World Cup qualifying continues in South America on Wednesday morning, with Argentina in need of three points against bottom of the table Venezuela. With little separating the chasing pack behind Brazil in the CONMEBOL standings, a win for the home side could well go a long way to ensuring their qualification for the finals in Russia next year.
Argentina vs Venezuela
World Cup 2018 Qualifying – El Monumental, Buenos Aires – Wednesday 6th September – 00:30 UK Time
Best Odd of: 1/16 at Ladbrokes
Best Odd of: 11/1 at Ladbrokes
Best Odd of: 30/1 at Ladbrokes
Having won just six of their 15 qualifying matches to date, the pressure is on Argentina to finally produce a run of positive performances. Despite having the likes of Lionel Messi and Paulo Dybala to call upon, the home side are the second lowest scorers in qualifying. Despite this, they are still the firm favourites to win against Venezuela, with the visitors having picked up just claimed just one victory from their encounters to date.
Argentina Team News & Form
A goalless draw with Uruguay last week has left Argentina in fifth position in the group, with only the top four guaranteed a spot in Russia next year. With the likes of Peru, Paraguay and Ecuador all within three points of Argentina, a win is a must for the home side. Three points could mean Argentina jump up to second if results fall in their favour, however with just three qualifying fixtures remaining, there is little time for any further slip-ups. Messi has been a frustrated figure throughout qualifying, with the Barcelona man failing to fire on all cylinders on the international stage. Despite this, he is set to continue in an attacking birth alongside Dybala and Mauro Icardi. Argentina will be looking to prove to their fans that they have the required desire to make it through to the finals, starting with a win in Buenos Aires. Premier League players including Sergio Romero and Nicolas Otamendi are expecting a quiet night in defence, with the emphasis on goalscoring on Wednesday morning.
Venezuela Team News & Form
Despite registering a positive draw with high-flying Colombia last time around, Venezuela have been on the back end of ten defeats already during qualifying, with many predicting another loss for the South American minnows. Conceding 34 goals in 15 games, the joint-most in the standings, manager Rafael Dudamel faces a mammoth task ahead of him if his side are to gain anything from this encounter. West Bromwich Albion Salomon Rondon and Captain Tomas Rincon are the standout players for the visitors.
Head to Head
Argentina required to late goals to salvage a draw against Venezuela back in September last year, however they have generally got the better of their opponents over the years. In fact, Venezuela have only ever beaten their rivals once, dating back to qualifying in 2011. However, they have suffered two heavy defeats since then, coming in 2013 and 2016.
Betting Odds and Predictions
Despite their struggles of late, Argentina are the firm favourites for victory, with William Hill offering odds of 1/12 on for a home win. With such odds not set to attract a large amount of interest from punters, backing Argentina to win both the first and second half is far more appealing, with the same bookmaker offering odds of 4/11 on this market.
Top Betting Tip
Our top betting tip for the match is to bet on their being more goals in the second half than the first, which can be found at best odds of 10/11 at Ladbrokes.