Sergio Aguero, & Paulo Dybala (all injured).
Unibet has priced Argentina at 4/7 to take home the spoils in Bolivia, as per Oddschecker.
Around 53% of punters feel an away win is the right call, with 29% going for a draw and 18% betting on Bolivia.
The hosts are priced at 5/1 with Betway for victory. While a draw is available at 7/2 with Betfair and VBET.